Cat Hess , a postnatal doula @cat.thedoula and mum to two children, shares her experiences with Lotus Birth:
“I was first drawn to lotus birth as a way to honour the placenta that had nourished my daughter for nine months. With my first baby it had felt odd cutting the cord. I wanted to do it differently this time.
As a postpartum doula I spend a lot of time thinking about how best to support mothers and babies during the sacred window of time after birth. Choosing lotus birth slowed the pace of life right down, which is just what I needed as a new mother. It was a visual and tangible reminder to rest and keep my baby close to me. It was difficult to dress her with her cord still attached so she remained naked and we stayed skin-to-skin until it detached on Day 5. Loved ones who held her during that time had to do so with mindfulness – anchored, as she was, to her placenta twin!
Initially after the placenta was born we placed it in a colander over a glass bowl to drain. That evening we rinsed it off and emptied the bowl. We all three slept together in the bed – placenta, baby and mama.
We almost cut the cord on the second night. It was difficult to manoeuvre once the cord had dried and shortened. However, I was determined to see it through. The next day we washed the placenta again and then covered it with fresh thyme from our garden and sea salt on both sides. We placed it in a pre-fold nappy and tied it with a hairband. After that it was much easier to manoeuvre. We changed the nappy and added fresh herbs and salt every day.”
It was fascinating to watch the cord and placenta dry out. I re-hydrated the cord afterwards so I could make it into a heart-shaped keepsake. We are still waiting for the right time to bury the placenta, the final act of honour.