In the first week of embryonic life, the placenta begins to form from the same cluster of cells that will also become the embryo. Placenta and baby are genetically identical. As the baby receives nourishment and protection from the placenta, they are bonded by a shared, intimate experience of life in the womb.
We are now aware that leaving the cord and placenta attached to the baby after birth enables the full transfusion of blood supply from placenta to infant, which is approximately 150 mls and therefore 1/3 of the baby's blood supply, providing the baby with oxygen and a rich, much-needed iron supply that prevents anaemia. The blood from the cord also carries stem cells and these ensure a strong immune response to potential future diseases.1
A prolonged delay before the umbilical cord is cut and lotus births enable a holistic beginning to life as well as the gentlest transition from life in the womb to the outside world.
A Lotus Birth is the process of allowing the placenta and cord to separate naturally from the baby. It is a ritual of patience, inviting mother and baby to move gently and rest deeply after birth and offering the baby and placenta the opportunity to part gracefully in their own time.
As a birth and post-natal companion, I offer practical support to families, who wish to make the gift of a lotus birth to their babies. I will wash, salt and change the placenta daily, or show parents how to, until the placenta and cord separate naturally from your baby.
1 “Placenta the Forgotten Chakra”, (2010) by Robin Lim.