Womb Ecology becomes World Ecology
Excerpt from Lotus Birth by Rachana Shivam
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 effects the others.
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.
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 to 60 mL of 'extra' blood from the placenta if the cord is not tied until pulsations cease. The loss of 30 mL of blood to the newborn is equivalent to the loss of 600 mL to an adult. Common practice of immediate cutting of the cord before the pulsations cease deprives the newborn of a possible 60 mL of blood, the equivalent to a 1200mLhaemorrhage 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 the widespread cases of infant and childhood anaemia.
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.
"Lotus birth is not a majority choice, but offers some important benefits for mother and baby. Lotus birth ensures all the benefits of delayed cord clamping (DCC) for the newborn baby. DCC allows the transfer of an extra 100 ml of blood from placenta to baby: around 1/3 of total newborn blood volume. Babies who receive this blood (including lotus babies) are less likely to be anaemic in the first year of life compared to babies whose cord is cut immediately: standard practice in most hospitals. DCC also gives extra blood for heart and brain, which may be critical for some babies. Lotus birth ensures close mother-baby contact in the hours after birth, and discourages others (including medical staff) from unnecessarily removing the baby. Early skin-to-skin contact gives the newborn healthy glucose levels, less crying, more organized behaviour, more quiet sleep and better temperature regulation. Lotus birth encourages the mother to be still and quiet for the few days after birth - you certainly can't take a lotus baby shopping! Rest at this time, as practiced in most traditional cultures, gives the new mother time to recover, to establish breastfeeding and get to know her baby. (I recommend two weeks rest for any family, ideally six, and advise women to not get out of their PJs for maximum benefit!)
More info at: www.sarahjbuckley.com/articles/leaving-well-alone.htm www.cordclamp.com." Dr Sarah Buckley