Herbs for the Postpartum Mama

mamaherbs

Postpartum care is so important for the new mother, whether you just had your first baby, or you’ve been there before. One of the ways I alleviate the discomfort that comes with giving birth, is by using an herbal infusion. For those who are unfamiliar with this term, an herbal infusion is akin to a tea, except that the herbs are soaked for a much longer period, giving you a very potent mixture afterwards.

Being a certified herbalist, I am familiar with a good variety of different plants and herbs, and their medicinal purposes. I keep at least a dozen of my favorites on hand year round, and grow many in our gardens during our growing seasons. With my first pregnancy, I did extra research to find out which herbs would be most beneficial for my postpartum needs.

I made two different blends, one mix of herbs was for external use and I found it wonderful in the peri-bottle, warm in a sitz bath, or used on my “padsicles”. The second blend was designed as a tea, which I enjoyed both during pregnancy, as well as after labor.

I have decided to share these blends with all of you, hoping they will ease the postpartum period for another mother out there. I do realize that a lot of people do not have the herbal pantry that I maintain, and while I no longer offer pre-blended herbs in my Etsy store, I do prepare them upon request. If you are interested in having me prepare a blend for you, please feel free to reach out to me, either through the link above, or at WoodfordKnitsandMore@gmail.com.


Postpartum Herbal Infusion

The recipe for this herbal mix will fill a 1-pint canning jar. I use about half of that mixture per 2-gallons of water, which is plenty for refilling your peri-bottle multiple times, making your own padsicles, and preparing warm for a few sitz baths.

I recommend making only one gallon at a time, unless you are preparing for a sitz bath, as you can only use it up so fast! It’s also a great idea to get your first pot going when your labor has started, this way it will be ready for you when you need it.

Ingredients: 

2-tbl. calendula

2-tbl. nettle

4-tbl. yarrow

2-tbl. raspberry leaf

4-tbl. comfrey

Directions:

  1. Mix all herbs well, and store in a glass jar, out of direct sunlight.
  2. Prepare your herbs for the pot by putting them in a steeping ball, or wrapping well in muslin or cheesecloth.
  3. Add 1-gallon of water to a large stockpot, and bring to a boil.
  4. Shut off the heat, add your herbs, and cover. Let sit for at least 1-hour before straining off. (You really cannot over steep, so it’s OK if you forget about your herbs for a while. I usually leave them in there until the pot is cool and I am ready to deal with it again.)
  5. Remove your herbs, and transfer the infusion to a pitcher. Keep in the refrigerator, and use within 3 days.  Your herbs can be composted, and the cloth reused.

Pregnancy & Postpartum Herbal Tea

This herbal blend is wonderful, and since it contains only herbs and no actual tea, it is caffeine free, so you can enjoy it morning, noon or night! The flavor is warm, slightly sweet and comforting. I enjoy it on it’s own, as well as with a small spoonful of honey in my cup!

This recipe will fill a 1-quart canning jar. You will only need 1-2 tablespoons per cup, depending on how strong you like it, as well as the size of the cup! Use more for those deep, delicious mugs, and less for a small, light, afternoon tea.

You can absolutely brew this tea, and then chill it in the fridge, as it makes a really nice iced beverage. I like to mix it with a little cranberry juice myself when I make it cold.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup Oat straw

1/2 cup Nettle leaves

1 cup Red Raspberry leaves

1/4 cup Red Clover blossoms

1/2 cup Calendula

1/4 cup Elderflowers

4-5 Echinacea blossoms

Directions:

  1. For HOT tea: Add herbal mix to a reusable tea bag or steeping ball. Bring water just to a boil, then pour over tea, and allow to steep for 3 minutes. Remove herbs, add honey if desired, and enjoy!
  2. For COLD tea: I recommend brewing this for a 1-gallon pitcher at a time. Add about a 1/2 cup in a brewing container. You can either bring water just to a boil, pour over tea, and allow to steep until cool, or if you are brewing in a clear container, fill with lukewarm water, and leave on your deck or patio in the sun for 3-4 hours. Remove herbs and put in fridge.
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