Herbs for the Postpartum Period
Herbs for the Postpartum Period. There are so many ways that herbs can help you during those first few weeks at home with your new baby. From sitz baths that promote healing to teas that support breast milk production, herbs can be a fantastic resource for this time of your life.
If you experienced a laceration (tear) during the childbirth process, you may find that an herbal sitz bath can be a soothing option that promotes healing whether you had sutures or not. Try a combination of comfrey leaf, lavender flowers, yarrow flower, calendula flowers, and salt. You can brew this solution into a concentrated tea and then add it to your bath water, or put your herbs into muslin bags and toss them into the bath with you. You may want to avoid putting the herbs directly into your bathtub, as they may clog the drain when you’re done! You can also create a sitz bath in a shallow pan made for this purpose (find them online or ask a midwife) so the concentrated mixture isn’t so diluted in a bathtub full of water.
You can also use these herbs to create a solution that you spray onto your perineum with a peri bottle, or you can soak a washcloth or cloth pad with the herbal tea and place it directly against your perineum for relief.
Herbs to support breast milk supply are another important resource in the postpartum period. Stay hydrated with water and other fluids, including an herbal tea made with plants that promote a strong breast milk supply. Experiment with combinations that taste nice to you, trying out a combination of herbs like oat straw, nettle, fennel seed, alfalfa, fenugreek, blessed thistle, and marshmallow root. You can also add some flavorful options like peppermint, lemongrass, or hibiscus to make the tea tastier if you prefer. Try drinking the tea warm with honey or chilled over ice.
Talk to your provider or a local herbalist for herbal support for other issues you may experience postpartum like hemorrhoids, constipation, etc., and find out how herbs can work for you and your baby.
Bio: Megan Mays is a student midwife and doula trainer with over a decade of experience in international work including literacy and community health education in Albania, humanitarian aid during the refugee crisis in Lesvos Greece, and collaborating with Midwife Pilgrim to bring compassionate midwifery care to refugees and internally displaced people in Iraqi Kurdistan. Megan is passionate about inclusive healthcare and practicing cultural humility in the communities she serves.
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