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How to Lotus Birth & Encapsulate Placenta

Tara, PBi-Certified Placenta Encapsulationist

If you want to have a lotus birth AND encapsulate, here are 3 ways to do it…

#1 Way) Keep baby connected to umbilical cord and the placenta for up to 4 hrs. This is the easiest way to keep the placenta fit to be encapsulated and allows the new mom to receive the highest amount of placenta capsules. While, baby still gets a very gentle transition into the world and the benefits of a lotus birth. DO NOT exceed 4 hrs before separating baby from the placenta.

During the lotus period, keep the placenta in a bowl of ice and cover to prevent spoilage. Afterwards, place the placenta in a food-safe container (or Ziploc bag) and store in fridge until encapsulation.

#2 Way) This method is similar to the one above, but allows baby to stay attached to the cord and the placenta for a longer period of time. What you do is put the placenta in a small thermal bag that has a zipper around the top. Buy 6 freezer ice packs that fit in this bag and put 2 of these packs in the freezer. Soon after the placenta is born, place 1 frozen pack on the bottom of your bag, then the placenta, then the 2nd frozen pack. Zip it up with baby’s umbilical cord coming out of the corner of the zipped up bag.

Rotate out the ice packs regularly. I recommend keeping a thermostat in the cooler. This way you can be certain that the temperature in there remain a constant 40 degrees F or below. The placenta can remain like this up to 48 hrs. Baby gets an even gentler transition into the world and you get the full amount of  placenta capsules. A win-win, though not all hospitals will allow this method and not all parents want to deal with a baby who is still attached to his cord.

#3 Way) At 4 hrs. postpartum sever a portion of placenta to encapsulate. Place in fridge. The remaining piece of placenta attached to the cord can stay intact until it falls off naturally. This method allows for a modified version of a lotus birth, but on the encapsulation side of things…you’ll receive fewer capsules.

My Personal Experience

As a PBi-Certified Placenta Encapsulationist, I advocate that all my expectant mom’s delay cord clamping, whether or not they practice a lotus birth. I always know when a baby was lucky enough to experience one of the above modified lotus birth choices. They are calm and pink.

I was trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and a part of my method is to drain the blood from the placental veins. When the parents requested delayed cord clamping at birth then this process only takes me 10 minutes or so to complete. When the parents have baby’s cord cut right away it’ll take me up to 45 minutes to drain the blood. That’s a lot of blood going down the drain and not into baby! Blood that’s rich in white blood cells, iron, and stem cells…

 When a baby is born, it only has about 2/3rd of its blood in his body. A 1/3rd remains in the umbilical cord and placenta.

Please ask your doctor to delay cord clamping.

Whatever you choose…

The placenta should be encapsulated within 72 hrs. of birth, so that you receive the highest amount of hormones. If the placenta is encapsulated after 3 days (even if kept cool and unspoiled) the capsules will not be as potent from a hormonal standpoint. This is because they will begin to metabolize and change. There…that was me getting my geek-on! That said, the iron and other nutrients take longer to break down and may still be beneficial.

I hope that the above options offer you (and your baby) a gentle birth while gaining the benefits of your placenta capsules.

“Once we had the placenta wrapped up and secure it was a small bundle to carry with our baby. Because you already need to be gentle carrying the baby, it’s not a big deal to have to be gentle carrying the placenta. It felt good to be as soft as possible with the newborn – no cutting. Peaceful beginnings are good beginnings.” (dad of 2 lotus babies)

lotus-birth-placenta-photo

The Benefits of a Short-Term Lotus Birth

Benefits of Delayed Cord Clamping

My Video 10 Things You Don’t Know About Placenta

Resources

Buckley, S. (2010). Lotus and Undisturbed Birth. Retrieved at http://www.lovenaturalbirth.com/sarah-buckley.html

Daily Mail Reporter (2013). The Rise of ‘Lotus Births’.  Retrieved at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2307117/The-rise-lotus-births-How-mothers-leaving-babys-umbilical-cord-ATTACHED-falls-days-later.html

Gaskin, I. (2003).  Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. New York, New York: Bantam Books

Lim, R. (2001). After The Baby’s Birth: A Complete Guide For Postpartum Women. Berkeley, CA: Celestial Arts

Lim, R. (2010). Placenta the Forgotten Chakra. Bali, Indonesia: Half Angel Press

Rachana, S. (2012). Lotus Birth. Retrieved at http://www.bellawitch.com/lotus_birth.htm

Selander, J. (2013). Placenta Benefits.Info. Las Vegas, Nevada

Photo Credit: Thank you Cassie Emmett, for this beautiful photo at www.capturinglife.co.nz

May all babies be happy

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