It's all new!
While welcoming your new babe into the world can be exciting, it can also be one filled with many unknowns, questions and concerns.
Will the family and new babe settle, can the new parents cope, will mum experience the baby blues, will there be enough sleep?
Unfortunately babies don't come with instruction manuals..
The challenges of the post-partum period
In this article I wanted to talk about how aromatherapy and herbal principles can assist new mums and their babies through those crucial first few weeks at home. It typically takes 6 to 8 weeks after the birth for the mother's body to start to return to its pre-pregnancy state.
The huge physical , hormonal, emotional and energetic upheavals that occur with pregnancy, childbirth and parenting a newborn are immense.
While some new mums may sail through this time the vast majority of us will experience a huge range of emotions and challenges.
Here are a few suggestions that may help to ease some of these:
Breast care, feeding and lactation:
Increasing milk production: Fennel Tea has been used through the ages to help increase breast milk production. I know of others who swear by eating a little fresh fennel in salad each day as they work on establishing a reliable milk supply.
Sore, engorged breasts: Add 2 drops of Roman Chamomile 3% dilution in Jojoba, 1 drop Clary Sage and 1 drop Lavender essential oils to 5 ml of a carrier oil like Fractionated Coconut Oil and massage into the breasts as needed.
When I was a new mother I was told by my midwife to line my bra with cabbage leaves. Admittedly it felt a little bizarre, but the leaves were so cooling and comforting and certainly helped soothe my full and painful breasts.
Sore, chaffed or cracked nipples: Moon Haven's Calendula Salve is wonderful to use here. Smear just a little onto the nipples. Calendula is a wonderful healer and soother as it is known for it anti-inflammatory properties.
When it comes time to feed just wipe your nipple over with a washcloth to remover the excess sale... what remains is perfectly ok for your babe.
Bonus: Calendula salve is fantastic for helping soothe babies bottoms and skin issues.
Wounds, bruising and scars: The birthing process can be quite brutal on the body. Episiotomies, internal and external bruising are common.
Sitz Bath :A sitz bath (a shallow bath used for soothing the anal and genital areas) can be a wonderful comfort and healer during the post-partum recovery period.
You can purchase a sitz bath (usually a special plastic tub - that fits over the toilet) or use a plastic tub to sit in.
Alternatively you can put a few inches of water into your bath tub to sit in.
The aim is to have the water deep enough to cover the areas you are attempting to soothe.
The magic of the sitz bath rests in the additives you choose to put into the water.
Salt is traditionally added to the water but you can also add a few drops of a suitable calming essential oils like Lavender, Chamomile, Cypress.
Important: Of course always follow the advice provided by your medical adviser regarding wound care.
Helping Your Emotions: With hormones running rampant in the post partum period no wonder emotions are all over the place. And yes he day three baby blues as well as post natal depression are very real conditions.
This is where aromatherapy comes into it's own. Diffusing beautiful emotionally uplifting oils can be a godsend during this period.
Oils like Rose Geranium, Rose Absolute or Jasmine in 3% Jojoba Oil, Clary Sage, any of the uplifting citrus oils.
Another idea is to use our Uplift Pulse Point Potion. This is something the new mother can carry with them and apply as needed. Formulated with Sweet Orange and Lavender essential oils and diluted in jojoba oil it is suitable to apply to the skin giving direct and immediate comfort.
When Laura - our amazing soap and skincare maker was pregnant she put together this pack to help her through the first few weeks after the birth of her first babe Finnley. She chose each item for its practicality and usefulness.
(Of course Laura used our Labour of Love Aromatherapy Birth Kit during the last weeks of pregnancy and during Finnley's birth. This meant that she had two wonderful essential oil blends as well as the very helpful St Johns Wort & Calendula Rub for her aches and pains))
The Oh Baby kit contains:
- Bliss Baby Massage Oil - helps relax baby - and the new mum too!
- Calendula Salve - helps to soothe sore nipples, great for perineal massage, stretch marks for mum as well as baby's nappy rash and moisturise dry skin
- Billie Be Good Goats Milk Soap - the most suitable soap for newborns sensitive skin
- Uplift Pulse Point Potion -a beautifully scented roll on formulated with essential oils to help lift mood and relieve stress.
- Information and instructions on how to use each item including how to massage a newborn and the intricacies of perineal massage in preparation for birth
Want to know more?
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Always seek qualified medical advice regarding your own individual situation
Please note: Information in this article and on the moonhaven.com.au website represents the opinion of the author and as such is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice.
Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.