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Post-partum Recovery the Natural Way

Photo © Motherlove

Photo © Motherlove

My hope for my second birth was to have an unmedicated vaginal birth. That had been my plan for my first birth as well, but those plans quickly went to the wayside when I developed HELLP syndrome, a severe form of pre-eclampsia that caused my liver and kidneys to start failing and led to an emergency c-section.

Because of my history, my second pregnancy was considered high-risk, which meant I not only sought the care of an obstetrician, but maternal fetal medicine specialists as well. It also meant I chose to give birth in a local hospital, rather than at home or in a birthing center, where my chances for a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) would have been much higher.

The hospital where I delivered had a 90% rate of repeat c-sections, so I sensed that the odds were against me having a vaginal birth at all, let alone an unmedicated one. But thanks to the support of my husband, the guidance of our doula, the willingness of our doctor and — perhaps most of all — my personal determination, I got the natural childbirth that I wanted to experience.

When my elation over this achievement died down, I still faced a short road to recovery. Recovering from an unmedicated vaginal birth is clearly easier than recovering from a medicated one or a c-section, but it isn’t an easy or pleasant experience. My birth had left me with a second-degree tear and some awful hemorrhoids that left me very uncomfortable, to say the least.

One thing that I found tremendously helpful during this time was a sitz bath, which I started doing while I was in the hospital and continued for a week or so at home afterward as well. The sitz bath helped me recover not just physically but mentally as well, as it gave me some much-needed time to myself during my recovery.

At home, I started using Motherlove’s Sitz Bath Concentrate in my baths, which I found to be much more soothing than water alone. You can read my full review of this product here, but suffice it to say that it was a welcome addition to my post-partum care.

What are some of your favorite natural post-partum products?

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