Hello all – this blog continues the theme of the perineum and healing after birth – I would like to share a very precious recipe with you for an amazing Healing Postnatal Herbal Bath.
This miraculously soothing organic postnatal herbal bath will optimise your natural recovery after birth. I used to make this for women in my classes and still do for friends and family! It’s very easy to make up yourself and believe me it’s worth it.
With the help of a midwife-herbalist, we combined 3 of the world’s most therapeutic herbs to use as an infusion with the naturally antiseptic and antibiotic properties of fresh garlic.
This is much more effective than the usual recommendation to use salt in the bath and well worth the trouble.
Whether you have a tear or episiotomy or not, you can optimise a rapid recovery postnatally and the health of your perineal tissues using age old herbal wisdom.
Even with the best possible preparation, most women need time to regain comfort and to recover after childbirth. Using this organic herbal bath as a daily sitz bath in the first day or two after your baby is born will be naturally anti-septic and will also help to enhance the natural process of tissue recovery.
This will enable you to move and sit comfortably and start enjoying your new baby to the full as soon as possible.
This will aid the regenerative process and encourage new skin cells to grow.
The best time to make this is immediately after the birth, ideally ask a friend or relative to make it up for you as soon as you have given birth (it must be fresh) and buy the ingredients ahead of time before your due date.
You will need to find a trusted high street herbalist who sells organic herbs. Some health food shops do this, and they may also be available online. These 3 common organically grown herbs encourage natural tissue regeneration. If there is a shortage of any of these herbs, Uva Ursi and Shepherds Purse can be used instead, but Comfrey is a must.
Marigold is considered an excellent skin tonic in the childbearing years.
St. John’s Wort leaf has soothing and antiseptic properties.
Comfrey is the herb par excellence for natural skin regeneration
You also need 3 whole bulbs of garlic – yes – the whole bulb!
You can also start to do some gentle pelvic floor exercises as soon as possible after birth.
This will help to regenerate and oxygenate the tissues. Do these lying on your front in bed, with a pillow or two under your belly for comfort.
Exhale and draw up the pelvic floor muscles at the same time, letting go slowly as you breathe in (yes in!). Repeat up to 10 times, 2 or 3 times a day.
Regeneration and recovery of your perineum should be rapid. Consult your doctor or midwife if discomfort persists.
Here is how you make it:
As this mixture is quite pungent – best your friend or relative makes it up in their house not yours!
Use a large stock or soup pot.
Take a generous handful of each of the herbs and throw into the pot.
Prick the 3 whole garlic bulbs all over with a fork. This will help to release the juices into the mixture. Add to the herbs.
Cover with water to almost fill the pot.
Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 30 minutes.
Using a potato masher, smash the garlic bulbs to squeeze all the juices into the liquor.
Now place a strainer over a large bowl or pot and strain the mixture
Squeeze as much juice out of the herb/garlic mixture and save the liquor.
Pour the liquor into a large container with a lid and save – this is the part you need.
Throw away the herb/garlic mixture in the strainer.
You should have enough for 2 baths.
How to use the healing herbal bath
Do this as soon as possible after the birth
Fill a shallow bath with comfortable warm water – just enough to sit in.
Add half of the saved liquor to the bath and sit in it for 15 – 20 minutes.
Pat dry very gently with a soft, clean towel.
Repeat again a few hours later or the next day. Do not put your baby in the bath!
If you don’t have a bath or prefer this idea, you can use a large washing up bowl and put it on top of the closed toilet seat. Half fill with warm water and the mixture and gently sit in it so the tender area is immersed. You can add more warm water if you need to.
For a week or so after the birth add 10 drops of tea tree oil and 20 drops of calendula tincture (from a homoeopathic pharmacy) to your bath water. Do not use salt at the same time.
Tip: Calendula tincture is a gentle antiseptic which can be dabbed neat with a clean finger onto the healing scar a few days later, if you had stitches and can also be used on babies.
For use on babies dilute 10 drops in a little previously boiled water. You can clean around the cord stump with this with a little cotton wool. Make sure it dries well and maybe dust with homoeopathic calendula powder – much better for babies than more commercial brands.
I hope this makes you a lot more comfortable with plenty of time to relax and enjoy your new baby!
Active Birth is designed for mothers who wish to give birth naturally and have had a healthy pregnancy and no medical complications during labour and birth. Aspects of an Active Birth can also sometimes be used in combination with medical interventions. The website and newsletters offer general information only. They are not a substitute for the professional advice, diagnosis or treatment offered by your midwives or doctors. The Active Birth Centre/ Janet Balaskas in general, accept no liability for the guidance herein, and advise that you do not disregard professional medical advice and inform yourself with other trusted evidence-based sources of information when making your decisions.