I didn't try an herbal bath postpartum until our sixth baby and I LOVED it, and I thought it was so wonderful I sent the rest of my herbal mix to two women I love that were about to have babies, too. (You only need about a cup of herbs to do a bath so one package can be shared or used for multiple baths.) There are all sorts of different herbs that can be helpful for postpartum healing and they can help the baby's umbilical stump heal nicely, too. Plus it's a soothing, relaxing way to snuggle with your new baby (Miss O promptly passed out in our bath together!) and a fun photo!
Here are some of the various mixes you can find ready made (links below):
- Sage, Uva Ursi, Yarrow, Plantain, Comfrey Leaf & Root, Witch Hazel, Sea salt
- Comfrey leaf, German chamomile flowers, Lavender flowers, Uva ursi leaves, Shepherd's purse, St. John's wort, Yarrow, Sage and Echinacea purpurea root, sea salt
- Calendula, Comfrey Leaf, Rosemary and Lavender
You can order them online through In His Hands or get the last item, the Soothing Sitz Bath from Naturally Healthy.org (which is what our doula found for us.) There's also Howling Wolf herbs which you can purchase at the Allen Birthing Center or Inanna in Denton. You can even buy them on Amazon, OR you can try making your own! (You know me, always wanting to try a homemade version!)
Penn Herb is a great site to read about the various herbs. As part of my doula certification I am learning about herbal infusions to drink ("herbal teas", though they don't actually contain the tea plant), and an herbal bath is just an herbal infusion you sit in instead of drinking! I was happy to see that Frontier contains a huge variety of herbs, whole leaf and powder, organic and conventionally grown. As part of my assignment I'm making an herbal infusion that would be good for pregnant & postpartum moms but I'm also going to order the following to make my own herbal baths! I'm excited to try it out. I enjoyed reading about the different properties of each and found the three I want to try personally for the "tea" and the four that I think are best for the herbal bath. Some are just for scent and since that's pretty subjective, I went for the ones that have the most healing benefit for tender areas that needs some extra special care. (Moms can also add in some sea salt to their baths, though I knew that wouldn't distribute well with the other herbs in the package so I'm leaving it out.) Notes from Penn Herb site.
(I'm ordering the herbs this month and mixing it up the end of May, if you are in the area & interested in trying some of my herbal bath mix let me know! I'll be curious for feedback.)
For my herbal bath:
Shepherd's Purse - from the battlefields of World War I to the natural first aid kit, Shepherd's Purse is known to be a powerful astringent. In traditional herbalism, astringent herbs help tighten tissues, and reduce secretions & discharges. One of Shepherd's Purse major compounds includes vitamin K, which promotes proper blood clotting. Current herbal texts cite Shepherd's Purse for supporting a smooth female cycle and for promoting urinary tract health. Common use: Herbal astringent; promotes urinary tract health; supports healthy blood pressure; supports venous health.
Comfrey's botanical name is derived from the Greek and Latin words, which mean "to unite", "with strength". A breakdown of Comfrey's active natural compounds reveal it's a rich herbal source of allantoin, a natural substance that promotes new cell growth. It's no wonder Comfrey is commonly used in external preparations for temporary bone, cartilage, tendon and muscle discomfort, as well as to soothe irritated skin.
Witch Hazel is one of those herbs that have a long history of use in North American herbalism. Today, it continues to be trusted and well respected for its ability to support healthy veins, which are vital for circulatory health.
Yarrow: In ancient mythology, Yarrow is the herb used by Achilles to heal the wounds of his warriors - perhaps the reason for its other common name, Herba militaris. Whatever the case, Yarrow is more realistically used today for its potent astringent action.
For my "tea":
Red Raspberry Leaf has a long history of use by traditional midwives and women seeking a gentle alternative for strengthening and maintaining overall reproductive health. In addition, the herb is a valuable storehouse of the key nutrients that positively affect women’s health, including calcium, iron, and vitamin E. It offers nutritional support for pre-menstrual needs, supports a smooth female cycle, and gently calms morning sickness associated with pregnancy. Common use: Supports healthy female reproductive system; PMS; eases menstrual discomforts; supports smooth female cycle; promotes menopausal health; postpartum tonic; herbal astringent (tightens & tones muscle and tissue; reduces discharges); soothes digestive tract.
Rose Hips they're one of nature’s most concentrated sources of antioxidant vitamin C & bioflavonoids - and with the same health benefits! Rosehips promote healthy resistance, soothe stress, strengthen blood vessel…and more! Common use: Natural source of Vitamin C and bioflavonoids; immune support; helps body maintain health; urinary tract health; stress; supports energy levels; strengthens blood vessel walls and other tissues; promotes healthy circulation.
Nettle Leaf is an herbalist’s top-pick to soothe distressing seasonal symptoms, relieve temporary water weight gain and promote fluid balance. The nutrient-rich "spring tonic" also nourishes, detoxifies, and reinvigorates vital body systems! It is just loaded with vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, and a host of nutrients, including chlorophyll, magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron, and more! Other Uses: Promotes joint comfort & flexibility (maintains healthy uric acid levels); PMS (bloating); pregnancy tonic with Red Raspberry; nourishing postpartum tonic; supports breast milk production.