Welcome Guest Blogger, Sarah Beirmeier, CPM of Genea Birth with her Herbal Postpartum Sitz Bath Recipe
A postpartum herbal bath (often called sitz bath) is used in the early postpartum period to help ease pain and inflammation of swollen and irritated mucous membranes, promote healing and give good hygiene to the perineal area. This is particularly helpful when there was any tearing during birth, regardless of suturing. It also helps reduce swelling in the perineum and is a great way to not only reduce the risk of infection, but it can help to heal and pull out an infection if one has already occurred. Sitz baths are often used to relieve pain, itching, and can coat tender healing mucous membranes and promote new skin growth.
Recipe for Postpartum Sitz Bath
2 oz Calendula Flowers
2 oz Chickweed
2 oz Comfrey Leaf/Root
2 oz Slippery Elm Bark
2 oz White Oak Bark
2 oz Yarrow
Calendula – Calendula is anti-inflammatory by nature and is able to soothe inflamed tissues while helping to reduce infection due to irritation. Calendula is an antiviral, antiseptic, and antibacterial, which makes it especially effective in clearing up problems related to irritation and infection, especially mucous membranes. It is a gentle and calming flower and a great soother.
Chickweed– Chickweed is a cooling plant that does an amazing job of drawing out any infection, as well as dissolving and consuming bacteria and toxins. It soothes irritation and inflammation, and then works to protect damaged tissue from more damage. It has a direct nourishing effect on the tissues of the wounded or inflamed vaginal canal and perineum.
Comfrey– Comfrey is also extensively used as a wound healing herb. Comfrey promotes the rapid healing of wounds, and is especially good to use on mucous membranes. The plant contains the small organic molecule allantoin, which is thought to stimulate cell growth and repair while simultaneously depressing inflammation. Comfrey can be used in a sitz bath in leaf or root form. The root offers a soothing slippery quality which can coat the mucous membranes.
Slippery Elm Bark– is a perennial North American tree known for the healing qualities of its slippery inner bark. When combined with water, slippery elm bark creates a mucous-like substance that can be used as a healing, soothing poultice for wounds, burns and rashes. It is wonderful to use on superficial labia tears as it applies a coating which can help reduce the sting.
White Oak Bark- It helps stop bleeding, and forms a protective antiseptic layer to allow healing to occur safely without risk of infection.
Yarrow– yarrow can be used to stop bleeding, as an ant inflammatory, and an antibacterial and general wound healer.
To make your bath or peri wash, simply mix all the herbs together and scoop up enough to fill a reusable muslin bag or tie ½ a cup into some cheesecloth (loosely). Bring a big pot of water to a boil, turn off, and throw in the bag. Cover and steep for an hour. Take out the bag and pour the herbal bath right into your bath water. Sit and enjoy!!