What is a lotus birth? And is it for you?

What is a lotus birth? Do you know anyone who’s had a lotus birth? If not, you’ve probably come across it in the news or on mummy blogs because it’s a trend that’s growing as naturalists find the support that enables them to channel more non-traditional birthing practices.

So, a lotus birth has been described as a ‘physiological third stage’ (occurring post-delivery) whereby the umbilical cord remains uncut, leaving the baby attached to his/her placenta until the cord naturally separates, usually a few days after birth.

Mums will have to carry around the placenta to allow for nature take its course; the umbilical cord takes a few days to fall of – up to 10 days, usually.

Why would parents choose a lotus birth? Hannah Robertson, doula and mum of three, explained to Parentdish.com that the reason she decided on a lotus birth (for her third child – now 7 months) was to ease her baby boy’s transition from womb to world – as a sort of transition from pregnancy without the invasion of ultrasounds and tests.

It’s no secret that birth can be quite traumatic for babies, who are thrust from a place of warmth, darkness, muted sounds and comfort into a loud, cold, noisy place. It’s tough. And for some mums, a lotus birth is instinctually the best way to nurture the change.

Like me, you probably want to know how the placenta is carried around. – It is an awkward thing to manage, being both heavy and cumbersome.

Heather, who gave birth in a birthing pool, used a sieve to remove the placenta after which it was placed on a muslin (for 24 hours), which absorbed the water allowing for embalming to  take place – using an Egyptian embalming method using herbs and spices including frankincense and myrrh.

After the embalming, Hannah wrapped the placenta in new muslins and placed it in a specially created bag. Her son’s cord detached from the placenta after three days, and it took seven days to fall off completely.

So if it’s something that you’d like to consider, don’t let the practicalities stop you – it seems that a week to ten days of potential nuisance is worth the point of the practice.

If you’d like to find out more about lotus births, visit Lotusbirth.net and talk to other mums who have been through one. Also read “I had a lotus birth” on Parentdish.com to read more about Hannah Robertson’s experience.