When preparing for a birth, it’s common for expecting parents to dive into books and classes about baby care or even parenting itself. However, as a culture, we often neglect one of the most important parts of this transition: how to care for the body and mind of a postpartum mother. As a birth doula, I have often seen the physical and emotional demands of the postpartum period take new parents by surprise. The trials of birth do not end at delivery. Alongside the joy of meeting your new baby comes an introduction to a new version of yourself, and that is no easy feat. Books like The First Forty Days by Heng Ou and The Fourth Trimester by Kimberly Ann Johnson have helped open up the conversation about the importance of postpartum support and recovery.
It takes a village, and people want to help—they just may not know how. I always tell my clients that when friends and family want to come visit the baby, one must not be shy about putting them to work. They have to earn their sweet baby cuddles! This DIY padsicle and healing bath soak recipe are easy ones to share with your support system. These padsicles can provide cool relief to the perineum post-birth, while the warm bath allows for relaxation to promote additional healing. Both are infused with yarrow, chamomile, lavender, and comfrey—medicinal herbs that have been used for thousands of years.
Depending on your stage of healing and other unique medical factors, it is recommended to consult a health-care professional before use.