Pregnancy and birth are incredibly hard work for your body. You’ve just done something miraculous: created a human being. Even the most ideal birth can leave you a little tender, and now you have the work of caring for a newborn and your postpartum body. You want to continue to care for yourself as naturally as possible while encouraging healing in yourself and nurturing your growing baby.
Using herbs and natural remedies, you can promote healing from any perineal lacerations, soothe minor aches and pains as your body returns to normal, and help your body to best support breastfeeding.
Frozen sanitary napkins can be very soothing on your perineum. Pinterest has many recipes for making your pads. A combination of witch hazel, lavender essential oil, aloe vera, and other essential oils may be suggested. The frozen pads reduce swelling and can feel amazing on your tender bottom.
Check out these recipes:
Keep in mind no matter what method you choose you can use mama cloth or disposable pads, whichever is your preference.
Lactation cookies are the perfect grab and go treat for nursing mothers. If you’re having trouble maintaining a balanced milk supply they can help you increase your milk production, too!
The most effective lactation cookies include oats which are high in saponins thought to increase prolactin levels. Oats are also full of protein, vitamins, and minerals which are crucial for your recovery. Other helpful ingredients are fenugreek, flax seed, and brewer’s yeast. Be sure to add some healthy fats.
You could try:
Herbal Sitz Baths
When it comes to healing your perineum, a sitz bath can do wonders. Whether you choose to add an herbal infusion to a regular bath or use a sitz bath is a matter of preference. Sitting in a sitz bath is relaxing and comforting for a new mom.
You can find excellent information about sitz baths here:
Mama’s Milk Tea
You can purchase many prepared teas for postpartum recovery and to help with your milk supply. You can also mix your own herbs and create the perfect tea for your needs. Herbs like red raspberry leaf, blessed thistle, fenugreek, aniseed, fennel, and coriander may be helpful for improving milk production and nourishing your body.
You may also want to explore homeopathy for pain relief and other healing support for your postpartum body. You can find resources for DIY nipple creams, perineal sprays, and other comforting natural remedies. Tinctures and infusions are another great way to utilize herbs to support a healthy recovery from birth. If you’re not sure about what herbs are best for you and your baby you can speak to your midwife or a herbalist.
I can’t recommend bone broth enough for both expecting and new mothers. Making bone broth from scratch takes some patience, but it is SO helpful for recovering from a birth and making sure you are incredibly nourished as you breastfeed your baby.
I recommend making a huge batch during pregnancy and saving part of it in the freezer for your postpartum period. You can start your day with a cup of bone broth or you could also use it as a stock to cook rice, vegetables or soup. Benefits of bone broth are many, including:
- Helps you absorb other nutrients from food.
- Provides you with gelatin and collagen which are great for your skin, hair, nails and joints.
- It’s great for your bones! It has calcium, magnesium and phosphorus among many other helpful minerals.
- Boosts immune system.
Wellness Mama has this great recipe that we always use in our house.
Ask for Help
Above all, make sure asking for help from your friends, neighbors and family is on top of your postpartum recovery list. This is a precious time where so many people would like to help out, but they often don’t know exactly how. Before you give birth, set up a “meal train” with loved ones in your area. For the first 2 weeks (or more) of your postpartum period, each day is assigned to a different person (or family) to make food for you. They can then deliver a home cooked meal once the baby is born. This is invaluable as so much of your time will be taken up by bonding with and taking care of your baby. You can also freeze leftover food so you have some meals for weeks to come. Check out this helpful meal train site to help you organize the meals.
With a little help from Mother Nature and your community, you can transition gracefully and healthily into postpartum.