Ask The Placenta Lady is a show about the birth year. Pregnancy, birth, and postpartum recovery – no question is too strange for The Placenta Lady!
Our question for this episode is: “I hear that vaginal birth can kind of wreak havoc ‘down there’. What can I do right away to help my vulva feel better after the birth?”.
We cover SO many comfort measures in this episode! Tips and tricks for immediate comfort in the postpartum recovery, including suggestions for healing the perineum, hemorrhoids (yikes), and how to take the sting out of urinating.
You have to see what Allison suggests as a novel use of a banana!
Listen to the podcast:
Welcome to another episode of Ask the Placenta Lady. My name is Jodi, but I’m usually just called the Placenta Lady. In fact, I just came from a couple of clients, so I am in my Placenta Lady outfit right now. <laughs>
I’ve worked with new moms since about 2006, and I’ve heard pretty much every question under the sun, which is why we say, “No question is too strange for the Placenta Lady.”
Joining me today is Allison Castaneda. Allison is a PBi Placenta Encapsulation Specialist® in North Aurora, Illinois.
[Allison] : Hi, thank you for having me. Like you said, I do placenta encapsulation in North Aurora and all the surrounding areas. I also do doula services and I work with women, and teaching them childbirth education classes through Informed Beginnings.
Informed Beginnings is a company that is kind of like Bradley or Lamaze in that way. They have their own ideas. It is partner-based coaching as far as birth coaching goes. It does focus on natural birth, but the idea of Informed Beginnings is informed choices for the birth that you’re given. We really try and set mothers up to be able to make the best choices for them in the moment.
[Jodi] : Thanks, Allison. We’re going to be relying on some of your various skill sets here for this episode of Ask the Placenta Lady!
Our question for this episode is, “I hear that vaginal birth can kind of wreak havoc ‘down there’. What can I do right away to help my vulva feel better after the birth?”, which is an amazing question. We have lots of suggestions for you to prepare for that and to help your immediate physical recovery once you deliver via vaginal birth.
I love frozen pads for those first few days after you deliver your baby. You can actually unwrap them, unfold them, and then you can sprinkle them. Some people use straight water. You can use straight Witch Hazel, or you can use a combination of those. Some people even mix in various Essential Oils and things, but I love Witch Hazel. You just wet the pad until it’s damp, and then you can stack them and put them in a Ziploc and put them right in the freezer. They will make the entire area feel better immediately. Make up several sets of these before your baby arrives and you’ll be all set once you have the baby.
Witch Hazel also works amazingly well for hemorrhoids. You can buy the hemorrhoid pads at the store – Tucks is a typical brand, but it’s easy to make your own. It’s probably going to be a little bit cheaper for you. If you like that style, you can get the gauze bandages, and you can also just soak those with Witch Hazel, roll them up, and tuck them between your cheeks or wherever you are feeling that discomfort, and they are going to help directly on contact. That’s immediate relief.
Stock up on Depends
Another suggestion that I always give postpartum people is go ahead and just buy Depends. They are the disposable underwear. They’re going to be super helpful for you in those first few days when you’re recovering from childbirth and delivery. Then you don’t have to mess with pads and you’re not going to ruin your own underwear. They may be hideous-looking, but they’re super helpful. Stock up on some Depends. They’re going to be a lifesaver during those first few days when you have a very heavy flow with the lochia.
Ice, Ice Baby
If you deliver in a hospital and you want to use ice directly on your vulva, perineum, that whole area, you can also just put straight ice from the hospital into a newborn diaper and tuck that inside those mesh panties that they give you. Also a fabulous fashion statement, but it’s really going to help your whole vulva area feel better immediately. You can even take a couple of those home from the hospital if you didn’t grab Depends and use those at home as well.
Take The Sting Out
If it hurts to urinate immediately after delivery, get a squeeze bottle and fill it with water, or warm water. Keep that right near the toilet so when you sit on the toilet and you start to go, you just squeeze that area toward the top of your vulva area where your urethral opening is, and then you can release. It just really helps cut the feeling of that stinging down and can be a real relief in those early days when you’re recovering.
Allison, do you have some suggestions to contribute?
[Allison] : Those are great suggestions. I definitely suggest all those to my clients and my students.
Use a Banana Peel
Something else that’s fun that not many people know about is banana peel. The inside part that would be touching the actual fruit that you eat is full of potassium. If you take about an inch cut out of the banana peel, tuck it between your cheeks, it gives really great hemorrhoid relief.
Things like perineum tea are wonderful. You can make the pad-sicles that you mention with the perineum tea instead of water, or just Witch Hazel. You can mix the perineum tea with the Witch Hazel. You can put those in those spray peri bottles that you mentioned. That really helps speed healing.
Things like golden salves, it’s made out of a herb called goldenseal, is something that most of the midwives I know swear by. Using those golden salves are, from personal experience, top-notch.
Really, the last thing I always suggest is making sure you stay hydrated. The more hydrated you are, the more quickly your tissues heal. Also, the more hydrated you are, the more diluted your urine is. Even though you are potentially urinating more frequently, the urine itself is more diluted so that stinging is not as prevalent as if you are trying to avoid drinking to avoid urinating.
[Jodi] : That is a really great tip. I always try and push hydration on my clients, especially if you are using your placenta for your postpartum recovery and you’re taking the placenta capsules. It is so essential to stay hydrated with the use of the capsules as well. When I tell my clients instructions for how to take the capsules, I always say, “Please drink at least a full glass or a bottle of water with every single dose, and then making sure that you stay hydrated.” Hydration is so essential for milk production, for your recovery, everything. Sometimes when we don’t have babies yet, we can kind of slack on it, but it is so important for that postpartum recovery for sure.
[Jodi] : Thanks for being on the show today, Allison.
[Allison] : Thank you so much for having me, Jodi.
[Jodi] : If people want to reach you, how would they do that?
[Allison] : My business is called Mother Lovin’ Doula Services. It incorporates all of my business services; the placenta encapsulation as well as my doula services and my childbirth education courses. They can go to my Facebook page, Mother Lovin’ Doula Services. They can also go to my website, which is www.MotherLovinDoulaServices.com.
[Jodi] : That’s awesome, Allison. Thank you so much.
[Allison] : Thank you.
– And thank you for tuning in to this episode of Ask the Placenta Lady. You can find us on the Web at AskthePlacentaLady.com. We would love to hear your questions.
If you would like to find a PBi Placenta Encapsulation Specialist® in your area, an easy URL for that is just Placenta.Directory.
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I’m linking to a few product options so you can find what you need to prepare for your physical postpartum recovery. These are the ones either myself or Allison have used personally in the past, and will be a good starting point for you!