OUR LOTUS BIRTH EXPERIENCE
Why would we want to keep our baby attached to her placenta?! 🤣
The photo above was taken after birth (I am still tripping!). Angelo placed the placenta in the basket and covered it with salt and rosemary shortly after.
What is Lotus Birth?
''Full Lotus Birth is simply allowing the baby, umbilical cord and placenta to stay intact, until the cord naturally dries and falls away, with no violence. ''
Many people find the idea of a lotus birth really bizarre.
I had a hilarious conversation recently trying to explain it to my friend. I realised how far this concept is from most people's reality.
Naturally, many questions appear so I'd like to write about our experience to clarify some things.
Taking care of a newborn has many challenges, why would anyone willingly add another one?
Is it dangerous? What if your baby gets an infection?
What if you/ your baby pulls the cord out?
Does it stink/ rot?
Our Lotus Birth - I would not change a thing
I was in Palawan, Philippines when I first heard of the idea of a Lotus Birth. I don't remember the circumstances but I remember the feeling. This new concept was received by my system really well. It didn't shock me, it didn't even surprise me. ''Huh, it totally makes sense!'', I thought. Bear in mind I had no clue how this mystical placenta actually looks like. I've never seen one before and I barely even knew what it is and what is its function! However, intuitively I felt that the connection between the baby and her/his placenta is sacred and should be respected. Thinking of cutting it off and throwing the placenta into the bin as a medical ''waste'' (!) was making me cringe even though obviously it is a regular practice in the hospitals.
I heard about Lotus Birth from a man called Pi- a founder of innerdance, a person who is indirectly responsible for Malaya's creation but this story deserves its own post so I will skip it for now. He was influenced by Ibu Robin- an incredible midwife who promotes the idea of a gentle birth. She's written a beautiful book called ''Placenta: The Forgotten Chakra'' which Angelo and I read during my pregnancy. I highly recommend it even if you don't consider Lotus Birth, it is full of incredible, magical stories and words of encouragement and inspiration.
''Birthing is the most profound initiation to spirituality a woman can have.'' - Robin Lim
Robin Lim. Image source: http://iburobin.com/
''I became a fierce advocate for gentle birth as a solution for the most pressing problems of our times – a solution that begins at the source… Birth.'' - Robin Lim
One might wonder, how the hell do you take care of the newborn with a placenta attached to it?!
Well, you need to be careful, really careful... You have to be slow. You have to be mindful all the time. But why wouldn't you be anyway? Imagine a baby that spent 9 months inside the womb and just landed in this big world... It needs time to adjust, especially during these first days. I found that having the placenta attached to Malaya really made us slow down a lot. There were no sudden movements. The space actually felt different. She hasn't fully landed yet.
Angelo was taking a really good care of Malaya's placenta. It was covered with salt and rosemary, which he was replacing every day. It was drying up really fast. The wonderful, fresh smell of rosemary was filling up the whole room.
The placenta did not smell and did not rot- it was conserved very well. We still have it on our altar.
On the day 4, our comadrona Teshita arrived to check on us. Malaya started to cry and became very fussy. She didn't want the boob, her diaper was dry and I didn't know what's going on. Angelo came into the bedroom to see what's happening. Teshita was speaking to me in Spanish and I was trying my best to recall on my Duolingo lessons to respond to her while holding crying Malaya in my arms. Suddenly my eyes opened really wide and my jaw dropped. She stopped crying. There was a moment of silence in the room, we all looked at each other. Malaya has landed!!! The placenta detached itself. What a beautiful, special moment! I am so happy it happened while three of us were present with her. She calmed down immediately and latched to the boob.
We noticed her vibes changed. She became more present and active, we could feel her more.
Our landlady Estela and one of her daughters joined us shortly after Malaya landed, happy they could finally hold her! 😊
Malaya's bellybutton is perfect and absolutely nothing went wrong.
Oh, and what will we do with the placenta?
We actually want to take it back to Angelo's home conutry- the Philippines, where we are planning to live.
Can you imagine the face of whoever finds it in our luggage at the airport?
- ''Excuse me, what is it?'' ....
- ''Ermmm, it is our daughter's placenta, sir!'' 🤣
I tried to Google if it is ok to travel with the placenta but I couldn't find any info, I don't think many people have asked this question before... 🤣
It was a very special experience and I would definitely do it again. It was not as hard as I imagined. I am grateful for Pi, Ibu Robin and all who promote the idea of gentle birth- I wouldn't have even known about it if these people didn't dedicate their time to encourage it.
Therefore, I felt compelled to also dedicate some of my time to share my experience. I hope you found it useful.