Book Review – Lotus Birth – Leaving the umbilical cord intact

The Lotus Birth was written by Shivam Rachana.
This book review has been written by Adrienn Kovacs (Doula) who trained with the Doula Training Academy.

Why this book?

When I reached 3rd trimester with my pregnancy in December 2017, the thought of giving birth suddenly became very real. I found myself thinking about it all the time.

I couldn’t talk about anything else; the focus of my attention was the growing baby in my belly, and I spent hours daydreaming about the endless possibilities of me going into labour.

I researched many alternatives and waterbirth felt the most comfortable and exciting option. When I heard about delayed cord cutting, I knew it must be done this way even if I end up having a Caesarian section.

During these months I read articles, studies, did so much research about the benefits of waiting at least 20 -30 minutes before cutting the cord. I learned the positive benefits both for baby and mom.

I had never heard of Lotus Birth before.

This random article came up in my Google search and I read it. Less than one minute I knew: THIS IS WHAT I WANT! It resonated with me and with everything I felt but could not put in words.

I talked to my Midwife and my Obstetrician. They were both surprised but incredibly supportive. So, I read and researched more, this is how this book found me…

About the author….

 Shivam Rachana is the author of Lotus birth. It was a bit difficult to find information about her:

https://store.bookbaby.com/book/lotus-birth says:

“Shivam Rachana is founding principal of the International College of Spiritual Midwifery. ICSM teaches ancient women’s knowledge in a modern context and is committed to returning women to the integrity of their feminine process. She is an intuitive visionary and healer who has been involved with birth reforms for 35 years and she holds the ‘Women’s Mysteries’ 5day retreats. A former vice-president of the Childbirth Education Association Rachana was present at the first water birth in Australia in 1982 and the first Lotus Birth in 1986. She was co-director of the Centre for Human Transformation a residential spiritual training community for 28 years. Rachana established the Dial- a- Doula training program in 1995 She teaches nationally and internationally. Her book “Lotus Birth” is a world first publication on this subject. She is executive director of the DVD ‘The Lotus Birth of the Malcolm Twins’ and a long-time member of APPPAH, the Association for Pre and Peri-natal Psychology and Health. She offers individual consultations in Melbourne.”

 And the book….

 This book is a world-first. It is a valuable resource for everyone involved in pregnancy and childbirth. It is not just for professionals or pregnant women. If you got traumatised during your birth, if you found out your cord was cut in a traumatic way, you can learn about how to handle and heal that trauma.

What is Lotus Birth?

It is a practice of leaving the umbilical cord uncut after the baby is born and leaving it to detach on its own in the following 3 -7 days.

It will fall off by itself.

This sounds weird for the first time I know; we were conditioned to believe: cutting the cord is the “normal”. But when we understand the reasons and we experience the peacefulness of these babies – it becomes the new normal.

There is no medical reason to cut the cord! (Unless it’s an emergency of course)

Our current practice: cut the cord and throw away the placenta, – like it was some rotting, disgusting piece of dead meat, is abnormal.

“This practice highlights and calls into question the standard practice of immediate cord clamping and the recently popularized ‘cord blood banking’ procedure which places the newborn in a highly compromised situation, depriving it of 30% to 50% of its full quota of blood. This is the amount of blood in the cord and placenta at birth, and which is, in the natural order, destined to fill the infant’s major organs. There are grave ethical issues here. Immediate cord clamping, which is current obstetric practice leaves the mother’s body coping with the implosion that results from the clamping, leaving her more susceptible to post-partum haemorrhage (PPH). Lotus-born babies have a fully healed navel a few days after birth, whereas most babies have a cord stump, which is susceptible to infection and takes on average two weeks to drop off. There is no research on the long-term consequences of depriving the newborn of this extremely valuable cord blood which is full of stem cells, iron and enzymes.. The practice has been driven by hospital timetables, not by infant–mother welfare. Traditional midwifery practice was to ensure that the cord was ‘milked’, ensuring that the baby received the full quota. As the number of maladies in the general population increases rather than diminishes in spite of increased knowledge and services, we may well ask if the practices at the beginning of life endanger rather than enhance our long-term wellbeing. This remarkable book, a world first publication on the subject, provides a most thorough explanation and exploration of this primal experience that we all have when we are born. There are contributions from doctors, philosophers ,midwives, anthropologists, psychologists, doulas and the parents of Lotus Born children given a breath and depth to the discussion and the information. This is a book that will take you into the unknown and leave you greatly enriched by the experience. It speaks of the true nature of your cells and the basic primal needs of your mammalian nature. it may also enrage you as you realize what has happen to you and, if you have them, to your children. This book inspires and gives great hope as you read the stories of wonderful natural births and families who have taken their lives into their own hands with inspiring outcomes.”

https://store.bookbaby.com/book/lotus-birth

 

It was first published in 2011 by Good Creation Publications in Victoria, Australia.

I would call Clair Lotus Day the “main character” of the book, because she was the first one who believed that the umbilical cord should not be cut but allowed to fall off naturally. She is a clairvoyant, nurse, and teacher. She called this way of birth “Lotus Birth” and she is regarded as the “Mother of Lotus Birth”

My favorite part of the book was the 7th Chapter: The benefits of Lotus Birth.

On the 96th page “The amazing placenta: The tree of life” chapter talks about how the placenta and the baby both arise from the same cell, the fertilized ovum.

In Malaysia, the baby and the placenta are considered to be siblings.

There are various placenta disposal rituals around the world. Unfortunately, in our Western culture the placenta is often thrown out with the hospitals sterile trash, or it is used for experiments and in some countries cosmetics.

The book calls the placenta “biological microcosm” because of its vide variety of functions for and in collaboration with the baby. This includes the following systems of the body and affects and regulates many of the maternal hormonal synthesis:

  • Alimentary
  • Pulmonary
  • Renal
  • Hepatic and endocrine systems

Isn’t it amazing?

This “timed organ” is the real deal.

The amazing placenta: The “tree of life” drawing by Dr Diana Jones

 

I particularly liked the 11th Chapter: Healing Placenta Trauma

Placenta trauma means the trauma associated with the moment when the umbilical cord is cut.

Why is this traumatic?

We overlook the fact that the placenta was formed by the fertilised egg, the same egg formed the baby, therefore they are one, the placenta is part of the baby.

We know how important part of our healing journey trauma release is.

Shivam Rachana says, there are 6 simple common stages in the process:

  1. Recognition (of the cord was cut and the placenta was discarded, and this caused a loss, pain and trauma)
  2. Acknowledge (that we may have the symptoms)
  3. The stage of re-owning the placenta
  4. Reintegrating it
  5. Recognising and readjusting the errors in many life situations
  6. Dealing with the deprivation syndrome (not being able to have something that is ours)

We can heal Placenta trauma with the help of a professional therapist, breathing techniques and meditation. ( At the end of the book, you will find references, further reading and resources, websites as well).

When I first read this book, it gave me so much information, I knew I made an informed decision. It answered all my questions and it helped me to answer my healthcare providers questions too. It helped me to make my own Water Lotus Birth dream to come true.

It happened.

Abel and his home-made Placenta bag

My son was born completely undisturbed and unmedicated. The placenta was born 30 minutes after him (the midwife was so anxious I remember…I stated in my birth plan that I do not want medicalised 3rd stage unless it is emergency and she clearly didn’t like that).

So the placenta was born, we put dried lavender and rosemary on it. I kept it dry and clean and on the 3rd day the cord got detached. It didn’t cause us any problem; it wasn’t stinky nor disgusting. It was normal and natural.

We planted it at the front garden under a new Frangipani tree.

I can only recommend reading this book to every pregnant woman, doula, midwife, and healthcare provider. It is easy to follow, easy to read and the included personal stories are a nice addition.

My name is Adrienn, a Sydney-based doula, trained by Vicki Hobbs (Doula Training Academy) and I am happy to give you more information about my services, so please contact me:

 

Business:
Fire In Her Belly Doula Services

Mobile:
0468 920 677

Email:
[email protected]

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