Saturday, June 8, 2013

If You're Pregnant, You'll Want This Post-Partum!!!!

I remember the first time I read about after pains. I was reading Susun Weed's Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year. I came to the part about remedies for after pains, and I thought to myself, "You mean I'm going to keep having contractions after the baby is born this time?!" I told myself that it couldn't be that bad. Oh the naiveté...

As some of you out there know, I gave birth to my second baby about a week ago, and I can now tell you that after pains are extremely painful. For the first day or so, the after pains kicked my butt. I kept thinking, "How do you c-sections mom do this? After pains and surgery recovery?! Ow, ow ow!" I didn't have any of the herbs around that Susun Weed recommends. So I hopped online before taking one of my naps though and found out that you can use helichrysum and lavender essential oils to help the uterus contract postpartum. I had both of them on hand and mixed 1 drop helichrysum and 3 drops lavender and rubbed it on my lower back and did the same for my abdomen. Lo and behold, the after pains started to decrease! 

By about day four postpartum, the after pains were gone. The other thing I found that you can do with helichrysum oil is use it to heal stitches and tears to the perineum and reduce postpartum bleeding. This time, I had some minor tearing. Nothing that needed suturing, but I was feeling a bit uncomfortable. Oh. My. Goodness. You would not believe how amazing helichrysm is for tears. It's like instant relief! Put a few drops on a pad. Where was this stuff when I was sitting on stitches in the NICU with my first?! It's nice and cooling. By day six, I was mostly healed up and no longer sensitive. 

If you're pregnant or know someone who is, I really can't recommend helichrysum oil enough for the recovery period. It has made a huge difference in my postpartum recovery the second time around.

Update December 2015: You can get helichrysum essential oil through DoTerra or Young Living Essential Oils representative. I also recommend Butterfly Express, Mountain Rose and Aura Cacia brands.  I have used both their brands and like them. I personally recommend buying off of Amazon for Butterfly Express. Butterfly Express was the particular brand I used postpartum, and I was obviously very happy with the results. =) After several difficulties using the ordering system from BE, I recommend saving yourself some hassle and buying off Amazon. The price differential isn't that significant, but it's sooooo much easier ordering BE's oils off Amazon than directly from their store. I also recommend Aura Cacia as another brand to try.

One thing to note about Aura Cacia is that they carry some pre-blended oils. These come already diluted with a carrier oil. I haven't tried these and I don't know what they would be like for after pains or tear relief. I like to dilute my own oils, personally. But if you're in a pinch and this is all you can find quickly, it might be worth a try. One of the nice things about Aura Cacia's oils is that they are often sold in local, regional and national health foods stores like Sprouts and Whole Foods, though the particular oils they stock can vary. If you need an essential oil immediately, you can often buy Aura Cacia oils with a quick trip to the store. (Been there, done that.) You can also buy all different brands online at Amazon. Here are some for comparison.

I have also had great experiences with Mountain Rose's essential oils. They don't carry many blends, but in my opinion, they are a great place to get singles like helichrysum. You'll note that their helichrysum is designated with the botanical name Helichrysum italicum while Butterfly Express' is designated by the botanical name Helichrysum angustifolium. Based on some research, it seems that the two names are synonyms and that they both have very similar healing properties. Here is a link to Mountain Rose's helichrysum single.

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