I always thought lotus birth was super neat but I also was not willing to give up raw consuption to give it a try. I later learned a way around this, where I could do BOTH! This is how:
Our journey began on June 15th around 11 am when baby and placenta arrived earthside. After baby was born, I laid in the birth pool for some time. When I decided to get out I stood up, gave a gentle push, and PLOP! Placenta went right into the pool. My husband grabbed a bowl, I placed the placenta in it, got out of the pool, and sat on the couch with baby still attatched to the placenta.
Once I felt up to it, it was time to prepare the placenta for consumption and set up the lotus portion! I didn’t get to it until about 6-8 hours after birth. When I was ready to prepare the placenta, I sanitised all of the counter space I would use and laid down parchment paper. I took the placenta to the sink and washed off excess blood and peeled off blood clots. Once this was done, we returned to the table with baby in tow.
I first removed the membranes from the placenta. Fetal membranes are very healing for wounds, cuts, and burns – unbeknownst to most! I kept these and stored them. What you see me holding up in the photo below are the membranes. This is the sac baby lived inside while in utero.
Once the membranes were removed, I went on to remove the maternal side of the placenta to keep for consumption. Below you will see an image of the maternal side of the placenta. This would be the side that attatched to my uterus, supplying baby nutrients. As you can see, there are still a few more blood clots on the placenta. Those were removed later.
Just to complete the placenta anatomy lesson, the photo below is of the fetal side. This is the side that baby cuddled up with inside of their sac! In the top left of the photo you see the membranes that I had removed.
The maternal side is made up of lobes. The lobes are what I cut off into 1-2 inch size chunks. Each chunk is considered a ‘dose’. In the photo below you will see the membranes in the pile on the left, the lobes (that will be frozen and consumed) in the middle, and a small pile of blood clots on the far right.
The placenta is now lacking the maternal side, left only with the fetal side. This is what the maternal side looks like when you remove the lobes!
Once the maternal side and membranes are removed, the only thing left is the fetal side and cord which is attatched to baby. This is where the lotus portion begins. Before we get into that, I will explain how I finished the raw consumption preparations.
Once I had all of the lobes cut into 1-2 inch pieces, I rinsed them off thoroughly, removing all remaining blood/blood clots. I used a baking sheet, lined it with parchment paper, and placed each lobe piece on the tray, and popped it in the freezer! Once they were frozen, I placed all of them in a baggie to better preserve.
It is suggested to use 1 inch pieces in each smoothie. I personally use more because I absolutely love the energy from them! I typically throw in one big piece or 2 pieces.
I add to my smoothies frozen fruit. You can use any fruit, really! I personally suggest having some kind of berries in your smoothie to mask the color of the placenta. I use strawberry, along with that I will add blueberry, mango, peaches, pineapple, apples, bananas; whatever I feel like adding that day. No precise amount! I also add yogurt and a liquid. You can use milk, water, or juice. Whatever you might prefer. Many women will also add in supplements! If there is anything you need to supplement, this is a great opportunity to get it into your body – just throw it in the smoothie! Once all of your ingredients are added you blend and enjoy!
I would have myself a smoothie as desired. Anytime I need energy, I’d have a smoothie. Somtimes once a day, sometimes 3 times, somedays none at all!
If you don’t really want to consume a smoothie but want to consume the placenta, you can break the chunks up into smaller pieces and swallow them whole! This is great when you are in a hurry but still want the benefits of consumption. But what are the benefits of consumption? Here are a few:
Image from MotherWise.
Some can’t get down with raw consumption – I get that! There is also placenta encapsulation that can be done as well! Even if you want to choose a lotus birth. It’s just a longer process. Feel free to take our Placenta Encapsulation Specialist Certification course to learn more!
Back to the lotus portion! What is a lotus birth? Check out our article on lotus birth to learn more if you aren’t sure. Why would someone want to do that anyway? What are the benefits of keeping baby attatched to the placenta until it falls off? Here are a few reasons:
Image from ‘womanofthewomb’
Below you will see 3 images. These were the supplies I used for the lotus birth. The brown paper is a list of each herb used and what they are used for. The jar is filled with herbs!
Once I gathered the maternal side for consumption, I prepared the lotus! I rinsed off the fetal side to start. This is what we were left with. I placed 2 rags inside of my bowl, poored a small layer of salt, and placed the placenta on top.
Next I added the salt on top! The salt is used to help preserve and keep stinkies away.
The entire placenta should be covered in salt. Once this is complete, the herbs can be added.
This is how it’s done! Many women will add flowers and crystal stones on top as well for an added touch!
It is suggested to switch out the salt and herbs every 12 hours. Which I did, but after 24 hours in the bowl, it was time to switch to a baggie.
I can’t tell you how many times I pulled the placenta right out of the bowl while holding/walking with baby. He didn’t have a short cord either! With multiple children and the house still needing to run, I found it hard to stay stationary. I also found it easy to forget about the bowl and placenta. I spilled the bowl a few tims as well- salt everywhere. The baggie was MUCH easier and family friendly in my opinion. I was able to seal it for the most part, which prevented spills and placenta being pulled from the bag. It also helped when we were traveling with the car seat.
The cord dried very quickly! Although it became hard, it also was flexible, in a way. It wasn’t really ever a bother, it never seemed to hurt him either.
On day 4 of life, while having a diaper change, he kicked his cord and it popped right off! He didn’t flinch or fuss either! This is what it looked like when the cord detached:
I continued to add breastmilk to the belly in the days going forward.
As for the placenta that is left in the herbs, I plan to plant it with a plant that thrives in acidic soil like a blueberry bush, magnolia, or a dogwood tree. Until then, it sits in my freezer!
The lotus experience over all was beautiful. It was something I’m glad I was able to experience. Will I ever do it again if I have another baby? Probably not! I found it to be extra work postpartum for something that did not really resonate for me, spiritually. I do though, encourage others to try it if they feel called to do so!
As for raw consuption, I think I will always consume raw. With my first I did not consume placenta postpartum. With my second I consumed in encapsulation form. With my third and fouth I consumed raw. If you ask me, there is no comparison. Raw consumption provided far more energy than encapsulation ever did. As for taste, with my third I felt that it tasted slightly metallic- like. It did not bother me though! With my fourth, there was no taste at all. Even when I used 2 pieces, it tasted like a regular smoothie!
Neither of these choices are for everyone, but if you feel inclinded to give it a try – DO IT! You can even choose consumption and carry out a lotus birth at the same time!
To learn more about placentas, the preperation of, and much more, enroll in the HERBAL Placenta Specialist course at herbal.teachable.com !