LOTUS BIRTH The Water Birth of the Malcolm Twins is a rare and extraordinary film that shows a family preparing for the birth of twins. The home footage records a natural birth. The babies are born into water, one breech, both keeping their placentas intact. This film restores birth to it's proper place in family life. A radical and controversial film, it is a welcome antidote to medicalised institutionalised birth.
This DVD offers us the privilege to share in one of life's most intimate and sacred -- and at the same time perilous and awesome-- moments: the birth of babies. This footage is raw life. This moment is common to all of us and here in this film we witness the extraordinary birth of twins, born underwater at home. The first twin is born headfirst and the second twin is a breech birth.
After they are born these babies are left attached to their placentas until their cords come away at the navel naturally in the days after they are born. This practice is known as Lotus Birth.
We join Davini Malcolm, already mother of two, in the last days of her pregnancy, when she openly shares her fears and insights Davini is generous and articulate, and She speaks with the informed clarity of a woman who is deeply aware of, and has fully embraced her feminine process, as woman and mother. She shows an authority that is palpable in its ancient knowledge, its wisdom and beauty.
Davini and partner Peter display their loving and playful relationship as they await the birth of their babies. This event istruly a family affair and their boys, Zak and Satchi are also awaiting the birth of their siblings. The famous 'fart song' with Peter and the boys at the piano is delightful.
This film shows a model of one-on-one midwifery care that, although proven to be the world's best practice, is denied to most women in western health care systems.
Under midwifery care, pregnancy and birth are seen as normal physiological functions with the understanding that the female human, like her mammalian cousins, has specific needs at the birth time and that her body is designed to function naturally, when supported and undisturbed.
This footage comes from the family's own home video, and is not rehearsed. This is the real thing. This film gives a unique opportunity to witness natural birth: a fading phenomena in western culture, where many women are choosing the surgeon's knife rather than the opportunity to open themselves to the forces of the divine feminine, with the mighty terror, exhilaration and ecstasy that can be experienced by every woman as she brings forth new life.
Indeed only 12% of normal healthy women give birth to their babies without the influence of painkillers and other products promoted by the pharmaceutical companies.
These products render the woman numb in her body and disorganized in her mind.
They diminish her ability to connect with or feel her baby make its way from her inner sanctum where she has provided the safety and nourishment needed for the formation of its body, to the outer womb of her arms and breasts.
The baby is also drugged and inhibited from fulfilling its genetically coded capacity to birth itself now that gestation is complete.
An understanding of the importance of this crucial time of imprinting gives rise to many disturbing questions.
And many may well ask why all babies don't have the opportunity of the wonderful birth that we witness here.
As Davini pushes her babies into the world she becomes concerned that somebody might pull on them. "Don't pull! Don't pull on the baby," she says.
Nobody is touching the baby and she realizes that she has entered the realm of her own birth. She herself was delivered with forceps. This primal memory of being pulled out resurfaces as she gives birth. We witness a birth-rebirth.
She reclaims her own pace. 'In my own time' she says.
Her midwife reassures her that she has all the time she needs.
Peter, a veteran of homebirth and about to wear the mantle of a father of five children, is ever present. The silent sentinel with his beloved, he receives the harvest of their love into his hands and brings them gently to the surface of the water.
He is the first to know that the second twin is breech and his long training and experience in being in unexpected situations is called on as he quietly informs the midwife of his discovery.
Calm prevails and trust deepens.
Everyone watches in awe as Davini enters into the depths of her body and feels the little one descend through her quivering cervix and slither into the water.
There is no rush to discover the gender of the second twin.
This suspends the viewer in eager if somewhat perplexing enquiry/anticipation.
While the first twin floats in the warm water gazing intently and deeply at his father Davini is totally present to her second twin as it slowly orientates itself into its new reality.
Her reassuring voice calmly guides the little one into its body, which is supported by the oxygen rich blood from the placenta.
The moment when the baby's gender is revealed is one of this film's many memorable gems.
We see young Zak, as he relinquishes his position as baby in the family and moves to the role of big brother.
The sensitivity with which the mother and child travel their last days as special intimates is exquisite.
The moment when he meets his twin siblings and the smile from the minutes old baby that he is greeted with must be seen to be believed.
This film rewrites most books on the newborn.
The presence of these babies is gripping. You are held in the timeless zone of being between worlds as their full gaze captures your heart and reminds you of whom we truly are. This is real life.
This is true grace and this is a film that every man, woman and child deserves to see over and over again so that our dignity as human beings may be reclaimed.
This film shows the possible human. We see a woman holding one baby as she gives birth to another.
This film shows how a family can take responsibility for their lives and share the birth of their new members in a way that ensures the well being of all.
It shows birth as sacramental and awakens in our hearts and minds the longing to return/evolve to this way of birth.
Although water birth has been well established in many places for over 20 years many people still view the idea of babies being born into water as a risky business. Here we see the simplicity of giving birth in water and the obvious benefit for mothers and babies.
A remarkable feature of this film is the stillness of those present.
The assembled support crew are ever present, yet at no time do they impose their presence on the mother.
She is held in loving and supportive acceptance as she navigates her way through this amazingly intense experience. She is the authority and they her loving attendants.
Just as it is rare to spend so much time with a mother before she gives birth this film also treats us to the time afterwards.
There is the breastfeeding,
The letting go of the cord, and the change in sleeping time and the adjustment of a household to the presence of the babies.
This inside information will be valuable for new parents and it is particularly well imparted by a mother who has been there before and is able to share it empowered with the wisdom of her own experience. What she says rings true and her babies are testament to what she says.
This film features a small community that has taken responsibility for the care of its members in a remarkable way. It also demonstrates the extensive needs of a family at this time. The results are outstanding and this example offers us much to consider in the formation of future health policies and services.
This film challenges the beliefs and practices that our culture has established as necessary for birth.
Had this mother sought the help of orthodox medicine a scalpel would have sliced her belly and womb, her babies would have been taken from their womb space at least 2 weeks and most likely 3-4 weeks before they birthed themselves naturally.
It is widely considered that 37 weeks is a viable time to "deliver' twins. These extra 2-4 weeks of gestation are vital for brain development and the refinement of the bodies' systems.
They would most likely have been aggressively resuscitated and separated from their mother for 'observation'.
Their umbilical cords would have been clamped and severed the moment they were taken from the womb.
The bizarre blood- rite of 'donating' their vital cord blood, which has extraordinary properties that the new human organism needs for optimum health to a 'blood bank' would have been offered
They would have been surrounded by 8-10 masked strangers each with a procedure of some sort to do to them.
The mother now a 'patient in recovery' from major abdominal surgery would have been administered large doses of pain killing drugs, which would flow with the rich colostrum from her breasts into the newborns' immature digestive systems. There would be many people who were surprised that there were difficulties in the establishment of breast-feeding.
Lotus Birth, the unusual practice of not cutting the umbilical cord immediately after the babies are born, but also leaving it attached to fall off by itself, will possibly disturb many people. However when the reasons are understood and the resulting peacefulness of the babies seen, it becomes the most logical thing to do.
There is no medical reason to cut the cord.
This practice highlights and calls into question the standard practice of immediate cord clamping and the recently popularised 'cord blood banking" procedure.
This places the newborn in a highly compromised situation, deprived of 30% to 50% of its full quota of blood, which is the amount of blood in the cord and placenta at birth, and which is, in the natural order, destined to fill the infant's major organs.
The mother's body is left coping with the implosion that results from the clamping, arguably leaving her more susceptible to Post Partum Haemorrhage (PPH).
Lotus born babies have a fully healed navel a few days after birth whereas most babies have a cord stump, which is susceptible to infection and takes on average 2 weeks to drop off.
There is no research on the long-term consequences of depriving the newborn of this extremely valuable blood. The practice has been driven by hospital time tables not infant/mother welfare.
Traditional midwifery practice was to ensure that the cord was milked ensuring that the baby received the full quota.
As the number of maladies in the general population increases rather than diminishes in spite of increased knowledge and services, we may well ask if the practices at the beginning of life endanger rather than enhance our long-term well-being.
The prestigious Cochrane Research database lists 41procedures, some of which are still routine in hospital birth, that are scientifically established to be ineffective or harmful for mother and/or baby during pregnancy and birth.
This DVD certainly is full of extras. Notable is the 'he says' 'she says' Audio commentaries with dialogue recorded 3 years after Lachlan and Gabriella's birth. Peter and Daricha talk about birth from a male perspective. Their intimacy and friendship allow a rare glimpse of their experiences of being with a pregnant woman; birth itself and adjusting to life after birth. It is a rare thing to hear from men in this way.
Likewise, "She Says" features Davini and Rachana reflecting on this extraordinary time. Davini's perspectives have evolved over 3 years and she speaks as a mother of 3-year-old twins. Much has been travelled and many insights gained. Again we hear from Davini and Rachana chatting intimately as old friends do. The information here is startling and to be able to experience such informative conversation is another plus.
Enjoy LOTUS BIRTH The Water Birth of the Malcolm Twins. Prepare to be taken on a journey that will leave you deeply touched and maybe disturbed. This is not a difficulty, as we don't change when we are comfortable and this film is about the sort of change from which we will all benefit.