Postpartum Herbal Bath Recipe
Learn how to prepare a postpartum herbal bath with dried herbs and flowers. This DIY herbal bath will aid in postpartum recovery. You can enjoy this herbal bath mix in the tub or in a sitz bath.
Warm herbal baths are a wonderful way to relax and encourage healing postpartum. After all three of my births, I have used postpartum herbal baths to heal quicker. I always look forward to them! They smell absolutely delicious and it’s the perfect way to pamper yourself postpartum.
The herbs used in my postpartum herbal bath recipe have the power to decrease inflammation, heal tears and episiotomies, soothe the tender tissues in your perineal region, and diminish hemorrhoids. After a vaginal birth, it is perfectly safe to begin taking baths (or sitz baths) as long as you are healthy and show no signs of infection. I should note that these baths are not safe for mothers who have had a cesarean birth (your doctor will give you instructions on when you can resume bathing).
I recommend either a sitz bath or a shallow herbal soak for at least 10 minutes once per day for the first week or so after giving birth. I found it easier to do a sitz bath most days for 10 minutes, with a longer 20-30 minute bath in the tub every 3rd day or so. Sitz baths are also a great option if you don’t have a tub or you just don’t feel like immersing your entire body. A sitz bath is a small basin that rests on your toilet; they are inexpensive and available at Walmart, Target, and most pharmacies.
Your baby is also welcome to accompany you into the bath! This herbal bath recipe is great for healing their umbilical stump (just be sure to dry it completely if it gets wet). A word of warning: you don’t want to end up with baby poo in your luxurious postpartum herbal bath, so time feedings and bath accordingly! Trust me, I’m speaking from experience.
For the sitz bath, prepare a medium pot of water (about 2 quarts) with 1 cup of the mixed herbs. Boil the herbs in the water, then stir and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Turn off the heat, let it cool for a few minutes, then strain out the herbs and pour the concentrated herbal bath water into a pitcher with a lid. Then over the next couple of days simply mix this infusion with hot water (50/50 split) into your sitz bath basin. It will stay good for 2-3 days in the pitcher.
For a tub bath, prepare a medium pot of water (about 2 quarts) with 1 cups of the mixed herbs. Again, bring the herbs to a boil, then simmer for another 15-20 minutes. Let it cool for a few minutes, then strain into a large bowl. Pour directly into a shallow bath. Let your perineum soak for 10 minutes, then add more water and relax for another 10-20 minutes (or however long you want)!
You can also use this infusion in your peri-bottle for extra healing powers each time you use the bathroom! I like to do 75% herbal infusion + 25% witch hazel for extra anti-inflammatory benefits.
DIY Postpartum Herbal Bath Recipe:
This recipe yields 6 cups of postpartum herbal bath mix, which is enough for a week of postpartum herbal baths if you alternate sitz baths & tub baths.
1/2 cup Chamomile Flower
1/2 cup Calendula Flower
1/3 cup Comfrey Leaf
1/3 cup Lavender Flowers
1/3 cup Yarrow Flower
1/3 cup Shepherd’s Purse
1/3 cup Uva Ursi Leaf
1/3 cup Sea Salt -or- Epsom Salt
Chamomile is antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic. It is well known for improving skin conditions and calming irritated skin.
Calendula is a gentle and soothing herb for the skin. It is antimicrobial, antiseptic, and promotes cell repair, which makes it perfect for speeding up the recovery of wounds.
Comfrey relieves pain and inflammation, and helps speed up the recovery of wounds. It is said that comfrey can inhibit bleeding and even facilitate bone regrowth/healing! Not to be taken internally as it is bad for the liver in high doses.
Lavender has a lovely scent that has a soothing & calming effect. It is said to reduce depression, restlessness, and insomnia. It also contains anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties which will aid in the perineal healing process.
Yarrow is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. It can help stop bleeding when applied to wounds, and it helps relieve hemorrhoids.
Shepherd’s Purse is best known for its ability to inhibit or reduce bleeding. A tincture is sometimes used after childbirth to contract the uterus and prevent hemorrhage. Its astringent properties make it beneficial when applied externally to a wound as well.
Uva Ursi is antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-microbial, and anti-inflammatory. It contains allantoin which is well known for its soothing and tissue-repairing properties.
Sea Salt / Epsom Salt baths lower the risk of infections. The salts are anti-inflammatory and mineral-rich, which can aid in the healing process as well.
Note: It is important to find a source for FRESH herbs because many dried herbs lose effectiveness the longer they are stored. If you do not have a local herb store, most herbalists agree that Mountain Rose Herbs has quality products.