As I'm coming to the end of my pregnancy, my mind is in "prep-mode". By nature I'm a very organized person (at least I LIKE to be, because it helps me stay calm and collected). Lists are probably my favorite tools when it comes to keeping calm with everything that I need to get done. The last couple weeks I've been searching Pinterest for different things I need to have done before baby arrives. Even though I've had 2 babies within the last 3 years, It's still nice to have everything fresh in my mind as I start my last month of pregnancy. It's also nice to have things prepped before baby shows up so that afterwords I don't have to do much prep and can focus on bonding with my newborn. I also want to make things as easy as I can for David. Being a man, he doesn't read as much about all these things as I do. I want to do as much as I can beforehand so that he can help me out afterwords without getting lost on what he needs to do.
One very helpful thing to either buy or prep ahead of time is a sitz bath. For any women who will deliver vaginally, this will be one of the best ways to help you heal and recover. I knew about sitz baths with my last 2 deliveries, but I didn't think much of them and figured I'll just soak in a bath tub with some salt after I give birth. Although I didn't have too hard of a time recovering the last 2 times, this time I decided to do everything I could to help me heal. Having been either pregnant or nursing without any breaks for the last 3 years, I can really feel how my body needs some extra love and help healing.
What is a sitz bath you ask? It's the process of "sitting" in a little tub in warm water to help your downstairs heal after a vaginal delivery. If you search online, you'll find special equipment you can put on your toilet for this. I've read its more comfortable to just fill a tub 1/3 to 1/2 with water and just relax in that rather than use an actual sitz bath tub, so that's the route I'm going with. Modern day sitz baths can be done in a normal bathtub and actually enjoyed with the newborn. Commonly just warm water is needed for a sitz bath, but adding unrefined salt and herbs helps the healing process.
Originally I was going to buy a pre-made packet of herbs to use after I give birth, but when the natural store I went to didn't carry it, I quickly looked up a recipe on pinterest and just got the ingredients the store carried that the recipe called for.
So here is my sitz bath recipe that I'm going to use and how I prepped it.
- 2oz Chamomile
- 2oz Yarrow Herb
- 2oz Calendula
- 2oz Lavender
- 8-9 oz Unrefined Seas Salt (Very Important that its unrefined and sea salt. That's what has the most nutrients)
If you look up other herbs that help with healing, feel free to add those also. This isn't a cut and dry recipe, just what I was able to find in my local store.
My original plan was to mix all herbs and salt together, store them in a glass jar and steep 1-2 cups in the bath each day for the first week after I give birth. But I didn't like how all the herbs wouldn't mix evenly and the salt would fall to the bottom of the jar, so I decided to make my life after birth even easier. I decided to steep all herbs and salt together in a big pot, and then freeze the water in water bottles. When baby makes its grand entrance, I can either thaw a frozen bottle a day in advance or throw it in the bath tub and let the hot water melt it. When it thaws I'll just pour it out and mix with the rest of the bath tub water. Easy peesy.
I took 7 water bottles and poured them into a large pot and brought the water to a boil. After it came to a boil I moved the pot off the heat and waited about a minute for the water to stop boiling completely.
Add the salt and all herbs to the water and stir. make sure to stir for a good few minutes so all salt is dissolved. You can even add salt first and stir it to make sure it dissolves before adding the rest of the herbs.
Cover with a lid and let it stand. I let mine stand for 1.5-2 hours while I was prepping other things. You can go anywhere from 30 minutes to over night until the water is room temp.
This is optional if you don't want to wait for the water to come to room temp on its own. I filled my sink with ice cold water and added the pot to it. After about 20-30 minutes it was a decent temp.
Strain herbs. Make sure you do it in small amount so that you can squeeze all the water from the herbs.
Pour into water bottles and freeze. Make sure you don't fill the bottles completely to the top or else the bottle might bust when the water freezes and expands a little.
Optional: I put all the left over herbs into a gallon freezer bag and froze that also. In case I feel like I want to use them in a bath after all the bottled water is used up.