Herbal Remedies for Labour & Postpartum
*Please consult your health care provider before using any herbal remedies.
Research shows that being well hydrated increases efficiency of your uterus: in other words, promotes faster and easy labor!
Steep the following herbs in 500mL boiled water:
1/4 Cup Raspberry leaf
1/4 Cup Nettles
1/4 Cup Alflafa
Strain and add 500mL of water plus:
1/3 Cup Maple Syrup
1/2 Tsp Salt (Himalayan or sea salt)
Half a lemon squeezed
2 crushed tablets of Calcium-Magnesium
Stir these ingredients together and freeze in an ice-cube tray or small plastic cups, ready for when you are in labour!
Raspberry leaf and Nettle are great sources of calcium, iron, phosphorus, vitamins A, C, E & D. They are well known for promoting optimal uterine function and preventing hemorrhage. Mint is a great energizer as well as a good source of potassium (and tasty too). Nettle and Alfalfa both increase the available vitamin K and hemoglobin in the blood: good for mom and baby!
Maple syrup is full of minerals and gives natural energy as well as taste. The salt, calcium and magnesium, which are essential in effective muscle contraction, create a good electrolyte balance.
6 Maxi pads (use the overnight size)
Lavender essential oil OR steeped perineal herbs (strained)
Large ziploc or plastic bag
While the thought of anything frozen on your tender parts may not be appealing now, if you use these for the first 2-3 days after the birth, you will decrease swelling and speed healing.
Place 6 pads on a cookie sheet.
Fill your peribottle with water and add 4 drops of lavender oil (antibacterial); shake well
ALTERNATIVELY: fill your peribottle with half water and half perineal herbal wash
Use the peribottle to spray the pads – they should be very wet but not drenched – it may take 4-5 refills of the bottle.
Freeze the pads overnight on the cookie sheet, then transfer them to a plastic bag.
PERINEAL HEALING HERBS
Various herbalists, including Finlandia and Gaia Gardens Herbal Pharmacy, sell a premixed Perineal Wash, which can be substituted for this combination of herbs, if you like.
Make a strong infusion from herbs. If not using warm, store in the fridge or freezer.
Strain and fill your peribottle
Strain the liquid into a bath with Epsom salts. Soak and enjoy!
After straining the herbs, add the castor oil to the wet mash of herbs.
Make an herb burrito by wrapping the mash in the gauze.
Use the burrito like a pad, once a day. It can even be chilled to help decrease swelling.
RICH MILK TEA aka Fussy Baby Tea
4 parts Fennel seed
2 parts Nettle
2 parts Raspberry leaf
1 part Blessed Thistle
Use four to six tablespoons of herb mixture per quart of water.
Add herbs to cold water and bring to a slow boil over low heat.
Remove from heat and infuse for twenty minutes.
Drink three to four cups daily.
Blessed Thistle is also known as Mother’s Milk Thistle. It is widely used for enhancing milk flow as well as dealing with postpartum depression. Eliminate the Blessed Thistle if you are engorged or have issues with overabundance of milk. Fennel, which is the active ingredient in Gripe Water, will come through in your breastmilk to help baby’s digestion stay calm. Nettle will help build your iron back up, while Raspberry Leaf helps your uterus shrink quickly and calm any afterpains.