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Lady Part Love: Post Labour Recovery Remedies

—  found in  Family  —

When I first became pregnant with Vienna I read as much as I possibly could about having a hypnobirthing course . I knew NOTHING about recovery of my lady parts post labour and delivery.

It wasn’t until my cousins Kim and Amy and a two of my girlfriends offered me some valuable advice about recovery of the lady parts that I even gave any thought to it. At the time I wondered how on earth did I miss something so important as taking care of my vagina and perineum post birth?!

I think many women are just like me… you are so focused on having a healthy baby when you’re pregnant and then it’s all about how you’re going to care for this miracle baby when she/he arrives that you really don’t even think about how to take care of your own body. Can you relate?

Had I not been prepared with these natural remedies I’m quite certain things would have gone a LOT differently and my recovery would have been slower. Also, it goes without saying… but I will say it anyhow -- having a supportive partner to assist you in recovery is absolutely essential. The first 10 days Walker took care of me (making healthy meals, doing errands and helping me get around the condo) and I took care of Vienna by making sure she was well fed :)

Now that Vienna is four weeks old and I’ve had a solid amount of healing time I’m feeling pretty good, despite the lack of sleep -- more on that in a future post.

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There are as many conventional remedies as there are natural and holistic remedies for your lady parts. The best part about these natural remedies is that they that work just as well with no side effects. I truly hope these tips help you because healing of the vag and perineum is super duper important. 

Frozen Witch Hazel Pads

You’ll be swollen and sore in the lady parts making it hard to sit and walk around. You can reduce the swelling, bruising and speed healing with icy witch hazel maxi pads. Witch hazel has been used for generations to cleanse, soothe and heal skin. You can find it at any health food store and even some drug stores.

How-to:

  • Using large overnight maxi pads* soak with alcohol-free witch hazel
  • Freeze overnight
  • The brand of witch hazel I recommend is Thayers just be sure to get “alcohol-free”. This brand also has one with Aloe Vera which I used as aloe is very soothing.
  • Use these during your waking hours and change once they get soggy because they’ve thawed. You can do this as many times as you like, I recommend two times per day.

*Unfortunately the all-natural organic pads did not work well for me for the first one to two weeks post-natal. When the bleeding is the heaviest you need something super absorbent to soak up the bleeding. I’m all for using organic, but the first 2 weeks I had to use the conventional ones. Of course I recommend using NatraCare when the bleeding has lessened.

Bottom Spray

This product also has witch hazel in it along with other soothing ingredients for all your lady parts – vag, perineum, butthole (hemorrhoids are pretty common) including cucumber fruit extract, organic lavender and peppermint oil.

How to:

Perineum Balm

So much talk of the perineum, I knew nothing about this delicate tissue until getting pregnant. This balm is da bomb! Meaning, it works. When the tissue starts to get dry down there (especially if you’ve had stitches) it can get itchy, dry and uncomfortable. This amazing balm soothes, moisturizes and promotes elasticity of the tissue.

How to:

In the first week or two, the last thing you will want to do is touch anything in the lady parts region because it’s sooooo sore. So you might be wondering how on earth do you apply this balm? My friend Christine gave me the best tip ever – slather the balm on to your pad and then gently press the pad up to your vag and perineum.

Herbal Sitz Bath

Baths are the perfect way to soak and cleanse the lady parts because you likely won't feel like standing up to shower, at least for the first few days. There may be a lot of pressure on your perineum from the swelling which is another reason it will likely be more comfortable to have a bath instead of a shower. The herbs in this bath also help with the healing and cleansing of those delicate tissues.

How to:

  • Boil 8 cups of water and fill a pouch with herbs such as nettle, witch hazel, calendula etc. Let steep for 10 minutes. This is the herbal bath I used from Tenth Moon.
  • Fill your bathtub up with warm water, just high enough so when you’re sitting in it, the water comes up to your naval. Pour the steeped tea into the bath tub
  • Test the water before getting in, don't burn your vag and perineum!
  • Sit in the bathtub for 10 to 20 minutes. Close your eyes and enjoy this quiet time to yourself
  • Let your lady parts air dry if possible
  • Epsom salt baths (magnesium) are also wonderful for recovery and relaxation.

Natural Hemorrhoid Cream

Okay so this might be TMI but I've been talking about my vag so I might as well tell you this! And well...you're likely reading this because you're either pregnant or in the same position I was just in. So ya... I had a whole team of hemorrhoids the size of grapes - EFFING PAINFUL!! When I first discovered them I honestly thought I had an organ hanging out of my butthole. They are much much better now. All I have to say is water, water, water, prunes, soups and do not eat anything scratchy!! Plus this...

I used this product multiple times per day: TheraWise HMR. Initially, I was going to buy Prep H because I was desperate. Walker went to the drug store to buy it for me and then texted me "Joy, you're not gonna like the ingredients in this stuff"... he was right, so he bought me this brand instead.

In addition to using this cream, every time you have a #2 soak the toilet paper with witch hazel and hold it up to your butthole for a few minutes. DO NOT WIPE your butthole -- be as gentle as possible. Just apply a very gentle pressure with the witch hazel soaked toilet paper.

Donut Ring

No I don't mean eat donuts :) But you may benefit from sitting on a blow up donut (it's actually called an "Invalid Ring -- don't ask me why). If you have a lot of pain and swelling it may be difficult to sit on any surface, even a cushy couch. They sell them at most drug stores.

My last tip is to just be patient with your body and know that you WILL feel better soon. With each passing day you'll be closer to going for a nice long walk outside with your beautiful new baby. Enjoy this time nesting with your little one. It is truly the most beautiful time for you and your baby. I can't believe how fast the time flew by ...so cherish every special moment. 

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I truly hope my holistic and natural tips help you heal as quickly as possible. Please pass them along to other mamas so we can share this information and help every mama have a speedy and natural recovery.

If you have more natural and holistic tips, please post them below!

Wishing your lady parts joyous health,

Joy

35 Comments
DE   •   October 6, 2015

Thank you for writing this! I'm due in a month and knowing what to expect and how to prepare is so helpful!

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Joy McCarthy   •   October 6, 2015

Jacqueline   •   October 6, 2015

I'm so glad you posted about this! I wish I had known all of this before I had my babies and I think it is so great of you to publish this for all of your followers so that they have the opportunity to be better prepared...and/or to share this information with someone who needs it. Congratulations on your beautiful baby girl!

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Joy McCarthy   •   October 6, 2015

Rachel // hearts & beets   •   October 6, 2015

What a helpful post for new holistic mamas. I also love how many times you said vag and butthole haha! Congratulations Joy :)

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Joy McCarthy   •   October 6, 2015

Kelly   •   October 6, 2015

Congratulations Joy! It is so wonderful being a mum and those first few weeks can be overwhelming while you are dealing with no sleep, pain and trying to establish feeding. All the above worked for me (esp. the frozen pads--oh my gosh, I nearly cried with relief when they gave me my first one) for each of my 3 kiddies but I also took arnica. I gave it to each of my babies within hours of being born and I took it to relieve my aches and pains. I walked like a duck after my first child until my mother-in-law suggested that I have some.

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Joy McCarthy   •   October 6, 2015

Jessica   •   October 6, 2015

Hi Joy! Thank you for posting this! I am pregnant with my 2nd child and I wish I had known all of this the first time around. Keep the posts coming and a big congratulations to you and Walker on your beautiful daughter Vienna!

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Joy McCarthy   •   October 6, 2015

Joy   •   October 6, 2015

These are great! I'll definitely be using these after my baby comes. I have a question for you. Did you use a belly binder after you had your baby? If you did, which one do you recommend? I was looking at the all natural linen binders (it's like you're being tied into it) that you keep on all the time (except for bathing/showering) that will help you heal well. Trying to find out which one is best without breaking the bank! Thank you!

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Joy McCarthy   •   October 7, 2015

Artemisia Hood   •   October 6, 2015

For those who did not have the opportunity to give birth vaginally, it is extremely important to massage the scar (of course once it is healed 6 weeks-ish) to avoid adhesions, the physio in france looked after mine says i have waited to long and the adhesions can affect posture=back pain. It is very uncomfortable to do but well worthwhile in the end. Also recommend the use of arnica in homeopathy for the healing aspect and to encourage milk there is also some great homeopathic granules see a homeopathic doctor who can prescribe the correct doses and pop in maternity bag for when/if needed.

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Mel   •   October 6, 2015

I have no idea how I didn't get hemrroids or bloodshot face and eyes after all the pushing I did. Someone who did have hemrroids told me that there is a new procedure to get rid of them - maybe laser surgery ?? !

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Elle Gee   •   October 6, 2015

Honest words...I've had my three babes. One vaginally & 2 sections. Both different & both I would do again. I swore by arnica for healing, carbo vegetabilis for gas & pineapple juice to help with inflammation....and the warmth of a blow dryer, on low setting, can be a glorious thing on the lady bits during healing! Congratulations on your healthy baby!

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Joy McCarthy   •   October 7, 2015

andreja   •   October 6, 2015

Hello There Great topic. Beside perineum balm, have used st. john wort(prevents uti) oil and coconut oil;)) I wish there was some information about this before as well which food can increase milk supply. Sometimes we have to learn hard way. All the best

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Joy McCarthy   •   October 7, 2015

Nora   •   October 7, 2015

I wasn't able to deliver my daughter naturally, but when we decide on a second one in the future I'm hoping I'm going to need all your valuable tips :) I'm scared of haemorrhoids now though!

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Joy McCarthy   •   October 7, 2015

Pooja   •   October 7, 2015

Hi Joy, thank you so much for all this information and for being so open! :) A bit off the subject - but can you recommend a good prenatal vitamin to take? I am contemplating between the Garden of Life Raw Prenatal or the Rainbow Light Prenatal One. Appreciate your inputs on these or if you can recommend a better one :) Thank you! Loves

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Joy McCarthy   •   October 7, 2015

Karen   •   October 8, 2015

I can't stop laughing! Not because it's funny to have our poor lady bits and associated parts needing that much recovery, but because I can totally related after 2 babies. It's refreshing to hear such honesty! Cause all mamma's have been through some or all of the above. Joy-now you just need a post on growing back all the lush hair that goes after birthing! What are some good remedies/herbs for that! I think I'm getting a bald spot even though I'm eating great!

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Ashley   •   October 8, 2015

Joy, I'm nowhere close to getting pregnant anytime soon (still looking for a boyfriend, so it's gonna be a while lol), but I want to say that I really appreciate how candid and open you've been about the whole process. From your labor story to this post, you've mentioned things that I had no idea I'll eventually have to deal with. You've taken a lot of the fear out of pregnancy for me - and that is no easy feat since it's been something I've been somewhat anxious about since a few years ago. Thank you and give Vienna a little pinch on the cheek for me! - Ash

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RJ   •   October 8, 2015

Though my babies are 5 and 9 I well remember the post-natal healing period and thinking "why didn't anyone tell me this would happen?" A good tip I got was to wash every time after using the bathroom (hand sprayer is great for this) and to air or blow-dry completely. And be prepared for some incontinence after giving birth-this will get better over time. Take time to care for your baby and your body, let others help with all the rest.

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Martha   •   October 8, 2015

Thanks for this, Joy. My 4 kids are all grown up, but I wish I had had your info years ago.

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Catherine   •   October 9, 2015

Hi Joy, great post! Another great recommendation to pass on---direct from my naturopath to soothe hemorrhoids---St. Francis Calendula Cream with Vitamin E (Certified Organic). It's a little pricey, but a good investment --- high quality ingredients, and it works!! Best of all it can be used on other skin irritations as well. Of course always check with your doctor/health care professional before using, just like any new product.

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Crystal   •   October 26, 2015

Great write up Joy! Thanks for the great product tips, also thoroughly enjoyed: http://www.joyoushealth.com/blog/2015/10/10/joyous-baby-viennas-first-month/ http://www.joyoushealth.com/blog/2015/04/25/3-things-learned-becoming-dad-actually-becoming-dad/

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Kat   •   January 19, 2016

Great advice. I would also say that every mama needs a squatty potty! Puts the hips in a better position to have a bowel movement. Helps with constipation during pregnancy and postpartum. Life saver!!

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Sheena   •   August 3, 2016

Great post! Question for you - how far ahead of birth did you freeze pads with witch hazel?

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Joy McCarthy   •   August 3, 2016

Sheena   •   August 8, 2016

One more question Joy - do you have a favourite nipple cream you liked for breastfeeding?

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Heather Allen   •   August 8, 2016

Alicia   •   June 10, 2017

Such amazing advice! Where can we find Push by Annointment and TheraWise HMR in Canada?

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   June 12, 2017

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