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  • Sharon Tenuta

Lotus Birth

capture of a baby doll with placenta photo
baby doll with cord and placenta visual

S. Tenuta 5-27-24

Lotus Birth is my most favorite positive birth idea.  It is not my idea, but people before us.  I read about it most extensively through the Lotus Birth book by Shivam Rachana.  Her writing seems to make so much sense to me.  The experiences of the birth and the presence of the babies who are born with this placenta available to them even after coming through the birth canal seems to have a wisdom and calming effect on those children given the opportunity to be birthed in such a together way.

Lotus birth is a term given to a baby being born while the cord is not cut.  The placenta remains attached to baby until it releases itself or it is released by baby’s permission.  Our sciences have evidence now that babies are totally present when they are being born.  They have an awareness before birth and continue to see what is happening while they birth.  Though they look tiny and limp and squirmy or cry with intensity, all are variations of the baby’s presence in a fully conscious state. 

We people think we know more than the babies.  I am not sure this is true.  We certainly know more about the world and our own personal experiences, but maybe not more than the baby in its conscious wisdom as it is given the opportunity to join us on this earth.  There have been people who have gone through re-birth experiences. Through such sessions and through the study of psychology, it has been found that babies always have a birth imprint.  If baby was born in a hospital, baby remembers that scene.  If there was a cesarean birth, baby remembers that scene. If born by a gentle process, baby’s birth imprint remembers that.  The thing is, our muscles and consciousness remembers every experience somewhere in the body, mind or consciousness.  Our brain seems to close off that head brain memory as our skull closes up at the top starting at around the age of 2.  From that time onward, it seems we must rediscover who we are and what our purpose is here on this earth.

If people had a traumatic birth experience, they could resolve these imprints if they recognize their need for healing.  The lotus birth tends to bring about children who have memories of gentle birth, of being allowed to be strong and heard.  The lotus birth seems to be one of the first empowering experiences for a baby.  Babies get to let the placenta go when they are ready.

Before they let it go, what do you think they are doing with the placenta?  I am imagining the blood is regulating to the proper flow.  The organs are being reorganized with the ductal flow of blood and lymph.  The baby holds on to its source of food, that gave it comfort within the womb.  The baby holds onto the placenta pillow that was its friend in utero.  The baby finds security and comfort in this familiar friend until it goes through its first mourning experience.  When people mourn, they first are in denial, then they gradually find the ways to accept their new reality.  I believe baby has this opportunity if given it while the placenta remains attached after birth.

When the placenta is born and kept attached to baby, the parents do need to care for the placenta in a special way.  It needs salts or herbs to keep it from smelling badly.  It does need to be rinsed and kept in a bowl or a basket close to baby and mother.  This placenta togetherness with baby still needs mother’s touch and skin to skin.  It is not an alternative to birth touching and holding and bonding.  They all work together for the wholeness and respect for baby’s personhood.

I want you to know that a mother who must have a cesarean section can request that her baby be a lotus cesarean birth.  She can request that the placenta still remain attached to baby.  She can let the hospital staff know that she does not want the cord cut.  She can have her container or gallon bag be ready to hold the placenta next to baby.  Mother can request to be alert during the c-section in order to receive her baby after the cesarean birth.

Research has shown that the placenta is generally separated from baby between day 3 and 10.  The general rule of thumb is that the sooner the placental cord is cut, the longer the cord remains attached to baby’s umbilicus.  The longer the placenta remains attached to baby, the quicker it is released from the umbilicus.  The people I have worked with who have embraced the lotus birth experience have had the cord separate from baby’s umbilicus at 3 and 4 days post birth.  They put herbs, salts and rose petals on the placenta. 

Parents say it gets a bit annoying carrying the placenta around with the newborn baby.  It may be awkward to do so, but giving baby that empowering experience seems to be a gift that will help baby fully receive its life instructions in a gentle and loving way. The complete personal blueprint of baby can energetically be given and received by baby.  Mix that with all babies having that opportunity seems to be a way to lessen birth traumas in the world.  I imagine that could be a tool to healing the world’s ills as well.

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