There are a few things that no one really warns you about after having a baby.  One of those things is how sore your “lady bits” may feel if you have a vaginal delivery.  In the immediate days post-partum there are a few things you can do to speed along perineal healing and manage the discomfort. Today’s post is written by a very knowledgeable naturopath who has had two babies of her own.  Check out a couple recipes you can make for yourself or even as a gift for a new mama friend. 

Labour and delivery are draining and exhaustive, even if the process is minimally invasive and without complications. Mamas focus on their new babes and often forget about their own needs, which can make recovery slow and discouraging.  I always focus on my mamas’ energy, sleep, diet, and mood to help through this stage of recovery, and will post on these topics in the future. Today I will be focusing on how to care for the perineal tissue post delivery.

Physiotherapy during pregnancy, geared towards strengthening the pelvic floor, is a large part of preventing complications that can lead to a more difficult recovery and longer term consequences. Leading up to your due date and during labour, applying olive oil to the perineal area can prevent severe tears.  Immediately after delivery, I recommend using herbal baths to speed up and optimize repair. The recipe I like to use is:

– 1/8 lb comfrey leaf
– 1 /8 lb calendula flower
– 1/8 lb lavender flower
– 1/16 lb uva ursi leaf
– 1/16 lb sage

This will make up approximately ½ lb of dried herb. It can be used 1-2 times daily for a week after birth as an:
– immersion bath [take 1 handful of the mixture and steep in 2 quarts boiled
– sitz bath (as above, just place liquid in sitz bath to immerse local area
– perineal wash  (pour some liquid into a peri bottle, and squirt onto area
– wet compress (soak ceal washcloth in liquid and apply, warm or cold, to

For more severe tears, this recipe is better used:

– 1/8 lb comfrey leaf
– 1/8 lb yarrow flower
– 1/16 lb ounce myrrh powder
– 1/16 lb uva ursi leaf
– 1/8 lb rosemary leaf

In addition to the herbal bath, it is important to take care of yourself as a whole. Rest is encouraged (take advantage of doting caregivers wanting to spend some time with your babe while you sleep), as is skin-to-skin interaction with your little one. Refrain from sexual intercourse until your tissue has healed completely, and
make an attempt to do something you enjoy, for yourself, each day.

There you go, mamas! That is a start to taking care of your mind and body as you heal post delivery.  Be well and hope to see you soon.

Dr.Holly is a Naturopath in London, Ontario who helps optimize women for fertility, pregnancy, the post-natal period.