Post Partum Sitz Bath And Perineum Healing Herbs

Before each of my daughters births I put together herbs for a sitz bath, which after the birth, I was able to bath myself and help with the post birth healing.

The term sitz bath comes from the German word Sitzbad,meaning a bath (Bad) in which one sits (sitzen). A sitz bath is technically a hip-bath, that is, a bath in which a person sits covered with water up to the hips, but I just had a proper bath!

After birth there’s a period of healing required for the perineum, and one of the recommendations is to keep a squeeze-bottle of water by the toilet to spray on when you need to urinate, which can burn somewhat whether you have stitches or not.

Before the birth, I recommend from my own experience that you make up two ‘portions’ of herbs. One you can tie up in a muslin for your bath, and the other you pop directly into a two liter soft drink bottle or similar. You also need a squeeze bottle so that you can pour from the large bottle into the smaller one after each trip to the loo, ready for the next one.

Sitz Bath HerbsThe idea of the herbs are to be soothing and healing, but also to be antibacterial and anti-inflammatory.

Make up the ingredients below, and keep a clove of garlic with it. I don’t add the garlic before hand as garlic can go off and you don’t want old garlic in your sitz bath. (My second daughter was born at 42+5, so my garlic would have been quite rotten, having been prepared from 35 weeks!)

The ingredients are quite flexible. Everything you add will have benefits, but if you don’t have it, can’t find it or don’t like it, you don’t have to use it.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbs Rosemary– Heals perineal tears, soothing, relieves muscle pain and exhaustion
  • 2 tbs Yarrow – Heals perineal tears, soothing. Yarrow intensifies the medicinal action of other herbs taken with it, and helps with pain, bleeding/clotting and inflammation.
  • 2 tbs Marigold/Calendula – Cooling, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory
  • 2 tbs Chamomile – cooling, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. Chamomile contains spiroether, a very strong antispasmodic agent that relaxes aching, tense muscles
  • 2 tbs Lavender – soothes swollen vaginal tissue, reduces pain, smells amazing, helps with relaxation.
  • 2 tbs Rose petals -Rose petals are astringent and can be used as a skin wash to staunch bleeding from scrapes and cuts. Rose petals a sitz bath into a luxurious spa treatment for the body and spirit as the smell of rose petals creates a feeling of well being and mild euphoria.
  • 2 tbs SEA Salt – antiseptic, helps keep perineum clean and germ free
  • 2 cloves Garlic – antiseptic, helps keep perineum clean and germ free.

Mix together, everything except the garlic. Split into two piles. Place the first in a muslin, and tie off with a string. This will go into the bath after the birth.

The second can go into a container. This will go straight into your perineum mix.

After baby is born, add some garlic to your bottle, and top off with boiling water. Leave to draw, and leave as is for up to three days. Pour water from the big bottle to the small squirty bottle. The garlic smell will become stronger and the liquid may become darker as the herbs infuse.

Squirt onto the perineum while urinating to soothe the burn.

*p.s if you had stitches, don’t soak in the bath more than once a day.

*p.p.s if you purchase from any of those links, I will earn 5% on your purchase price, but you wont pay any more.

Please note I am NOT A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL or HERBALIST. This is the recipe I followed and the way I used the herbs with my two daughters.

 

10 Uses For Lavender Around The Home

lavender fields

I love lavender and lavender oil. It is one of my favourite scents, smelling of summer and the country side. It is fresh and uplifting and makes me feel better whenever I smell it. It is also a natural antiseptic and antibiotic, which contains roughly 150 compounds. Lavender essential oil is easily and quickly absorbed into the skin, and can be detected in the blood in as little as five minutes. Lavender has a long history in England, one of the countries it originates from. It had so many day to day uses, from farms -placed in farmers hats to ward off heatstroke, headaches and insects -to homes -used for everything from digestive disorders to cuts and scrapes to exhaustion and insomnia. It was even used in hospitals as an antiseptic and antibacterial cleaning agent. Here are the top ten things we use lavender for in our home:

  1. Lavender plant and OilBath waterInstead of baby bath products, my daughter Ameli baths in a bath half full of water with about five drops of lavender oil in. The smell is great, she smells great and I am content in the knowledge that there’s nothing in her bath that is harmful to her skin
  2. Washing LaundryWhen we wash reusable nappies we don’t use conditioner as it shortens the life of the nappy. That with allergen friendly wash powder can cause them to smell a bit funky, and sort of stale, so a few drops in the conditioner drawer and they come out smelling lovely. I was worried at first that doing this would cause oil marks on regular clothes, but it doesn’t, so for the most part we have actually replaced these lavender drops for all our washing. Linen washed with lavender oil retains the scent for a while, leaving everything smelling beautifully fresh.
  3. Washing the floors Commercial floor polishes are not only expensive but they are full of chemicals that can irritate the skin of a crawling baby. The chemicals in them are unnecessarily harsh and can often be carcinogenic too. Instead, using a basin of warm water with four or five drops of lavender oil not only cleans and disinfects the floors, but leaves the whole house smelling like summer.

  4. Air Freshenerlavender fieldsA few drops of lavender oil in a spray bottle with water serves as an environmentally friendly air freshener
  5. Kitchen CleanerIf you are specifically concerned about germs on your chopping board, for instance, you could replace water with vinegar in the spray bottle and use that with lavender oil to improve the vinegar smell.
  6. Insect RepellentIf you find yourself outside in the evening a few drops of lavender oil in water sprayed on the skin will keep the bugs away all night. Also, pure lavender oil dabbed on an insect bite will remove the sting and bring instant relief
  7. WardrobesDab lavender oil on cotton balls and pop them in any cupboard (or the fridge) to deodorise and remove bad odours. This is also really easy, convenient and non-lethal way to repel months and other insects from your linen closet -just remember to replace the cotton balls from time to time. These no sew lavender bags work really well too.
  8. Cuts and Scrapes Lavender on cotton balls used to clean cuts and scrapes are the most natural and environmentally friendly way to disinfect cuts and scrapes. If necessary cover to keep them clean, but mostly leaving cuts and scrapes open to dry up is the best course of action. Then just drop some lavender oil on two or three times to keep it disinfected.
  9. Culinary UsesLavender is such a soothing herb. Oil rubbed across the forehead can relieve a headache, a sniff from the bottle or of a live plant can lighten congestion and deep breathing in can lift the mood. A few lavender leaves in hot water with a little honey makes a deliciously refreshing tea, and the leaves can even be used in baking and decorating cakes.
  10. Lavender PillowIf you or your child struggle to sleep at night a lavender plant in a muslin cloth or a few drops of lavender on the pillow can help ease the mind and bring on peaceful sleep. You can even use the no sew lavender bags for pillows.

Enjoy having scented flowers around the house all year by receiving flowers by post.

Do you use lavender oil for anything else? Please do share below!

Jackson Reece – Kinder by Nature Baby Wipes

If my post on Calpol, my ritual ranting about Sodium Lauryl Sulphate or my reasons for choosing cloth nappies hadn’t made it clear enough yet, I’ll spell it out for you: I don’t like a lot of the products that come with a smiling little baby on the packaging.

Read more: Jackson Reece – Kinder by Nature Baby Wipes

Dealing with Teething Naturally

Teething. In this house, it is as bad as you can imagine. My daughter, Ameli, started teething at about 8 weeks and the first tooth popped out at 19 weeks followed shortly by the second three days later. Since then we’ve had two months of welcome relief from the teething monster, but this week it has descended on us like a misty fog all over again.

Read more: Dealing with Teething Naturally

Calpol – What Every Parent Should Know

just say no - luccawithcheese flickr

** This post is about why I don’t use Calpol, and why I wouldn’t recommend it to a friend. For your own family, please do your own research. **

I can safely say I have a hate-hate relationship with Calpol. It works like this: I hate it… and on the other hand I hate it. I have no objections to paracetamol on its own, even though I rarely use medicine, and I absolutely agree that it should have its place on our shelves, as it does serve a valuable purpose. However, in my opinion Calpol does not, and shouldn’t be on the shelves at all.

Read more: Calpol – What Every Parent Should Know

Herbs for use in Childbirth

An important part in my series on natural childbirth is of course the actual birth. Perhaps it’s prudent to start by defining natural childbirth. To me, natural excludes any substance that will pass through the placenta and affect the baby or inhibit your experience of actually vaginally giving birth.
Read more: Herbs for use in Childbirth

Preparing for a natural childbirth

Pregnancy is a time of such huge change. Your emotions change, your body, your home. It all changes. And just as an athlete practices for an event, a dancer for a show, or a politician for a debate, so a woman needs to prepare for becoming a mother. She needs to prepare not only her mind, her heart and her soul, but her body too.

Read more: Preparing for a natural childbirth

Of Legs and Teeth

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a big fan of the medicalised culture we live in. I avoid doctors and medicine as much as I can. You’ll find it funny then that in the last three weeks I have taken pain killers, been admitted to Accident and Emergency, had a root canal, four courses of antibiotics and minor surgery!

It all started with the pregnancy.

Read more: Of Legs and Teeth

The Privilege of Parenting

tools of the herbal tradeToday has truly tested my faith and beliefs. Watching my little girl throwing up clear slime, hearing her cough, listening to her raspy breathing and feeling completely helpless to fix what’s wrong, as I don’t really know what’s wrong. Unfortunately I have a rather iffy relationship with my GP and unless I really can’t do anything to improve the situation, would rather not go there.

So this morning I got on Skype to my mom, the unofficial foremost authority on Vitamin C. She told me that children can have 1 gram of Vit.C per year of life in 24 hours without any complications. As Ameli is 2 months (today) I crushed 1 gram and divided it in to four piles of 125mg. Administring Ascorbic Acid to a baby who has had nothing but Rescue Remedy and breast milk is not a pleasant experience, for mother or baby, but sometimes love has to be tough. I mixed the first dose with 5ml water in a syringe and slowly dropped it in her mouth.

Half an hour later her terrible cough had subsided, and she stopped crying.

I ran a warm bath and let her kick around for a while, which worked wonders,  – I even got a smile out of her – before we curled up together under the duvet wrapped in just our cozy bath towels. I administered another helping of Vit C, before we both sank in to a much needed two hour sleep.

Ameli slept for a little longer, and I was so pleased to see that her breathing was easier and she seemed so much brighter. I called my mom again, and was pleased to report progress.

After another feed, Ameli started chocking and coughing again, and I decided to rub Vicks VapoRub on my chest and let her rest against me for a while. It seems to have helped clear her airways, which I’m so happy about.

Well, between the Vitamin C, Vicks and Rescue Remedy, my sweetheart has slept a good few hours now, and although it’s almost 1am anyway, I think we’ll have a good night’s sleep ahead.

The reason I am sharing all this is simple. It’s been a hard day. A hard 24 hours in fact. I’ve not slept much, and I’ve felt heartbroken, and sad. And yet I sit here with heavy eyes and I feel proud. And honoured. And privileged. I know there is a time and place for medicine and doctors, but today I haven’t needed to trust someone else to make decisions for my baby, but have listened to my instincts, and I am proud of me because I know I’m doing what’s best for my little girl. It really is tough, this parenting thing, but this has been my first real challenge, and I feel like I have passed. And I feel honoured and privileged.