he spiritual relationship between child and parents is not a notion that finds discussion in our
culture.  However, other cultures, mainly indigenous, DO acknowledge and tend this aspect of
human life on earth.  An example I particularly like is from a culture I have heard about where a
woman wanting a child spends time in nature.  Through meditative practice she comes to know
the song or sound of the baby who is to incarnate.  She teaches this sound to her partner and
when they make love, they make that sound.  She teaches her midwives the sound and they use
it during her labour.  Whenever the baby is fitful or, in later life, unwell, that sound is used to
soothe and heal.  After the person dies the sound is never used again.

These people know about the interconnectedness of all beings.  Just as we know that each
individual has their own unique fingerprint, they know that we also have a signature sound.  
The understanding and use of sound for healing is well known among some peoples; the Tibetans
probably being the most well-known of those.

Many indigenous cultures have a strong sense of being part of a continuum.  Our isolated 'me'
culture deprives us of this.  If we reflect on how most of us were born - drugged, isolated from
our mother and deprived of basic mammalian needs of access to the breast, skin-to-skin contact
and holding - we might begin to understand more fully the difficulties we have in our
interpersonal relationships.

The implications of Lotus Birth are best approached through the perspective of the ancient
mystery traditions, developed in places as diverse as India, China, and Egypt.  Through
disciplines of contemplation and meditation, these traditions have developed an understanding
of the totality of a human being that is still absent from Western medical science.  Generally,
they articulate dimensions across which human beings live simultaneously, and how disharmony
or trauma in one affects the others.

To fully understand the implications of Lotus Birth, it is helpful to have an understanding of the
five bodies, which, according to many Eastern teachings, comprise the totality of our being.






There are vital energies, which are part of all living things, that flow through and around our
bodies.  These energies, known as
auras, can be seen by some people.  Chinese systems of
medicine describe how an energy, known as
chi, flows along meridians throughout the body.  It
extends beyond the physical body (as we generally regard it) to form the auric field, or aura,
around the body.  This auric field is our interface with other dimensions of subtle energies.  A
strong auric field helps to preserve the integrity of the organism.

This understanding of the human being is ancient and worldwide, although not part of the
general Western notion of reality.  Quantum physics, however, is leading scientists to recognise
these phenomena as valid.

In time, I am sure, we shall be able too prove that a strong auric field is indicative of a strong
immune system.  Holes or damage in the auric field manifest as a weak immune system.  These
damaged areas provide the energetic grid from which many degenerative diseases manifest.

From a holistic perspective, the practice of Lotus Birth is most logical.

Lotus Birth slows things down.  This is most desirable.  The time after a birth is to be savoured.  
It is like the time after making love, after the climax, a time of intimacy and integration.  A
mother who has just birthed her baby, after nine months of pregnancy, benefits greatly from
quiet and rest.  The birth experience requires integration.  Time to reflect on things and to be
able to talk about it all with supportive people is most beneficial.  The father and other children
who may have been present also appreciate and benefit from this 'between times'.

Lotus Birth provides a unique opportunity after the birth for the family to settle in, to be
together in a very special way.  With the placenta still attached, the sense of being in the space
'between worlds' is very apparent.  The baby is here but is still there.  The time of transition
from the beyond into the physical plane of existence is obvious.  The first few days see the
digestive tract and the elimination system, both of which are part of placental function, become
established in the baby's body.

We may well wonder whether the hectic stress-filled lives many of us lead are a reflection of our
very first hours and days in hospitals - hustle and bustle and the tyranny of time.

Taking time - 'being' in time - for the first days of life may well be the panacea for 80% of the
diseases from which we suffer which are stress- related.

The creation of the placenta is one of the most mysterious and ingenious acts of creation, one
about which we actually know very little, even though our very existence has depended on it.

Six days after the sperm from our father merged with the ovum - which our mother had carried
in her body since she, herself, was developing inside our grandmother - this tiny six-day old
organism (us), about to attach itself to the uterine wall, undergoes a still not understood
process that causes the same genetic material to go two ways.  Some becomes the baby and
some the placenta.  Alternatively, we could regard the baby and the placenta as a single unit -
with the placenta an essential organ, such as the heart or liver, functioning and necessary for
survival.  However, we don't say, 'some of the genetic material turns into the baby and some
turns into the heart or lungs', so why do we conceptually separate the placenta from the baby?

Lotus Birth establishes the baby-placenta relationship and suggests that the mother gives birth
to the baby-placenta.  As we shall see, there are no sustainable medical reasons for cutting the
cord and separating the biological unit that conceived, grew, and delivered (or birthed)
together.

Current birthing practice is to cut the cord while the placenta is still in the mother.  When this
happens, people do not perceive the complete biological unit of baby-placenta and as a
consequence find it difficult to imagine the biological-historical-genetic-fetal unity of the
placenta-baby.  As the practice continues, many mothers never even see their baby's placenta
and some think that the placenta is theirs.  Lotus Birth puts the placental ownership clearly with
the baby, where it belongs.

The moment of the baby's 'letting go' of the umbilicus and placenta has its origin at the moment
of implantation of the egg into the uterus.  The moment of implantation heralded, in a most
organic way, the beginning of another human life.  Twenty-five percent of conceptions do not
reach this stage, because the uterus does not accept implantation of the egg.

Implantation is a two-way event.  It is acceptance by the mother's uterus of the new life form
and a commitment by the fertilised ovum to go to the next stage of gestation.  It is a key point
in the mother-child relationship, and in a woman's relationship with her partner, to accept into
her deep and sacred place the product of their union...

For the baby implantation is a major step in its commitment to incarnation.  Embodiment will
mean reliance on the ongoing supply of nutrients from the placenta via the umbilicus.  This is
now fetus's life-line, on which he or she is dependent.  The new being becomes open to
receiving nourishment from this source.

At the earliest stages of development - just six days gestation - an estimated 30,000 different
proteins have been identified in the embryonic human!

The placenta is most complex, not the simple anchor for the cord or the passive sieve through
which nutrients pass from mother to fetus, as many think
.  It has its own metabolism, which
regulates maternal functions by producing hormones actively and selectively transferring
substances between mother and baby and keeping equilibrium between the two, while keeping
fetal and maternal blood circulation separate -
it is an organ of high intelligence. Its function
begins after implantation - that crucial point when, by forming burrowing projections, the baby
attaches to the lining of the uterus.

This stage is a significant one.  The mother's womb accepts the baby and the baby commits to
the gestation.  It is most intimate, most personal, and the disengagement at birth, nine months
later, is connected to this point.  It is a commitment and a release, and may have the most
profound ramifications in the mother-child relationship.  Here is the organic foundation of this
primal relationship.

The placenta establishes itself during the first ten weeks of pregnancy and
by three months it is
fully mature
.  It feeds nutrients to the baby via the umbilical cord and carries away and
processes waste products.  It provides a two-way exchange through the three large arteries of
the umbilical cord.

There are sound physical reasons for not cutting the cord, which have to do with the blood
value and volume that the baby would otherwise miss out on.  The baby's emotional life and
implications for its future relationships are further factors.  Beyond that, there is the etheric
level and the transference of energies.

Lotus Birth ensures that the physical body is well cared for by ensuring that the baby receives
the full quotient of the oxygen-bearing highly nutritious blood that is in the cord.  The infant
obtains 40-60 mL of 'extra' blood from the placenta if the cord is not tied until pulsations cease.  
The loss of 30 mL oof blood to the newborn is equivalent to the loss of 600 mL to an adult.  
Persistent common practice of immediate cutting of the cord before the pulsations cease
deprives the newborn of a possible 60 mL of blood, the equivalent of a 1200 mL hemorrhage in
an adult.  This is a likely explanation of the strange phenomenon of weight loss that most
newborns seem to endure.  The new organism is put immediately under undue stress to
reproduce the blood it was denied.

We must wonder, too, whether the denial of the iron-rich cord blood is a contributing factor to
widespread cases of infant and childhood anemia.

The immature liver is supported by the placenta in the offloading of toxins, as the pumping
action continues until the cessation of pulsations.  Most babies' bodies are loaded up with
these, including any drugs administered during the birth, and have to begin life dealing with the
unnecessary toxic waste in their immature systems.

The emotional body is nourished by a lack of stress on the new organism.  It enjoys the ongoing
support of the placenta, which allows the flow of oxytocin (the love hormone), as opposed to
adrenaline, which is generated by the fear-or-survival mechanism.

This allows the baby the primal imprint of happiness and bliss as it takes in its first sights,
sounds, smells and tastes.

Once the cord is emptied of blood we have a beautiful flat silvery ribbon:  however, its function
continues.  Transference from the placenta is still occurring.  Life force still in the placenta is
transferred to the baby.  This transference continues until the baby's auric field is complete.  
During this time, which can take three to seven days, the cord becomes brown and brittle.  At
the point of auric completion the cord simply comes away at the navel - the conscious child is
"
Lotus Born".













Care of the Baby's Lotus Placenta

~ Wait for the placenta to be born naturally without any injection of oxytoxic drugs, no
immediate cord clamping, and without cord traction (request "passive management" of healthy
third stage from your midwife or obstetrician - this must be communicated before birth and in
your birth goals paperwork).  Detachment of the placental membranes actually begins in the First
Stage of labor, when separation occurs around the internal cervical os.   

Natural birth
of the placenta is a crucial part of the mother-baby health that is often overlooked
by expectant parents.   Third Stage, though painless, is the most hazardous part of labor for the
mother, and requires intention and care towards mother so that she can successfully focus on
completing the birth while also rejoicing with her baby.  Third Stage of labor can take just a few
minutes to up to a half hour or more for first time birthing women (primaparas).  Third Stage
often flows better if a woman spends a large portion of her active labor in an upright position,  
and if a  squat position (the standing supported full release squat or using a frontal support) is
taken for the birth of the baby, the placenta is effortlessly born in the next contraction that
follows.

~ After the birth of the placenta, it can be placed in a bowl near the mother-baby.
It is
important to keep the placenta level with the baby after birth
until the gelatinous substance
(called "Wharton's Jelly" in obstetrics) has solidified, hence no more blood transfusion is
occurring.  This happens several minutes after the cord stops pulsing.  When ready, use a
colander to drain off any excess blood.  Using a pitcher of warm water, gently rinse the
placenta, taking care to remove any blood clots ( as they will decay quickly) and pat dry.  

Place the placenta into the special bowl you have chosen for keeping the placenta.  Often a
ceramic bowl is used.  You can leave the placenta in a bowl near the mother-baby until the cord
separates, or you can wrap it in a special cloth.  Cloth wrapping allows you to place the placenta
right next to the baby, and makes it easier for a woman to walk around a bit with the baby
in-arms.

~ It is important that the placenta is allowed to have good air circulation and that natural fiber,
breathable cloths are used.  The properly prepared placenta (rinsed of all maternal blood
products) will either not emit any scent, or if no salt/herbs are used it will have faint,
non-offensive musk scent.  Do not wrap or cover it in plastic, as this will interfere with the
natural drying process.  If the placenta is not allowed to "breath" and cure, it will start to decay  
rapidly and become smelly.

~ You can salt the placenta on both sides with Sea Salt (and add a few drops of your chosen
essential oils) in order to aid the drying process.  How much salt is up to you - a heavy coating
will mean less maintenance.  Not everyone chooses to salt the placenta- and if you plan to plant
a tree over it, the less sale the btter as salt can burn the roots of some plantings.  In lieu of Sea
Salt, a thick coating of powered Rosemary, Lavendar, or Goldenseal, Turmeric, ir Tulsi (all
antibacterial) can be used.   Application of salt and/or herbs can be repeated each day for a few
days, depending on how quickly the placenta dries out.

~ In most cases, the placental cord will dry and separate from the baby's navel within 2 1/2 days
to seven days.  Most lotus birth families experience it happening on by the 3rd day - but in extra
humid conditions, it may take longer.  No harm - just continue to nurture your babymoon.  

~ The dried placenta can be further prepared (powdered and encapsulated) for postpartum
nutritional Chinese medicine, esteemed for its hormonal properties which are in unique
proportion for each placenta.  The new quantum medicine view would consider the medicinal
properties transferred via intention rather than ingestion, by the mother simply keeping the
placenta near her, or at her mediation place, holding an attunement for the first 40 Days  
postpartum.

~ After the first 40 Days, the dried placenta can be buried underneath a special old tree or as a
base for a new planting of a family tree or flower bush.  It is an excellent fertilizer, needless to
say!

~ A traditional indigenous practice is to dry the placenta down completely, so that it becomes
like a small stone that can be held in a child's hand.  This petrified placenta rock was traditionally
used to accompany the child during illness, and looked at during the re-telling of their birth
story.   The cord can also be dried in a circular shape, and later used as a teething ring.

See the article "Common Questions about Lotus Birth" on this site for further
explorations of Lotus Birth scenarios.

There are several other articles on this topic in the Lotus Fertility Library.
           
"These Lotus Birth babies are different.  
They are more whole - more like babies used to be.
Today's babies are often very worried - they show signs of stress.  
This is concerning;  that stress is increasing even in babies.

From my observations of the babies I see in my practice,
I find Lotus Birth most beneficial."

Helma Bak, Dutch M.D. practicing homeopathy in Australia
                                                                                                                       
T
physical body
mental body
spiritual body




This prolonged contact can be seen as a time of transition, allowing the baby
to slowly and gently let go of the attachment to the mother's body...
Many traditional cultures hold the placenta in high esteem...
And, in the primate world,
monkey mothers carry the placenta with the baby until separation."

Sarah Buckley, M.D.,
Pregnancy magazine, Spring 1998
Lotus Birth
by
Rachana Shivam
1977, and presently teaches throughout Australia and New Zealand at midwifery
conferences and medical schools.  A sought after resource for lotus birth,
Rachana has been featured in Australian Women's Weekly, and been a guest on
the wildly popular "Matt & Jo" radio show.
She is the Founder of the International College of Spiritual Midwifery &
Co-Director of the Centre for Human Transformation.