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Lotus birth

Last post 09-30-2009 5:11 PM by marlenecpm. 9 replies.
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  • 09-11-2009 12:13 PM

    Lotus birth

    Hello all,

     I am planning to do a lotus birth. If you don't know what that is, it is practicing non-severance of the umbilical cord and letting it fall off of its own accord 3-5 days after birth.

     

    My question is this: has anyone done this or been a midwife during a birth which the family did this? If so, can you please tell me about your experience with lotus birth. I don't know anyone that has done it and am interested to hear people's stories. 

     

    I also, would like to know specifically how the cord and placenta were cared for. I have read everything I can on the subject but just want to see how people actually did it. We plan on letting the cord and placenta air dry then possibly wrapping the cord in a ribbon and putting the placenta in a cloth bag, and daily putting herbs on it so the smell isn't overwhelming. But if it isn't that smelly we may leave it open to the air so it can dry up faster.

     

    Thank you for your time and responses!

    Jennifer

    Filed under:
  • 09-11-2009 12:48 PM In reply to

    Re: Lotus birth

    I think my co-moderator, midwifea/April, has attended women who have done Lotus births.  I have had one student (a physician!) who did a Lotus birth and what they did was pack the placenta in rosemary, "tons" of it.  They bought rosemary in bulk through a restaurant spice supply place and the placenta was in a diaper and every time they "changed the baby" they "changed the placenta."  The placenta didn't look like a placenta with the amount of rosemary that was packed onto it.  I don't know if they got this information from a particular book or if they thought it up themselves after researching herbs.  They said there was no smell. I saw them on days 1 and 2 postpartum and then after the cord separated, so I don't know if the placenta "ripened" and they just didn't smell it or what.  Considering mama was a doc, I'd think she'd have smelled it before most people but you never know. I'm looking forward to reading the other responses.Cake 

    Susan
    Moderator

    I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult. --E.B. White
  • 09-11-2009 1:18 PM In reply to

    Re: Lotus birth

    I "met" someone online who did this.  They made (before the birth) a velvet bag for the placenta which they were intending to keep it in with some herbs (rosemary was one, also thyme i think) and lavender flowers until it separated.  In the event it seeped a little and wet the bag the first night, so they ended up with the placenta in a bag and the bag in a plastic bucket buried in lavender and salt.  This kept it from smelling, but it took 6 days to separate and they ended up using a hairdrier (on cool) at daiper changes on the last two days because the cord had gone a bit manky underneath where it went in at the navel (because the bucket was on the floor, lower than the baby, so the cord was lying flat against the belly there and not getting enough air to dry out.  It did seperate cleanly and all was fine, but i seem to recall mama feeling the use of the hairdrier kind of negated the image she'd had of it all coming away naturally when the time was right. 

    So perhaps make sure it's as dry as possible before you bag it (if you are going to bag it) and remember to move the placenta in relation to the baby the first few hours after birth so the cord doesn't dry flat against the baby's skin?

    Me 32, DH 41, DD 2006, DD 2010, DS 2013
  • 09-11-2009 2:29 PM In reply to

    Re: Lotus birth

    All the herbs listed above esp Salt and Goldenseal. And apply Goldenseal liberally to the cord area on the baby's end. The thing about lotus birth is to avoid the smell not because its stinky but because if it's smelling, it is going "bad/rotten" and that becomes risky for the baby. Give it lots of those dried herbs, changing it when you change the baby as mentioned above. Dry it out nice and dry :-)

  • 09-11-2009 3:06 PM In reply to

    Re: Lotus birth

    Thank you all for your responses.

    Worstfriend: first of all, what an interesting sign in name. Secondly, I wonder why the person you knew (know) put the placenta below the level of the baby. I have read to keep it at the same level or slightly above the baby. Thank you for telling me this story, because I will make sure I position the cord to dry in a good position and I will let the placenta dry for at least 24 to 48 hours before covering it.

    JenniferV.

    Filed under:
  • 09-11-2009 3:23 PM In reply to

    Re: Lotus birth

    I'm not sure - is that if you haven't tied the cord off?  Because i remember that they did tie it, but didn't cut it (mama wove the cord to tie herself).  Perhaps they didn't think it necessary to keep the placenta high if the cord is tied - i do recall it being a rather sudden "oh it's leaking in the bed! Get a bucket!" early-hours moment that they resorted to the bucket, so maybe it was that - also i love sharing a bed with a lovely snuggly newborn, and a sweet-smelling velvet bag of placenta would be fine, but a big old cold plastic bucket?  Lol, what an image!

    Yes, my sign in is old, over a decade old now!  I used it to be recogniseable on the new boards, so i guess we're stuck with it Smile but it was never sinister.  When i was at university a friend asked me in the (hushed) library if i wanted to go fo a coffee and i said i needed to finish reading the book i had as it was only a 4-hour loan i had it on, and she *shouted* "you're my worst friend, i HATE you" and faux-stormed out.  She was a drama major and VERY good, even then.  It was hilarious, but i'm sure you had to be there.  That ended up being an email address, and then a sign in for various sites, and here we are.

    Bec

    Me 32, DH 41, DD 2006, DD 2010, DS 2013
  • 09-11-2009 4:17 PM In reply to

    Re: Lotus birth

    Bec,

    Yes that is if you have not tied it off. If you tie it I am not sure what the benefits of keeping the cord and placenta attached to the baby are? Does anyone know?

    As far as cuddling a baby and a bucket...maybe not ideal. I think we are going to keep it in a strainer which will be in a larger bowl. If the baby and I need to move then we'll just put the placenta on the baby's abdomen and all go together, rather than trying to haul around the baby and strainer while not pulling on the cord.

    Jennifer

    PS I get the screen name choice, thats funny! =) 

     

  • 09-11-2009 4:21 PM In reply to

    Re: Lotus birth

     They tied it after about 5 hours, by which time the cord was white and flat though still "wet" and bendy, and they tied it because they were worried about the possibility of it getting tugged and baby bleeding into the cord i think.  TBH i'm not sure of the benefits of keeping the cord and placenta on after that are anyway, and i never asked them what their reasons were, perhaps you can outline for me?

    Bec

    Me 32, DH 41, DD 2006, DD 2010, DS 2013
  • 09-14-2009 11:55 PM In reply to

    Re: Lotus birth

    I've not had any clients do a full lotus, but I did lotus with my DD.

    Basically, we didn't do anything elaborate at all. We cleaned and dried the placenta normally after the birth - well after the cord had stopped pulsing we gave it a rinse in warm water to get the excess blood off, and patted it dry and covered it liberally with sea salt.. then we wrapped it up in a cloth diaper. we changed the diaper the next day, adding more sea salt before wrapping it in a diaper, then tucked it into a little heart-shaped crochet bag. It was clean and dry, no smell, no problems. the cord dried normally - it was not tied at any time; with a lotus birth this is really unnecessary.

    we kept the diaper wrapped like that, with the little bag on dd's belly, and then wrapped the whole bundle, baby and all, into a blanket (the same heart-shaped crochet pattern as the placenta bag).

    It healed easily and cleanly, no dramas, and the cord separated at the end of the 2nd day.

    Some people reccommend adding a few drops of rosemary essential oil or lavendar to reduce the smell, but we never noticed any problem with that, and the result was a salted placenta, much like jerky. we kept salting and changing the placenta every few days untill it was totally dried and preserved. I absolutely recommend doing this to anyone who doesn't plan to eat their placenta immediately.

    I felt very keenly the benefits of letting the baby release her own placenta when she was ready. I think it's very important that the baby get her full placental transfusion, and because I see the placenta and cord as being a part of the baby, it seems wrong to cut that off.

    You're best source of info would be Shivam Rachana's book, Lotus Birth.

    Jesus was born unassisted!
  • 09-30-2009 5:11 PM In reply to

    Re: Lotus birth

      I thought of doing that (not cutting the cord) with my last, long before the term lotus birth was coined, but got tired of carrying it around with baby, found it very awkward! I forget how many hours I lasted before it got cut.

    I always do delayed clamping with my clients, never in a hurry to cut, and do leave it longer than most do. I've never had a client want a lotus birth, but I'd love to see one!

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