Headed to a baby shower and want to get something unique and well-needed for the mama-to-be? While she may be happy to receive a “diaper cake” or another frilly baby outfit, she will really appreciate a birth and postpartum care package.
Put together a birth and postpartum care package, and nestle it into a sitz bath complete with labels describing how/why to use each item and tie with a bow. Though not as darling as yet another pink or blue receiving blanket, the new mama will be forever grateful for these soothing gifts meant just for her.
And if you're the one who's expecting? Stock up on this stuff before baby arrives. You'll be glad you did!
#1 – Homeopathic Remedies
- Nux vomica – For nausea and vomiting during labor.
- Arnica – For pain and body aches during labor. Also take every 15 minutes post partum to speed recovery.
- Silicea – To heal sore nipples from breastfeeding.
#2 – Sitz bath herbs – Balms, sprays, tinctures, and raw herbs. There are many ways to achieve the sitz bath effect, soothing a tender bottom and speeding up the healing process in those early postpartum days.
- Use this loose leaf tea – Boil loose herbs beforehand and then add the tea to your sitz bath.
- Use a tincture – No prep necessary but a similar effect to freshly boiled herbs. Pour this concentrated extraction directly into your bath.
- Use a spray – A little more convenient (but less relaxing) than a bath, this sitz spray lets you skip the soak but still benefit from healing postpartum herbs.
- Use a balm – Cooling and soothing, this balm works like a sitz bath and speeds recovery time.
#3 – Nipple balm – Probably nothing will shock your nipples more than breastfeeding. Especially first-time mamas. Nipples will feel dry. They might even crack, ooze, and bleed. And it hurts. Protect nipples from day one with a protective and nourishing balm.
- Lansinoh HPA Lanolin – Lanolin comes from sheep's wool and it's a classic remedy for preventing and healing sore, dry cracked nipples.
- Motherlove nipple cream with calendula – If you prefer a plant based remedy with some herbal power, this nipple cream is safe for baby and a relief for mama.
#5 – Electrolyte drinks and drinking straws – Water kefir, coconut water, or simply filtered water with a pinch of sea salt and a squeeze of lemon for laboring and breastfeeding moms. Straws provide that extra comfort when she's just too tired to lift her head.
#6 – Non traditional stool softener – While stool softeners can be handy during postpartum, many natural ones on the market contain an herb called senna. Senna is aggressive and drying, not what you're going for. Especially for a postpartum mama.
Instead, soften stool the right way with magnesium and plenty of Bifido bacteria. While these supplements often promote a healthy bowel movement, they're also calming. What's more, they get to the root of hard stool – like stress, gut dysbiosis, or magnesium deficiency.
Or for a special touch, mix up your own blend. Avoid mints which may reduce milk supply. Some good herbs to include are:
- Oat straw – Soothes the nerves, promotes hydration.
- Red raspberry leaf – Helps to tone and heal the uterus. High in calcium and other minerals. Bitter, so use sparingly.
- Catnip – While this may get your cat stoned, it also has a wonderful soothing effect on mom's nervous system without the disorientation.
- Fenugreek – Promotes lactation and increases milk supply.
- Hibiscus – Fruity, red, and refreshing. High in vitamin C.
- Chamomile – Calming.
Anything I've missed? Tell me what you'd add to a birth and postpartum care package.