For those who are squeamish when it comes to lady parts you may want to turn away. Go get a coffee, read a book, get lost in YouTube… whatever your distraction poison is go find it because we’re about to discuss childbirth.
There are A LOT of things they don’t tell you about having babies. Movies and TV shows make it seem like it’s all cuddles, coos and some spit up that makes you laugh. I’m convinced this is because if they actually told you how painful, messy, sweaty, gross, smelly and yucky it was you would think twice before procreating.
So for obvious reasons, your nether regions will be sore and tender after delivery. This can happen even if you end up having a surgical birth (like I did) simply because of the number of vaginal exams you’ll undergo. My kiddo was facing the wrong way (face up instead of down) so they kept doing exam after exam. At one point there was discussion of attempting to turn him (which we did not agree too). I pushed for over three hours and no baby was coming out. Needless to say, I was SORE. I could only imagine how much worse it would be if I had actually delivered vaginally and/or had a tear.
Freeze Your Own Postnatal Pads
Prior to going into labour I made a huge batch of postnatal pads using my herbal sitz bath. I am so glad that I did for two reasons: first, there was no way that was happening after the chaos of actually having my son. And second, they provided much needed relief! Even though my birth didn’t quite go as planned, these babies did not go to waste.
I highly recommend freezing the pads because they are extremely cooling and soothing. Plus they will keep much longer this way and you don’t have to worry about coming home to moldy pads.
- Either disposable or mama cloth pads will work
- Witch hazel
- Make sure you get alcohol free cause OUCH
- If you don’t want to use witch hazel you can make these with purified water as well
- Mason jar (one litre sized)
- Cheesecloth or a very fine mesh strainer
- Spray bottle
- A selection of healing herbs (see below)
You are looking for herbs that have topical healing properties (vulnerary), soothing properties (demulcents) and anti-microbial properties just in case you are dealing with an infection. The list below is a great start. I highly recommend that you include marshmallow root as one of your choices. It is extremely soothing and is one of the best herbal demulcents we have.
- Calendula flowers
- Stinging nettle leaf
- Sheppard’s purse herb
- Red raspberry leaf
- Chamomile flowers
- Yellow bedstraw
- Heal-all herb
- Witch hazel bark
- Marshmallow root
- Marshmallow herb
- Lavender flowers
- Plantain leaf
- Blend your herbs together in a large bowl – using equal portions of your herbs works just fine
- I like to use marshmallow root and 3-4 other vulnerary herbs
- You want enough herbs to fill a large jar about halfway
Witch Hazel Method
- Fill a one litre mason jar about halfway full of your healing herbs
- Cover with alcohol free witch hazel and let sit for about 2 weeks
- Fill a one litre mason jar about halfway with your healing herbs
- Place a knife in your jar and pouring boiled water over your herbs
- Let sit overnight
- Once your herbs are ready (overnight or about two weeks depending on the method you used), you will need to filter out your herb material
- Use a fine filter (cheesecloth works great) to avoid having any herb material left in your liquid as this may be irritating to your perineum
- Place your liquid (decoction) in a clean spray bottle
- Prep your pads
- If you are using disposable pads with wings cut them separate so you don’t have to remove the adhesive tape
- Spray your pads with your herbal bath and separate each pad with wax paper so they don’t stick together in the freezer
- Place them in a clean freezer bag and chuck them in the freezer for future use!
Best of luck on the impending arrival of your little one! While it is messy, stinky and hurts like a son of a gun… it’s totally worth it I promise 😉
P.S. Please pin for future use and to share in the herbal love 😉