LoveNaturalBirth.com talked with Sarah Buckley about lotus birth and they asked the same question I posed yesterday. Specifically they said,
"For those of us who thought about waiting for twenty minutes, it appears longer may be better. But that is why it’s important to delay cord cutting, but why exactly delay the cutting until it falls off naturally?
Dr. Sarah Buckley states that there are many important aspects to lotus birth, one of them she explains is what’s being discovered in primal therapy. She says, “In primal therapy it’s (the placenta is) like the baby’s first possession, the baby’s first object, the first other, even though actually genetically it’s made out of the same material of the baby, it’s part of the baby. But the baby experiences it as the other. And the ultrasound has seen babies licking the placenta and putting their head against the placenta.” What we are seeing is the baby is very sensitive to the handling of the placenta.
Many times babies will start to cry as soon as the doctor, midwife, or other person goes to cut or handle the cord. If we watch birth videos we can see that when the cord is cut is often the exact timing that the baby suddenly goes into distress, this can be emotional or physical. And according to Sarah, this continues on until after the cord has fallen off naturally.
In Sarah’s interview she shared her experience of being at a friend’s house where the baby was upset, and the placenta was cold, and after warming up the placenta the baby was once again calm and happy. What’s important to keep in mind is what our babies are communicating. Sometimes people are undecided about if they are really going to share this experience with their baby or not, but as soon as they start to handle the cord, they realize that baby is unhappy. If you are on the fence, leave some space for baby to have baby’s say. Just because they don’t have the words, doesn’t mean they aren’t communicating!"
I remember when it came time to cut the cord with each of my 3 homebirths, and each time I felt an instinct that said "No! I don't know why, but no!" but I always let my rational mind take over and I'd tell myself that the cord had stopped pulsing so it was okay. I'm still thinking about this emotional connection issue, but I'm becoming more inclined to give my baby the benefit of the doubt and let her decide when she doesn't need the placenta around any more.
One other interesting thing that came out of this interview was the issue of lotus birth versus placenta ingestion by the mother. Dr. Sarah Buckley states
"But I think as far as my point of view, through having three lotus births, I regard the placenta as belonging to the baby. So, personally, and this is my personal opinion, and other people are free to do what they want to do, but personally I would only do that in difficult circumstances because I really think the placenta belongs to the baby. I have heard of people who’ve done a bit of both, eat a little of the placenta and had a lotus birth. After a lotus birth it is pretty hard to care for a placenta so that it’s edible afterwards. I generally don’t recommend that people do that after a lotus birth."
When I first started feeling like this baby wanted a lotus birth, I remember feeling a little selfish for also wanting to dry and encapsulate the placenta for myself. I thought I was just being weird, but maybe my spirit was really trying to tell me something. Hmm... This is all very fascinating to me.