I've been thinking about lotus birth lately, mainly because of a Hypnobabies email. Someone had links to these articles: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/321368/lotus_birth_a_gentler_way_to_come_into.html?page=2&cat=52
http://www.sarahjbuckley.com/articles/leaving-well-alone.htm They and the subsequent HB posts by moms who actually had lotus births totally changed my thinking on the issue.
When I first heard about Lotus birth, I thought "These women have taken the natural childbirth concept one step too far. Yuck! Why would anyone want to do that?" The articles answered that question and a little more research totally took away the "ick" factor for me and made me wish I had done a lotus birth with Talita.
I had wondered why with each one of my children born at home I hesitated when it came time to cut the cord. My initital reaction was "No! I don't know why, but don't do it!" Then I would always remind myself that it was okay because the cord had stopped pulsing. What else was there to wait for?
Well, how about it doesn't need to be cut at all? The cord will shrivel up and fall off on its own, usually within 2 days (much faster than cutting even after pulsation stops.) The umbilicus heals better and faster and the baby receives all the blood and fluids nature intends them to have while they make this transition from the womb to the outside world. This amazing organ came from the same cells that formed the baby's eyes, heart and brain. It is part of her! It makes sense to wait for it to naturally separate from the baby when he or she is ready to let go of this lifeline they have known for 9 months. The placenta can be treated with salt and essential oils, etc. (after letting it drain well) so it doesn't smell and then it can be wrapped up well so no one even has to see it if they don't want to.
The advantages? Well, for starters, babies born this way rarely lose any of their birth weight. (Mine all took nearly two weeks to get back to their birth weight.) There are many other advantages I won't go into here, but the one that is the most compelling for me is that a lotus birth virtually ensures that at least the first hour after the birth belongs all to the mother to enjoy bonding and loving her baby with absolutely no interference or separation!
Talita's birth was amazing and wonderful, but if I had any regrets it would be how I let the midwives handle the third stage. If I had it to do over I would have tried for a lotus birth. Even if we decided because of logistics to cut the cord after an hour or two, I would have had my baby all to myself during that wonderful, magical time when the motherlove hormones are flowing the strongest! (In all fairness, though, it was her Dad and brother who were holding and admiring her in the other room while I delivered the placenta--not some nurse who had no emotional connection to us.)
I believe I would have had an easier time birthing the placenta--when it was ready--not when the midwives thought it should be ready. Care providers, to be fair, just want to finish things up and go home and get some needed sleep! This is where an unassisted birth has another advantage--no one is there to rush your body to do something before it's ready to.
Anyway, what I've learned (perhaps too late for me, but not for others) is that even in homebirth settings you need to know exactly what you want and BE ASSERTIVE! The other thing I learned is that here is yet another example of how wise God and nature are. If we would just stop interfering and learn to trust in the natural process everything would go a lot better for mom and baby--just the way it was intended it to be!