Yo mamas! I’m writing a blog post about vaginas. That is super weird, but hey, we gotta talk about this stuff with our sisters, right? I am (at time of writing) four months postpartum and just now feeling like everything down there is back to normal… for the most part. There’s still a little question when I’m doing crazy plyometrics whether I will pee myself, but that’s a story for another day!
Healing Your Vagina After Childbirth
First, allow me to state that I am not a medical professional and most certainly not a vagina doctor, so if you’re going to apply any of these ideas to your lady bits, please consult first with your midwife or OB-GYN. Everything I am going to share is based on my own personal experience, and every body is different. So, you do you.
Postpartum Vaginal Recovery Tips
Ok guys, as you may know from reading Tanner’s birth story, I had a bit of tearing after baby. It sucked, but was totally worth it. I’d mentally prepared myself for that possibility, and also physically prepared by doing a few things – making padsicles and investing in a vaginal steam sauna. (Say what?!) My goals were not only to speed up my healing after having a vaginal childbirth, but also make myself as comfortable as possible during that time.
If you plan on having a vaginal delivery, do yourself a favor and stock your freezer with some padsicles (popsicles made with pads). I made mine with an overnight absorption pad with wings, and added some Earth Mama Angel Baby postpartum healing herbs potion and natural aloe to them for extra cooling goodness. I followed the recipe from their blog (check it out here) and they were AH-MA-ZING for the first 2-3 days after baby arrived. You could also make your own with witch hazel and aloe if you prefer. I made 15 and think I had 1-2 left over after using them for a few days.
“Down There” Care Products
There are lots of options for stuff to put on your parts after baby, but the essential is just the perineal spray bottle you will likely get from your hospital or birth center. You may want to invest in some Tuck’s pads (which are not for your vagina, they are for hemorrhoids but I’m not going to write a blog post called how to heal your butt-hole because that’s just gross.) I also loved the Earth Mama Angel Baby bottom balm and their perineal spray for the first two week postpartum.
If you don’t have a bathtub (which we don’t), you may want to invest in a sitz bath insert for your toilet. It’s basically a little bath for your bottom, into which you can put healing herbs that will help ease the tenderness of your booty and biscuit after baby arrives. Warm water (not HOT) and a ten minute soak will work wonders for your comfort level.
Vaginal steaming is a practice that’s been done forever in lots of other cultures, but doesn’t have a lot of recognition in the west. I met with Kelli Garza from Steamy Chick when I was still pregnant to talk about the “whys” of vaginal steaming – I had read her blog post about postpartum recovery and was fascinated! Steaming is not just for postpartum healing but for all sorts of womb healing and menstrual cycle regulation. If you want to learn more about the uses, please go visit Steamy Chick and educate yourself!
Anyway, for me, my goal was to help expel the postpartum lochia (tissue and uterine lining/blood) most efficiently, and also tighten and heal the outer and inner labia after pushing out my sweet baby boy. I started steaming 4 days postpartum with the approval of my midwife, and it was amazing. Basically, the steam sauna is a box with a hole in it that you can sit on. Inside is a one burner hot plate, upon which I put a ceramic pot with water and a package of healing herbs. I steamed for 30 days straight for 30 minutes a day (most days, some I could only squeeze 15 and some days I missed entirely because – baby) and noticed a few things that I thought were amazing
Benefits of Vaginal Steaming
- I had no bleeding after week 2
- After every steam, my lady bits felt tight, almost like how skin feels after getting a facial
- At six weeks, when husband and I tried to make love, things were definitely tight again (almost too tight)
- At 8 weeks, I was back to a regular & happy sex life
- Steaming has helped reduce the feeling of looseness and air bubbles significantly
Ladies, if you want to heal up your vagina, just do some freaking kegels. Do them religiously, like you hopefully did during pregnancy. Aim to do just 25 at a time, but do them every single time you think of it. Put post it notes in your car, bedroom and bathroom mirrors, and on your fridge. It will help SO MUCH in reducing the air bubbles and queef-y sensations down there, and also help your pelvic floor recover after baby.
I’d love to hear about any other postpartum vaginal healing ideas! I never thought I would say that sentence, but yeah! Love you mamas!