There are many wonderful herbs that can be used to support post partum healing. In many cultures, there is the understanding of the 4th Trimester and the need for mothers and babies to rest, heal and bond post birth without the stress of continuing daily tasks and getting out and about. This means that the mother typically stays at home for 40 days so that her body can heal from the physically and emotionally exhausting experience of birth with support from loved ones and natural remedies. Although staying at home for this long may not be practical for the modern Women, it is definitely important to reduce tasks, rest and gather support during this period. Post birth, Women’s body’s are often sore and bruised, there are wounds that need healing, breastfeeding needs to be established and nerves need to be calmed. The risk of post partum depression can be greatly reduced if there is plenty of support and rest after birth, as the mother is given time to heal and recover properly.
For me personally, after a long labor and naturally birthing a very healthy and large baby boy of 4kg, I remember feeling very sore all over, my whole body ached as it tried to heal and recover as well as adapt to much less sleep and the art of breastfeeding, which for many Women, does not always come easy. I took Homeopathic Arnica which was great for speeding up the healing of my wounds and sore body. I bathed in herbs such as lavender to help healing and calm my mind and I drank lots of herbal tea to support breastfeeding and recovery such as Fenugreek and Raspberry Leaf. Herbal Medicine is a great way to support post partum healing and there are some great traditional herbs than can be used during this time including:
- Arnica – A great herb which can be used as an oil for massaging sore, bruised and aching muscles. To use, pour 1tbs of warmed Arnica oil into the palm of your hand and massage all over to relieve inflammation and pain. Arnica can also be taken in the form of Homeopathic Pillules.
- Ladys Mantle – This is a great herb to use in the bath to promote healing of tissues as it has anti inflammatory, astringent and anti bacterial properties to help with healing.
- Lavender – Another great herb to help with healing tissues in the bath. Lavender can also be used in a spray bottle and sprayed onto the site daily, and especially after urination to help sooth the area.
- Witch Hazel – Being an astringent, Witch Hazel is great for promoting the healing of tissues. Add it to a spray bottle with a few drops of water and spray the perineum daily to help aid healing.
- Psyllium Husk – Constipation after birth is very common so Psyllium Husk is a great gentle way to get things moving. Just add 1tbs to a large glass of water and drink daily.
- Calendula – Calendula is a skin healing herb with anti inflammatory and antisepic properties, making it a great addition to the bath for healing wounds.
- Fenugreek – A traditional herb for lactation, Fenugreek is great for improving quantity of breastmilk. It is also a carminative making it great for soothing colicky babies via breastfeeding.
- Blessed Thistle – Blessed Thistle is another great herb for supporting milk production. Drink daily as a tea which can also be combined with Fenugreek.
- Garlic – A wonderful herb for alleviating Mastitis if it occurs. Mastitis is an infection caused by blocked milk ducts. Garlic can help to treat the infection when taken in the form of food, tablets or tincture.
- Lemon Balm – A beatiful herb for soothing nerves and calming the new mother. It also has a relaxing effect on babies via breastmilk.
- Raspberry Leaf – A uterine tonic, Raspberry leaf helps to the uterus to contract back down to size and prevent excessive blood loss, improve uterine tone as well as alleviate afterbirth pains.
- Nettle – An iron rich herb to help nourish the blood after loss during childbirth. Nettle also helps with milk production so can be taken in a tea with Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle daily
After Pains Tea
- 2 parts Chamomile
- 2 parts Raspberry Leaf
- 2 parts Cramp Bark
Steep 1tbs of the herbal mix into boiling water for 5 minutes. Drink one cup of tea twice daily to help the uterus contract faster and give relief from after birth pains.
For more Post Partum Remedies you can also purchase Arnica Oil, New Mumma Tea and Healing Bath Soak in the Little Yarrow Online Store. For more information of natural remedies or how to treat specific conditions you can contact me for details on Naturopathic Consultations (online or in person) here