Presentation on theme: "More Natural Remedies for Postpartum Dee Anne Domnick, CPM, MH."— Presentation transcript:
More Natural Remedies for Postpartum Dee Anne Domnick, CPM, MH
Yoni Healing (Yoni is the Sanskrit word for women’s genitalia) Torn bottoms can often well heal with herbs rather than stitches.
Postpartum Sitz Bath I This is an herbal combination used after birth to help soothe and heal the mother's perineal/vaginal area, as well as to help heal baby's umbilical cord stump. SHEPHERD'S PURSE - this herb is an amazing blood coagulant and vasoconstrictor. Arrests internal and external bleeding after childbirth virtually immediately. High in oxytocin, it will help the uterus contract to clamp off blood vessels. This herb is best in its fresh form, but for this application, dried is just fine. COMFREY ROOT & LEAF - one of the best healing herbs of all time. It is not only soothing, but constrictive and healing for wounds, cuts, and tears. It is a cell proliferant and promotes speedy wound healing both inside and out and guards against scar tissue developing incorrectly. It is also very nourishing as it contains high amounts of digestible plant calcium, iron, protein (up to seven times more protein than soybeans), B vitamins, Vitamin A, as well as other nutrients necessary in rebuilding the body after childbirth. NOTE: If there is infection present, do not use Comfrey as it may heal the outside so quickly that it may heal over infected tissues inside. GARLIC - Herbal antibiotic. It is one of the most effective anti-microbial plants available, acting on bacteria, viruses and funguses, as well as alimentary parasites. Stimulates, builds and supports the immune system. Garlic is also helpful in increasing clotting time in the blood. One of the best herbs ever! MYRRH - stimulates the production of white blood corpuscles which has a direct anti-microbial effect. It is astringent, therefore it is very healing and antiseptic for any wound or abrasion. Relieves spasms, shrinks inflamed tissue, reduces pain and encourages healing. UVA URSI - kills bacteria in the bladder and will disinfect the urinary tract. One of the best herbs for bladder infection, even those resistant to antibiotics and standard allopathic medicines. Helpful for vaginitis as well. Although it is astringent and antibacterial, it will generally soothe, tone and strengthen the urinary system. (Also known as Bearberry or Kinnikinnick.) LAVENDER - one of the best calming and soothing herbs, not only for the body, but the mind as well, as it is quite effective in alleviating depression. It has a special affinity for women's spirit. Good for all kinds of skin complaints, from sunburn to vaginal discharge and anal fissures. Excellent for headaches, depression and nerves (both physical and emotional!). SAGE - astringent, antiseptic, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory. Good for skin infections and vaginal discharge. Promotes healing of wounds and is a uterine stimulator.
Postpartum Sitz Bath II Comfrey root, ground Shepherd’s Purse Uva Ursi leaf Sea Salt Prepare as herbal tea except use 4 oz. tea to 1 gallon of water—Do not boil. Strain and do sitz 2-4 times daily. For tears & healing sore bottoms:
Bruised or Swollen Vulva Icepacks or Icy Fingers Homeopathic Arnica---orally
After Birth Pains St. John’s Wort Oil, rubbed into the belly. Cramp bark (Viburnum opulus) Tincture or tea relieves ‘after-pains’.
Hemorrhoids Avoid constipation. Eat a diet high in fiber and whole grains. Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water a day. Exercise, even if it is just a brisk 10-minute walk. Sit on a pillow or inflatable ring. Alternate between sitting and walking. Apply chilled aloe/oatmeal compress, 3 or 4 times a day. Place Witch Hazel (Hammamelis viriniana) compresses on your sanitary napkin. -- Witch Hazel is a natural astringent used to reduce swelling and inflammation. It is effective in stopping the flow of blood, and in reducing secretions. Cleanse your rectal area thoroughly after each bowel movement. Air-dry your rectal area. Warm herbal sitz bath 3 or 4 times a day. Apply a topical spray to your hemorrhoids. Apply ice or heat. Do Kegel exercises.
Sore Nipples Food grade lanolin (Lansinoh) can be applied to the nipple. This will help protect and heal. It can be found in any drug store, and is safe for the baby to nurse from. Do not use soap on the nipples. The nipples exude an antibacterial substance that will help keep the nipples clean naturally. Soap will interfere with this and can dry out the nipples, causing further irritation. Rub breastmilk onto nipples for extra anti-bacterial support. Change breastpads often. Keep nipples clean and dry. Expose the nipples and breasts to sunlight for brief periods to strengthen tissues. In extreme cases, use a nipple guard:
More Natural Remedies for Sore Nipples CAUTION: Ointments containing antibiotics, steroids and anesthetic (painkilling) drugs are potentially harmful to both mother and infant. Crushed ice wrapped in a wet cloth, or a frozen gauze pad, applied to the nipples immediately before nursing is a good local pain killer. This cold treatment also helps bring out soft or small nipples and helps baby feed more easily when the breasts are very full. Comfrey ointment softens and strengthens nipples at the same time. It is exceptionally soothing to sensitive nipples and rapidly heals any fissures or bruises. Yarrow leaf poultices - or yarrow infused oil - provide almost instantaneous pain relief and heal cracked nipples rapidly. Any of the poultices described for painful breasts may be used advantageously. Comfrey and marshmallow are especially effective. Many brief poultices work better than one or two lengthy sessions. The gel from a fresh aloe vera leaf will soothe and heal sore and cracked nipples. Wash off the aloe before the baby nurses to clear off the bitter taste of the aloe. Calendula ointment is an old favorite to heal and strengthen nipples.
Main Causes of Painful Breasts: Engorgement A blocked milk tube or duct Mastitis (infection in the breast) Whether coping with a sore breast from a plugged duct or a breast infection, the initial care is similar: Nurse frequently, rest and apply heat to the tender area.
Engorgement An oversupply of milk engorges the breast tissues, causing tenderness and pain. There is no fever & breasts are not lumpy. Engorgement may occur as a result of: – a decision not to nurse – milk coming in very quickly – mother and child being separated for an extended time – the process of weaning Nurse frequently, rest and apply heat to the tender area. A hot shower over the breasts will aid the let-down mechanism and relieve engorgement. If the mother is not going to be nursing due to a loss or because of weaning, a classic remedy for stopping the flow of milk is to sip on a strong tea of sage—up to three cups per day.
A Blocked Milk Tube or Duct Swelling of the breast and acute pain May feel lumpy and bruised Cessation of nursing can increase the discomfort and threaten the milk supply. Nurse frequently, rest and apply heat to the tender area. Pump if you miss a feeding. Right before nursing, use dry or wet heat for 10 minutes. Gently massage the sore area of the breast before nursing. Vary breastfeeding positions. Echinacea will increase your white blood cell activity (the infection fighters) to prevent infection. Wear loose-fitting clothing
Plugged Ducts Breastmilk is made up of a large amount of fat, which is necessary for the baby’s development and nutrition. In some people, these fats can coagulate, or plug up in the duct. It’s kind of like a plugged up pipe in the breast with milk backing up behind it. It can be very painful and if not attended to, can lead to mastitis (breast infection). Several things can lead to a plugged duct, including missed feedings, constriction of the breast (such as a tight, ill-fitting or underwire bra), or a high fat diet. 1. Pump if you miss a feeding. Try not to let the milk just sit in the breast for long periods of time. 2. Keep nursing! This is so important! It may be painful, but it’s necessary to keep that plug moving out so that it doesn’t cause infection. 3. Apply heat. Heat will help “melt” the plug or soften it so that it will move out easily. 4. Massage the breast from behind the plug toward the nipple as the baby sucks to help move the plug out. It is not a problem if the plug comes out in the baby’s mouth. One of my lactation consultant associates describes that as the “ice cream”! 5. Position the baby while nursing so that his chin points to where the plug is. This has the most drawing effect. Get help if you need it to position the baby. It may be breastfeeding acrobatics! 6. If chronic plugged ducts are a problem, you can take Lecithin on a regular basis. This is safe for both you and the baby, even in larger doses. It comes in a granule or in a gelcap (like Vitamin E). Take the dose that works for you. For me, it was 4 gelcaps in the morning and 4 at night. I never got another plug again! Also, pay attention to your diet. Don’t eliminate fats entirely, just go easy and eat a healthy diet as described above. 7. Take Poke Root and/or Echinacea. Poke Root is a lymph cleanser and will help clear the breast tissue. Echinacea will increase your white blood cell activity (the infection fighters) to prevent infection. 8. Do not wear a bra or any other garment that may constrict or block the breast or milk ducts.
Mastitis (infection in the breast) Causes swelling and pain May be fever Acute tenderness and redness of the breast The infected breast may be hard, lumpy and swollen
Mastitis is caused by several reasons, the most common are plugged ducts that are not resolved, and by over-tired and stressed moms who are not getting enough rest and who are doing too much. Go to bed. Take your baby with you, nurse, and just rest. Get someone to help take care of you, the baby and any household chores that need attending to. Keep nursing on the affected side. The milk from that breast is still good and will not hurt the baby or make him sick. It is important to keep nursing so that the infection doesn’t become worse or so that your milk production doesn’t drop. If it does decline, you can use galactagogue herbs to regain it. Take Echinacea and Vitamin C. Both will stimulate and strengthen your immune system. Do not wear a bra or any garment that will constrict the breasts or milk ducts.
Herbal Mastitis Treatments Propolis is collected and used by bees as glue. It has a history of use against infection in Russia and a strong following among midwives in North America. It is said to accelerate healing time by increasing the body's metabolism and general resistance to disease. A dose of the tincture is 10 to 15 drops twice a day. Echinacea root tincture is an excellent ally for any woman with mastitis. Use one-half drop per pound of body weight as a single dose. (For a woman who weighs 130 pounds, the dose is 65 drops or two dropperfuls.) The dose is repeated as often as twelve times a day until symptoms remiss. Continue taking Echinacea for at least a week after all symptoms have cleared. Poke root (Phytolacca americana) tincture stimulates lymph gland activity and clears mastitis quickly. Poke root is potent and potentially toxic; the effect is cumulative. Use no more than two drops of the tincture daily. Combine poke with Echinacea for acute and severe infections.
Mastitis Pads Mastitis Pads Breastwarmers Prevention and relief of pain and discomfort associated with mastitis, blocked milk ducts, engorgement and nipple vasospasm. Also aids with letdown and expressing breastmilk. A new way of applying an old remedy. The Flectalon® Breastwarmer Mastitis Pads are made of a highly efficient insulating material, which utilizes multilayered fibres and reflective surfaces to reflect your natural body heat. The warmth offers rapid relief and appears to work by helping the milk flow more easily. Simply place the slim, shaped pads inside your bra. Wear them as often as needed - day and night if you like. Price:$39.95
Thrush thrush is caused by an overgrowth of candida albicans. It is a yeast infection which mainly affects babies.
Galactagogues help increase breastmilk production Fenugreek The number one herb for breast health, breast enhancement and increasing milk supply, fenugreek has been used to increase breast milk flow since biblical times. It has always been a popular choice for both mothers and wet nurses. It quickly increases milk flow and has many additional health benefits; balanced blood sugar, cholesterol, hormone levels and breast tissue health. Fennel Fennel contains the same types of milk flow nutrients as fenugreek. It can also help with high blood pressure, nausea and digestive problems. And it can be used in along with fenugreek to expel gas and help soothe indigestion and colic. Garlic Monel Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia found that when mothers took garlic an hour before nursing, babies attached to the breast more readily, stayed longer and drank more milk. And garlic, a natural anti-biotic, is used to prevent and treat mastitis, a much healthier approach than the anti-biotic drugs commonly used to treat this.
More Herbs for Increasing Milk Flow: Raspberry Leaf is high in vitamins and minerals and will also help the uterus to recover and regain its size and shape quickly. Alfalfa loaded with vitamins and minerals, including iron, calcium, and Vitamin K (the blood coagulant vitamin). Nettle loaded with vitamins and minerals, including iron, calcium, and Vitamin K. Blessed Thistle is also used as a bitter and is extremely healthy for the liver. Borage is an effective galactagogue, but isn’t an herb that one would want to use for longer than a week at a time as it contains an alkaloid that may be harmful to the liver. It is a great herb for cooling fevers and balancing the adrenals, and its beautiful purple flowers are edible and are a lovely addition to any salad! Hops has been used to increase mother’s milk (which is why they say to drink beer while nursing), but can cause depression when used over an extended period of time. It may also make you sleepy! The beer in other countries contains Hops that are helpful for milk production, but much of the beer in the United States doesn’t seem to have the same content or quality.
Fussy Baby First determine the cause – Hungry – Wet diaper – In pain – Too hot or cold – Food reactions
Foods Known to Cause Colic Beans Cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts Onions Garlic Dairy products Caffeine Chocolate
galactagogue Helps stimulate milk production Blue Vervain (Verbena off.) Actions: Nervine tonic, anti-spasmodic, galactagogue, analgesic
50 - 75% women experience the "baby blues" after giving birth. Symptoms include: – crying for no apparent reason – impatience – irritability – restlessness and anxiety Usually such feelings disappear quickly and don't require treatment.
Postpartum Depression 10-15 % experience moderate to severe depression Symptoms include: Nervousness, anxiety, panic Sluggishness, fatigue, exhaustion Sadness, depression, hopelessness Appetite and sleep disturbances Poor concentration, confusion, memory loss Over concern for the baby OR lack of interest in the baby Uncontrollable crying, irritability Guilt, inadequacy, worthlessness Fear of harming the baby and/or yourself Exaggerated highs and/or lows
Treatments for Postpartum Depression Communication of feelings Relaxation techniques Relief of physical discomforts Uplifting teas or essential oils Support groups Educational programs Home visits Informal networks that support mothers Hormone Therapy Anti-depressants
Postpartum Blues Tea Mix in equal parts: Cramp Bark Chamomile Mugwort Borage Lavender To Prepare: – Take 1 oz. herbs to 3 cups of water. – Bring to a boil and steep 15-30 minutes. Dosage: Drink ½ cup, 3 to 4 times daily.
Postpartum Psychosis is the most severe but least common postpartum reaction. Occurs in about 1 in 1000 new mothers. Symptoms are exaggerated & severe and may include: – Insomnia – Hallucinations – Agitation – Bizarre feelings or behavior.