When you meet a new mama, as women, one of the first conversations we’re likely to have is about the birth: what was planned vs. what happened? How did you feel? How are you now? This is a unifying conversation because most women have a different experience that what they’d envisioned, no matter if they chose a home birth, hospital birth, or something else entirely. One of the things most women don’t talk about, however, is how they feel after having an unplanned C-section, and how they find healing after what can be a disempowering experience.
C Section Healing with Johanna’s Rose Magic
One third of births in the United States today are via Caesarean section, sometimes planned, other times a last minute effort to safely bring baby into this world. Despite feeling gratitude and joy for the safe arrival of a sweet baby, having a c-section can be a traumatic or difficult experience if it was not the intended birth plan. One of my dear friends, Jen Carpenter, a gifted yoga teacher, Reiki practitioner, and avid outdoors woman, had this experience. She navigated her pregnancy with the utmost care, choosing healthy foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining a spiritual practice and connection to the earth. She was a textbook “perfect pregnancy,” but when it came time to deliver her sweet baby girl Johanna, her plan for an unmedicated vaginal birth went by the wayside as doctors determined a surgical birth was necessary.
Balm for Belly Birth
Healing Salve for Surgical Incision Scars
Jen described the experience to me as she explained what inspired her to create Johanna’s Wild Rose Magic, a healing salve for surgical birth scars. She said:
When Johanna was born via emergency cesarean, I was totally devastated. for weeks I couldn’t even look at photos of natural births. (I follow a lot of mamas and doulas on IG!) It took me a long time to grieve the birth we didn’t get to have and to accept that the birth we did have was meant to be. It took me even longer to be comfortable in my body again, and to face the incision scar.When I started looking into connecting with and healing the scar, I couldn’t find any products or resources, so I was inspired to make my own. Knowing other mamas — a third of American mamas! — go through surgical birth, most without much support or postpartum care, inspired me to share this salve as a love offering, a ‘hey, you’re not alone — let’s make it better!’ Because even if the surgery was planned or desired, it’s still a major trauma for the body and a road to recovery that deserves extra lovingkindness, sisterhood, and the incredible medicinal benefits of our plant allies. This salve is a way of re-sacredizing the birth experience for cesarean moms: through gentle daily self-massage, we are able to be with the wound, to meditate on its healing, and to return to a place of self-love in our postnatal bodies.
Changing the Way Women View C Section
Postpartum Healing through Herbalism
I talked with Jen about how she knew she was heading on the right path with creating Johanna’s Rose Magic. Her reply: “It’s been a process of falling in love all over again. I’ve been on the path of the healer for many years, and worn many different hats: reiki master, yoga instructor, outdoor adventure guide. I fell away from all of that as I went on my own journey towards self-healing versus the path of service I had been on before. I had taken an herbalism training in 2012 and been intensely interested in plants then, and truly connected to the essences and specific magic of the healing plants on a two week wilderness fast in 2013, after which my focus was healing others, healing my community. so when I walked away from that needing my own deep healing, those plants were right there for me as if I had never stepped away from them. It was an immediate and requited love.
I am inspired by the medicine of being in wild places. every time we step into the more-than-human world, we heal: sometimes it’s through connecting with a plant ally, and sometimes it’s just about breathing deeply and walking with the earth in a deliberate and attentive way.”
Belly Birth Healing
If you want to try this amazing balm, know a mama who would benefit from a healing salve for her belly birth scar, this is the perfect gift! You can find Johanna’s Rose Magic on Etsy at johannasrosemagic.etsy.com.
Connect with Jen
You can also connect with Jen via Instagram (@wildrosemagic) to learn more about postpartum healing, herbalism, and follow her journey into motherhood. This fierce woman, whose spirit animal is a mountain lion, continues to inspire me daily. I asked Jen five things she can’t live without and she said: “outdoor adventures with my baby, pine trees, craft beer and local breweries, the way of council ceremony/women’s circles, and rose absolute essential oil.” Sounds like someone you’d be friends with? Go connect!
Leave me a comment and let me know: how was your birth? How do you feel now about your C-section scar? What has helped you on your path to healing?Tags: c section, healing, herbalism, mamahood, wellness