Those of you who know me are asking how whether you should eat your placenta or not hasn’t been covered already.
Those of you who don’t know me:
Placentas are cool. Like, seriously freakin’ cool. This neato organ develops and grows with a baby in utero. It acts as a nutrient deliverer, toxin remover, immune building lifeline for the developing fetus. Plus, it’s edible.
It’s literally all that and a bag of placenta chips (if you choose to go down that route, of course).
Okay, I’ve now made two inferences to consuming this amazing body part. You’re probably wondering WTF?!
Fair enough, but let me explain.
Health benefits if you choose to eat your placenta:
This is a highly debated subject amongst Western and Chinese cultures. Traditional Chinese medicine has been practicing placenta consumption for hundreds of years and believes it has many benefits. Most Western medicine practitioners, however, tend to be more skeptical and don’t promote it often. Most of the information surrounding the efficacy of if you should eat your placenta is anecdotal in Western society.
I suggest you do your research, but keep an open mind. There isn’t hard, scientific fact surrounding the benefits if you eat your placenta so you have to make your own conclusion on the matter. My opinion is that it worked for me, and I would suggest it for most women who have just given birth!
Personally, I’ve done it after three births. I experienced most of the noted benefits, although I did experience post-partum depression with my third and fourth babies (keep in mind that I’ve also struggled with anxiety and depression for many years-so post-partum depression was probably inevitable to some degree).
-added to a meal (maybe don’t disclose to anyone who’s eating at your house that you’ve done this before)
I opted for encapsulation each time. The placenta gets sliced, dehydrated, and ground up. Then, the powder gets put into capsules. You can definitely do this yourself, but I arranged with a doula while I was pregnant to have her do all the hard work. I figured I’d done enough hard work and didn’t need to add any more pressure on myself. Before my placenta was taken to my lovely doula I snagged a small piece of raw placenta to add to a smoothie while I waited for my capsules. I added enough delicious berries and yogurt to not taste a single bit of that placenta.
**Note: Nobody wants a sip of your placenta smoothie. Don’t offer.
When she brought back my 2 month supply of pills I was thrilled! I took them faithfully every day and was happy with the results.
Have you experienced placenta consumption? Tell me how you did it!
You’ve probably heard of a sitz bath being part of your postpartum care routine, but you’re also probably wondering what the heck it actually is.
Allow me to explain:
Your perineum is the space between your vaginal opening and your anus. It’s a sensitive spot (as to be expected) and is also the most ravaged spot of your body as you push your baby out of your vagina. While your perineum is meant to stretch to accommodate for large things going out (i.e. baby) or large things going in (i.e. *insert raised eyebrows and knowing smile*) it is apt to tear.
You can prepare your perineum by following the guidelines in this post but even then you may suffer some pretty severe tears, or, at the very least, discomfort from the significant stretching that was required to push that baby of yours out.
Your perineum is a rockstar and after the birth of your baby it needs an extra little bit of tender loving care. Enter: Sitz bath!
Who needs a sitz bath?
Well, I mean, ANYONE really can use a sitz bath. It’s meant to clean the perineum and provide relief from any discomfort, itching, or irritation. Some folks who have just given birth may opt to use one, as well as someone who’s enjoying the wonder that is haemorrhoids.
What do you need for a sitz bath?
There are very few things that you need for a sitz bath, however, it’s nice to have it prepared before baby comes so that you have these things ready and available for the exact time that you need them:
-clean bathtub (get your partner or support person to give it a good scrub before you go in. Use a little bit of bleach to make sure that you’ve killed all bacteria that may be in there. The last thing you’re going to need right now is an infection!)
-additives to the bath (optional) that you can purchase here or make on your own using ingredients such as witch hazel, calendula, lavender essential oil, epsom salts, salt, chamomile.
How to have a sitz bath
First things first: this is your self-care time! You’re taking care of the lovely perineum of yours but you can also turn this into a pleasant experience for yourself.
Hand the baby off to someone else if you are able to do so. If not, bring baby into the bathroom and either lay them on a blanket beside the bathtub or in a bassinet-wherever you can reach them if you need to and however you feel most comfortable.
Fill the bathtub about 1/3 of the way full with warm water. Avoid making this too hot or you’ll probably feel some discomfort.
Add the various herbs if you’ve chosen to do so.
Sit in the bathtub for about 20 minutes. Add some more warm water if you feel like it’s getting too cold for you.
Once you get out make sure to pat dry (don’t rub….ouch!!) or wear your birthday suit for a while and dry off au naturel.
Do this 3-4 times a day unless you’re finding it irritating to your perineum
While a sitz bath can promote healing in your postpartum body if you aren’t enjoying them try and find another way to let your body heal. The key to healing your perineum is to make sure that it’s clean, dry, and not irritated. There are many ways that you can do this so a sitz bath is only one option.
Did you use sitz baths after your birth? What were your favourite things to add? Please share recipes in the comments below to share with fellow new parents!
Now that you’ve had your baby you can’t help but be reminded that your baby did come out of your vagina and you’re looking for some relief.
When it comes to postpartum care of your wonderful vagina after a vaginal birth there are some do’s and don’t’s. Of course, these are suggestions from a person who’s experienced vaginal birth, but I’m not a midwife or doctor. If you have concerns PLEASE go to your healthcare professional.
Do’s and Don’ts of taking care of your vagina after vaginal birth
–Use tampons or a diva cup for around 6 weeks and after the a-ok from your health care provider. Once you’ve got the all clear you may not even have to worry about your period for quite some time like some incredibly fortunate folks with a uterus….but if you’re like some other less fortunate folks (ahem) you’re looking at a super 3 months before you’re right back to your monthly blessing. Anyways, I digress…
–Use scented products. These can be bothersome to your bits and your body truly doesn’t need any more irritation.
–Overexert yourself physically. Your body JUST PUSHED A BABY OUT OF IT. Allow yourself some time to rest. If you don’t you may find that your lochia flow (the discharge experienced after giving birth) may increase, which is your body’s way of asking you to slow down. You may also find that if you don’t have some time to recover you may irritate any stitches you have…it’s just not worth it.
-Use toilet paper. You got yourself a neato Peri-bottle from the hospital or midwife and that baby works like a mini bidet. Even the softest toilet paper can feel like sandpaper on your poor vagina, so some warm water to rinse yourself off after using the toilet will be absolutely heavenly.
–Use organic cotton menstrual pads if possible. I mentioned above about heavily scented products being irritating. Heavily chemical-laden products can have the same effect. Even if you don’t normally use organic products for your menses it’s a good idea to do so immediately after vaginal birth; you’re likely a little lot tender and possibly torn up. It’s worth a bit of a splurge for your bad-ass vagina to have some organic comfort.
-Have sitz baths as often as you can. Pass off that baby to the nearest bystander (or, ya know, the Postpartum Doula that you hired) and get yourself to the bathroom. You can have a sitz bath in your bathtub or with a kit that attaches to the toilet. Either way you do it you’ll likely find some relief from any swelling and discomfort.
There are some folks who add botanicals and such to their sitz bath but make sure to talk to your healthcare professional before doing that. However, if you’re looking for a good brand “Earth Mama Angel” has a great reputation. I’ve used a few of their products and have enjoyed the simplicity of the ingredients.
-Use stool softeners, if necessary. Don’t use them if not necessary, because, why would you? However, if you’re finding it difficult to have those first postpartum poos you may want to consider talking to your healthcare provider about some stool softeners if the classic: loads of water, prunes, fruits and vegetables, a bit of wine, and flax seeds aren’t doing the trick.
Bearing down while you’re trying to poop will just add more pressure to your perineum which will ultimately cause more pain and swelling.
–Use Witch hazel. Witch hazel saved my perineum. I found that dabbing a bit directly on my perineum or wearing a pad with Witch hazel on it gave me some relief. You can grab standard Witch hazel from your local pharmacy or buy premade pads (along with everything else you’d ever need for relief through the suggested products).
**If you have extra Witch hazel left over you can use it as a toner on your face:)
–Use cooling pads or ice packs. Or, if you’re a bit of a baby like me, run a cloth under cold water, ring it out, and apply it to your perineum. I hated using ice and that was a happy compromise between my preferences and what Google was telling me I should be doing.
–Wear loose, comfortable undies. I know, I know…you’re saying: “Oh, but I was SO looking forward to wearing my sexiest negligee and thong combo that I just couldn’t fit into until the baby was born”, but trust me on this one.
If you didn’t manage to grab some of those super sexy disposable mesh undies from someone at your birth you can grab them on Amazon. If mesh undies don’t tickle your fancy make sure to wear cotton undies so that your vagina can BREATHE! Once again, the irritation potential is strong after you’ve had a vaginal birth, so doing everything you can to avoid it is vital.
Also, don’t get too attached to your postpartum panty possessions (this post was lacking alliteration) as they’ll likely get quite soiled.
– Complain loudly because that provides the most relief possible and because you deserve to do that, dammit!
Okay, so I took that out of the “How to deal with hemmorhoids” post that I wrote, but I feel like the same applies in both situations. Allow yourself to have time to complain to whoever you need to listen (except your Mom-she’ll just tell you that “karma’s a bitch, honey.”), even if it’s just your sweet little baby who has no idea of the trauma she’s just inflicted to your body.
That last one is kinda my favourite and for me the most effective way of feeling better, but truly, using a few of these methods should help alleviate some of your pain.
If you’re finding that the pain is unbearable or isn’t getting better after a few weeks do be sure to check in with your health care professional.
You’re nearing that time when your baby might possibly be arriving.
Ya, that entire 6-week stretch when you constantly have people saying ignorant comments to your beautifully ginormous belly like “Oh, you STILL haven’t had your baby?”. (No judgment from me on how you respond to this one, by the way.)
You’ve done all the things to prepare for the arrival of this tiny human:
-made sweet, yet to the point signs for the front door directing people to “Kindly fuck off. I just had a baby and you shouldn’t be just showing up like this.”
-done vagina yoga
Yep. I said “vagina yoga”.
Let’s face it. Your vagina plays a pretty significant role in this whole childbirth thing and you should probably prepare her for what’s about to come (’cause it ain’t nothing like the cum she clearly already knows!!)
How to prepare your vagina for childbirth
Become acquainted with your bod
Your body is capable of some pretty freakin’ incredible things, namely growing and expelling another human from it. Get to know your anatomy so that you are aware of everything that’s going on throughout your pregnancy and during labour. When the midwife tells you that your cervix looks great you’re going to want to know what they’re talking about (also, having a cervix that “looks great” when you’re in labour is a really good thing.)
Having an understanding of what’s going on and when will give you an opportunity to prepare for what the next phase might be in your labour.
Kegels, kegels, kegels
Unfortunately, between your kiddo living in your pelvis for the last 3 million months of pregnancy and the extreme pressure of childbirth your pelvic floor can become damaged.
Often times, when this pelvic floor is damaged the result can be incontinence, which is actually a lot less fun than it sounds.
Talk to your midwife or doctor about how to properly do a kegel. Building these pelvic muscles during pregnancy can prevent you from embarrassing situations such as peeing when you’re laughing, sneezing, running, coughing, walking, sitting, breathing….you get my drift.
Embrace that your vagina will never be the same again
That said, it won’t be all that different. It’s a safe assumption that after a ginormous baby passes through your perfectly sized vagina (yes, I said that to reassure everyone that they have a perfectly sized vagina) that your vagina will resemble a gaping black hole.
Not the case.
Assure your partner(s) that your vagina will go back to normal (or at least pretty darn close to it) and they won’t be throwing a hot dog down a hallway *insert eye roll here*
You will notice a physical difference if you’ve had tearing and/or an episiotomy. The scars will fade considerably, but you may have some tenderness for quite some time. If you’re planning on some sexy time just make sure you’re using lots of lube and going slow (especially in the first while after giving birth.)
Check out your vagina with a mirror. Yep, I’m talking prop up a leg or lay in the bed with a handheld mirror between those divine legs of yours. Check out what you look like before and after (take a photo, if you’re so inclined). Mostly, this is helpful when you’re checking on your stitches so you can make sure that everything is A-ok down there. If it’s not and something is visibly or physically “off”, make sure you get checked out ASAP.
*Yeah, I’m a Pro. I’ve done this 4 times, people. My vagina has tales to tell.
Speak kindly to your vagina
For real. Your vagina is able to do this. Childbirth seems obscene. Like, ‘Are you freakin’ kidding me that’s going to come out of there?’ obscene, but you’re going to be fine.
Our brains listen to the things we tell it. Keep telling your vagina that things will be okay. Visualize your vagina opening up to allow for your baby to come into the world. This is some real hippy-dippy shit, but true story…it’s legit.
Do vagina yoga
Yes. This is the one that everyone’s been waiting for.
Well, vagina yoga isn’t actually a thing-it’s a phrase I made up, but Perineum Massage is most definitely a thing.
Basically, you’re going to be slooooooooooooowly stretching the perineum (the area between your vagina and anus) over time so that the skin is a little more soft and “stretchy”. This can be done on your own or with a partner.
Old wives tales are, for the most part, ridiculous. While some may prove to be true, most aren’t. In fact, most are so off the wall that you can’t help but laugh.
Be warned though, there are some firm believers in old wives tales. You will get your pregnant ass reamed for the silliest things.
These are the funniest and most off-the-wall old wives tales about pregnancy that are sure to give you a good laugh!
You can’t get pregnant while on top.
If you want to get it on but not get pregnant, all you have to do is climb on top! Sorry gals, that’s just not true. You definitely CAN get pregnant while on top. Go ahead and avoid using this method of birth control. If you are trying to conceive, then go ahead and get on top and go for it!
You will have a girl if you get pregnant while on top.
Ok, wait? I thought you couldn’t get pregnant while on top? But if you do you will be giving birth to a bouncing baby girl? It would seem someone got their wires crossed while making up this ridiculous shit. The position you conceive in will NOT influence whether you are having a boy or girl. Sorry to burst your bubble if you are trying for a little girl. Hey, you can go ahead and try anyway right?
Women have to orgasm to conceive.
Ok, if this were true there would be a lot fewer people in this would. Seriously, who comes up with this? Sperm can do its job without you having a mind-blowing orgasm. Obviously you should want to have an orgasm every single time you have sex. But, don’t stress if you just didn’t get there. You can absolutely still conceive. Also, do not use this method as a form of birth control.
Taking a bath can drown your fetus.
This one has many different versions. You can’t take a bath because you will drown your unborn child. Or you will taint your amniotic fluid and your baby will come out looking like Frankenstein. Either way, it’s not true. Your baby already has fluid in their lungs. They get oxygen from your placenta. You can safely take a bath while pregnant, as long as your water temperature isn’t too hot! Keep that water temperature under 98 degrees and you are good to go.
You can’t put your hands above your head.
The tale is that if you put your hands above your head the umbilical cord will wrap around your unborn baby’s neck. That is not true. Not only is it not true, it’s just pure bull shit. Rest assured you can put your hands up or down and your baby will be just fine.
A pregnant woman must eat whatever she craves.
I remember while being pregnant with my first baby. I worked with very superstitious women who believed this was true. Normally the tale says if you don’t eat what you crave they baby will be born with a sty in their eye. Or the baby could have a birthmark of the food you craved.
Their beliefs went beyond that and thought that I would be risking my baby’s life. This is very untrue. The only thing that will happen if you do not eat everything you crave while pregnant, is a bad mood.
Don’t look at anything ugly.
If you look at ANYTHING ugly while pregnant your baby will be U-G-L-Y. Wait, what? No. Just no.
Wearing high heels will make your baby cross-eyed.
My best guess is that some pregnant lady was supposed to wear heels to work and didn’t want to. So she came up with this insane story to get out of wearing heels! This is 100% untrue. If you feel the need to use this excuse to wear whatever shoes you want, go ahead.
Baby girls steal your beauty.
Feeling extra ugly this pregnancy? That’s because you are having a girl! It is said that a baby girl will straight suck that glow right from your face. You will have dry hair and ugly skin. Your baby girl will come out stunning and radiant leaving you looking like Medusa. Not true. If you are looking like a swamp thing this pregnancy you still could be having a baby boy.
Which old wives tale is your favorite? Are you a firm believer in any of these?
Written by Sirri McNeil for Modern Day Hippie Mama
(Before I begin this story, I am going to add a little disclaimer and let y’all know that I’m not a doctor and the following anecdote should not replace medical advice.)
On the “crunchy” scale I sit comfortably at about a 7.2.
I like organic food, but I also like bright pink cotton candy ice cream. I hang my laundry to dry, but I’ll also drive my kids to the park half a kilometer away.
You get the drift.
When it comes to natural medicine I always try a natural treatment before using conventional medicine, but I’m not opposed to using some good ol’ Tylenol when necessary, or when I’ve had too much wine the night before.
Now, the majority of us lovely ladies have had some experience with a yeast infection. If you haven’t, you’re the luckiest human on the planet and I hate you a little bit.
When I felt some telltale itching one day I decided to pull out the ol’ Book of Natural Medicine. It advised to create a “garlic tampon”.
Well, now that sounded intriguing.
I consulted with Dr. Google and confirmed that this was an appropriate thing to do.
It was on the internet so I knew it must be okay!
I made myself a lovely garlic tampon and carefully inserted it into my unsuspecting vagina. There didn’t seem to be any immediate reaction.
5 minutes later, however, I could TASTE garlic. I consulted Dr. Google once more (and then deleted my search history) and discovered that this was, indeed, a common side effect of having garlic in your vagina.
This got me thinking: If I could taste the garlic in my vagina…why doesn’t my mouth always tastes like my vagina? Or maybe it does taste like my vagina but I always just thought that’s how my mouth tasted? Does my vagina taste like garlic when I put garlic in my mouth? So many questions…
I pondered this for quite some time. I snapped out of it when my toddler brought me a handful of her own feces.
In the end, the garlicy insert was successful. I believe I just insulted my vagina enough for her to make some changes in her PH, but nonetheless, it worked.
With some individual research and a trip to a non-Google doctor I would recommend any woman that experiences yeast gives this a try. Actually, I would recommend that any woman that doesn’t experience yeast gives this a try, too.
This won’t work for you if you’re uncomfortable with putting food items into your vagina, or you’re having sex with a vampire.
Otherwise, go ahead and try out nature’s yeast cure. Make yourself some organic pasta (go big or go home, friend), and enjoy some subtle hints of garlic without having to add any to the sauce.