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Reviewed Publisher: 
Foreword by Michel Odent, M.D. (2000). Yarra Glen, Victoria, Australia: Greenwood Press, <http://www.humantransformation.com.au>. 175 pages. ISBN 0-646-40652-3.
Reviewed Title: 
Lotus Birth
Reviewed Author: 
Publication Date: 
December, 2005
Starting Page: 
Page Count: 

LOTUS BIRTH: THE WATER BIRTH OF THE MALCOLM TWINS (DVD) by Centre for Human Transformation, Love Lightning Productions, New World Media. (2005). 80 minutes, plus 3 hours of additional features. Available at .

Lotus Birth is the practice of leaving the umbilical cord uncut, so that the baby remains attached to the placenta until the cord naturally separates at the navel at 3 to 10 days after birth. Receiving the full amount of the valuable cord blood present at birth is of major benefit to the child's ongoing health and well-being.

Lotus Birth, the book, and the DVD, LOTUS BIRTH: THE WATER BIRTH OF THE MALCOLM TWINS have captured my heart, mind and body and have nourished my soul's longing to grow and evolve with grace. Both book and DVD fulfill all the criteria for true education. Independent or together, they support integration by informing the intellect, engaging the emotions and the senses, honoring our Spiritual Nature, and invoking contemplation and personal expansion.

Shivam Rachana is an APPPAH member and principal of the International College of Spiritual Midwifery in Australia and New Zealand. In compiling the book, she has taken a synergistic approach, acknowledging and addressing the metaphysical and scientific, the anthropological, psychological, and the physical, all parts of what I consider to be an evolutionary step toward peace and wholeness. She has included in this book: Clair Lotus Day, known as the "Mother of Lotus Birth"; a number of personal accounts from her community of women and men who are dedicated to healing themselves as the key to healing all consciousness about birth and life; extensive contributions from well-known APPPAH luminaries Michel Odent and Jeannine P. Baker; and quotes from Joseph Chilton Pearce, Lewis Mehl, David Chamberlain, and Elizabeth Noble. Dr. Sarah Buckley, a general practitioner and lotus birth mother, is convincing and reassuring in chapter 3, bringing medical science and spirit together, and sharing her own personal experience as well. Her compelling piece, "Ecstatic Birth: Nature's Hormonal Blueprint for Labour", is a special feature on the DVD.

"The way a woman gives birth and the kind of care given to her point as sharply as an arrowhead to the key values in a culture." Sheila Kitzinger

The centerpiece of the DVD features Davini Malcolm and her partner, Peter, documenting her pregnancy from the 40th week, the birth of their family of 4, and Davini's transition to mother of lotus birth twins. This is a rare opportunity to "be inside" a pregnant and laboring woman's experience. She is hugely generous, intimate, courageous and eloquent as she relates her emotional and physical experience. Resonant throughout is the sense of the personal healing work she has done with herself and the supportive environment she has co-created with family and community, setting the stage for her to let go, open, and trust the process of Life.

This DVD, abundant with information, features an introduction to lotus birth by Shivam Rachana and a moving interview with a midwife who describes her job as the "keeper and protector of their (the couple) intimacy," always honoring their relationship and supporting their emotional and physical preparation for the baby and the family. As a bonus, there is a demonstration of how to make a placenta bag!

I found myself musing on the messages of this book and video, thinking thoughts such as, "Every time we are present when the 'God Head' individuates in physical form, we are reminded of our own birth and how we were welcomed, and we look to heal our own pre- and perinatal wounds in the process," and "More stories from the 'tribe' are necessary for our planetary healing, and we need to hear more about the possibilities that have become real." Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov, one of my master teachers, said that we only have to look to the 'Book of Nature' to understand what is true on all levels of consciousness because the physical universe is but a metaphor for what is happening in the esoteric universes. I wonder, then, is the placenta the physical metaphor for the Guru, the doorway to God, the intermediary between the seen and the unseen? If baby is allowed to take in all the nourishment that is available from it, both physical and esoteric, transferring "power" to the inner organs, liver, lungs, heart, etc, in a slow, measured, integrative way, would s/he then know that s/he is the source of his/her own strength and sustenance? Is lotus birth a metaphor for healing the separation from Spirit and the Soul's Purpose? Would that which had been life sustaining, intimate, and external (the placenta) then be internal? Would we more easily think, feel, and act from the concept, "I am whole and complete in every moment of Now!"?

Would we trust our bodies and ourselves more? Would we trust mother more? Would we trust others more? Would we trust Life more? Would we know in our bones the answer to what Albert Einstein said was the most important question, "Is the universe a safe place?" Would we find it easier to release that which is no longer nourishing us if we had had the experience of slow and gentle release of the placenta? Would death be more integrated into life as a choice, not as a subject of fear and dread?

Along with compiling the Lotus Birth book, Shivam Rachana is to be acknowledged for co-creating a community where lotus birth appears to be the norm. The parents who choose lotus birth are especially attentive to the baby's wishes. They listen. Assured of a good outcome, they can easily be patient. In every labor I have attended, I have heard myself saying, "There is plenty of time, take your time," especially in second stage when the body is pushing and resting in its own rhythm. Lotus birth parents gift themselves and their children with a new element added to third stage-TIME AND ATTUNMENT.

The Lotus Birth book and the DVD are educational tools generous in resource and reference. They give us the "who, why, and how to," along with the implications for humankind if we don't make a radical paradigm shift. These people have!

Those of us who have not been blessed with a lotus birth can remember that psychological, emotional and somatic healing are possible through focused process work, dynamic and sensitive breathwork, bodywork, and other modalities. It is never too late to have a Lotus Birth.

Reviewed by Binnie A. Dansby

East Sussex, United Kingdom