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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Midwifery Tips - Afterbirth Healing

My first Midwife introduced me to a wonderful product by Wish Garden Herbs about 11 years ago, called After-Birth Sitz Bath http://www.wishgardenherbs.com/index.php?load=pregnancy&group_id=6#AfterBirth%20Sitzbath We have used it for all of our births and I am going to make it for my next. It is a mixture of dry herbs brewed like a tea for external use.

Here are the ingrediants:
Uva Ursi leaves, Yarrow Flowers, Plantain Leaves, Sage Leaf, Comfrey Leaf, Comfrey Root, Witch Hazel Leaf, Sea Salt

  • 3 ways to use this:

    1. In a sitz bath like the package says.

    These are the two ways my midwife taught me and I found were very helpful. I did not try the sitz bath though. Make a big batch of this "tea" ahead. It will keep in the fridge or freezer. It is an easy job for hubby or a helper during labor if you didn't get to it.

    2. Herbal Pads
  • Prepare a large batch of the tea (like a big soup pot full) and let cool completely. Get a nice pouring picture to use for the next step.
  • Get about 10-12 of those BIG hospital style Kotex from the birthing supply (in addition to what the midwife recommends for after the birth. The fluffy, really long, old-school cotton kind without any gel inside. You will also need the medical lap mats to lay under you in the bed after the birth).
  • Lay the pads out onto a cookie sheet than gently pour the tea over the top (into) of each pads, soaking it well until saturated. (Try not to pour over the sides of the pad, this will cause the pads to freeze to the tray.)
  • Put trays in the freezer. Freeze until solid. Take off trays and store in Ziploc or plastic Wal-Mart bags in freezer.

To use: Directly after your birth, you will use these pads as healing icepacks. You will lay a frozen pad on top of two dry pads inside the panty. (Stacked like one lays bricks. Two dry ones on the bottom and the frozen one on the top middle.) The pads below will serve two purposes, to absorb blood and melting tea. Do this for the first 12 hours or so (+ -), one after the other. You will need to be on your medical mats because it can get messy (but it is anyway!). The pads will melt, which adds a little more wetness, but it is so worth it! It is good to switch them quickly after they have fully melted, this keeps the coldness continuing to sooth any swelling or irritation as well and its a very comforting effect. If you dose off into naps or sleeping, that is fine (and good) you just swap them when you wake again.

3. Herbal Wash

  • Collect some water bottles with sports caps ahead of time. You can get use 2 or 3 and have hubby or helper fill them as they empty. Or you can fill about a dozen of them ahead of time with the "tea" and fridge or freeze. (If freezing leave a little room for expansion.)

To use: After the birth you will use these in place of toilet paper. This is soothing and healing. It elimunates the irritation of abrasion that come with wiping. The herbs are healing, soothing and antiseptic. You squirt the tea liberally and with a good bit of force from front to back, while sitting on the toilet. It is kind of like a homemade bode (French style toilet). This is especially soothing when cold. (You can keep it in a little ice bucket near the toilet for the first few days.) I like to keep a bottle at the toilet for the first 5 days or so. It is a good job for your helpers to keep stocked for you.

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