Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Pregnancy Notes: Postpartum Herbal Sitz Bath {recipe}



Herbal sitz baths are extremely soothing, relaxing, healing and a great way to pamper a new mama after going through the tiring workout of laboring and birthing a little baby.

What are Sitz Baths?
Some of you might have never heard of a sitz bath. I sure didn't know heck about it until my midwife explain it to me. A sitz bath is literally what it sounds like - a bath where you sit in warm water that covers the buttocks and hips.

Sitting in warm, herbal infused water helps clean the sensitive area, bring healing, soothe soreness, aid in shrinking hemorrhoids, prevent infection, relieves pain, reduces swelling, heals tears and increase blood flow to the areas starting at your belly button, down around to your lower back bone & to the where the baby made an appearance. These herbs can truly help speed along recovery!

You can do your sitz bath in the bathtub or in a large bowl, but make sure you have someone to help you in and out. After my 2nd & 3rd babies, I used my kids' little bathtub and it worked great, but this 4th time around... I was able to use an actual bathtub and enjoyed a long soak! Taking a relaxing bath is a rare treat for me  :)


My First Sitz Bath
My midwife brought a bag of herbs over and prepared my first sitz bath after Tabitha's birth. I was eager to give it a try, but was a little skeptical that it would do much to relieve the little pain I had from my tear.

I was so wrong... It was amazedly soothing and totally won me over. I took a sitz bath everyday for a week and wanted more!

Plus, I noticed rapid healing of my tear along with putting on a combination of aloe vera, coconut oil and raw honey. I am thankful to say that I never tore again with my 3rd and 4th babies.

I, of course, asked her for the recipe when I became pregnant with Tobias. Unfortunely, her recipe called for a lot of herbs… making it a little too expensive for me to make a small batch for myself.

So, she recommended simply using a combination of Lavender, Chamomile, Rosemary and Calendula Flowers… much like the ingredients used for the Soothing Postpartum Pads! I also decided to add in Comfrey leaf as it is excellent to use on a stretched & sore perineum, Yarrow for is ability to stop bleeding and sea salt which provides needed minerals to help speed healing.


The Ingredients & Benefits
Below you will read the medicinal properties of each herb that help pamper and heal the new mama. This Healing Postpartum Herbal Sitz Bath will leave you feeling refreshed, renewed and relaxed.

  • Chamomile Flowers: This herb is best known for its soothing & delicious aromatic smell and taste. It is widely used as a mild sedative. Chamomile displays a wide range of healing properties such as being anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, antispasmodic and even anti-body odor... all coming from the daisy-like flowers, which contain volatile oils as well as flavonoids. It also improves wound healing, which is great for tears and c-sections, along with bringing good flow of blood to the skin surface thus inducing perspiration and helps regulate menstrual flow. Chamomile is one of the best herbal sources of niacin, magnesium and essential fatty acids.
  • Rosemary Leaf: Called the "herb of remembrance" by Shakespeare, this herb has the ability to strengthen the entire body and relieve pain (like lavender) associated with muscle pains, sore muscles & headaches. Rosemary helps boosts mental activity, so when your brain feels tired (and we do feel brain-tired after birthing a baby!), take deep breaths as you enjoy the sitz bath for fresh mental energy. It also contains good concentrations of 2 dozens or so antioxidants.
  • Comfrey Leaf: The latin name of this herb translates "knitting together". One of the main healing properties in comfrey is allantoin, an anti-inflammatory that perks up the immune system, speeds wound healing and encourages new skin and cell growth. It has a long history of being used as an external application for mending of wounds and broken bones. Comfrey is a contact healer, relieving pain and immediately helping the growth of new flesh and bone. It is also high in calcium and vitamin C. 
  • Yarrow Flower: Considered the "poor man's chamomile", Yarrow contains a volatile oil which is similar to chamomile and has been medically documented to be very effective anti-inflammatory agent. It contains aromatic compounds that shrink inflamed tissues and promote sweeting. It also contains bitter compounds that relieve smooth muscle spasms, reduce blood pressure and helpful in stopping bleeding from hemorrhage. The herb has antibacterial and antifungal compounds that are helpful in replenishing the intestinal flora.
  • Lavender Flowers: Best known for its relaxing effect on the mind and body, Lavender's soothing properties is readily absorb into the skin and not only promotes restfulness, but it helps in treating pain, anxiety & nervousness, exhaustion, restlessness, emotional stress, headaches and increase mental activity. It is also an excellent remedy for various types of pains caused by sore muscles, tense muscles, muscular aches, backaches and the lumbago (lower back) area. Lavender is excellent for improving blood circulation in the body, which is essential for complete healing in the perineum area. It also has antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant properties.
  • Calendula Flowers: A herb long used through Europe and the Americas for wound healing and ulcer treatments, Calendula is known for its amazing healing properties. The phytochemicals in these flowers opposes fungi, bacteria, viruses and inflammation. Calendula also excite the white blood ells in the immune system to fight microbial invaders with a little more vigor. It is good for treating skin problems of all kinds, especially cuts, scrapes, bruises and minor wounds.
  • Sea Salt: A natural detoxifier, sea salt provides the needed minerals to help the body heal quickly.

Healing Herbal Sitz Bath

Mix all the herbs & sea salt together in a large bowl. Store in a glass jar and keep in a cool & dry place.

Fill a large pot with 1 gallon of water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add 2 cups of the herbal mixture or stuff the loose herbs in cotton muslin cloth bags. Cover and let it sit until warm. Strain (or pour it all in if you don't care about loose herbs!) liquid into a bathtub or large bowl/basin and add warm water until it covers your hips & buttocks.

Sit and relax in tub for 20 minutes or more. You can soak with your baby as it will speed along cord healing. If using bowl or large basin, sit or squat carefully in it for 10-15 minutes.

Gently pat dry and do it everyday for at least a week. You can use the Soothing Postpartum Pads for extra healing & comfort!

Have you ever done a sitz bath? Have you used herbs for postpartum care? What herbs and how did they help you?



Note: The links above are my affiliate links and I will earn a small commission if you decide to order the herbs and other supplies through those links (no extra charge to you!). Thank you for reading this and supporting my family through your purchases!


4 comments:

  1. Thank for so much for sharing! I've been looking all over for a simple yet effective postpartum sitz bath recipe. You nailed it, and since I'm a first time mom expecting my baby girl any day now, I couldn't have found your site at a better time! Thank you for sharing mama! ����

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    1. Wonderful! So glad you found this just in time. Hope you have a wonderful birth and bonding time with your baby girl. I still remember my special moments with my first baby girl :)

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  2. If purchased in the amount you've linked to, all 0.5 lb. sizes, how many baths will this recipe make? Thanks!

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    1. A lot! I am not sure of the exact amount, but you sure will have plenty to pass around as gifts!

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