We discovered many little “secrets” when we had our homebirth. I have no idea why some of this information has not made it to the OB offices that are given credit as the source of knowledge for birth-related information in Western society.
The first one is: there are herbs that aid with perineum healing. Click here to see the ones that came in our homebirth kit.
I guess I should have known – there are herbs for everything. I cannot believe that it wasn't until our fourth birth that we found out about them. Especially since the homebirth was the least traumatic to the vaginal area since I didn’t push on my back!
According to the package, the blend we used contained organically grown comfrey, calendula, witch hazel, uva ursi, shepard’s purse, and yarrow. The herbs can be steeped to make a “tea” and used in the peri bottle - it is not a tea you drink, it's a topical application. Another use is to add the "tea" to a sitz bath, or you can use the herbs to make a compress that is applied directly to the perineum.
The healing in the vaginal area was so much faster. Although the stretch is do-able and it is a stretch with a purpose, it is still a big stretch! I had a little tear that we allowed to heal without stitches, and there were internal skid marks from baby’s nose. Everything healed beautifully and felt better within days, as opposed to the week+ with births #2 and #3, and several months with our first birth when we had an episiotomy.
After our experience of faster healing, I am even more incredulous that these are not available in the hospitals. Especially since hospital births are the more likely source of vaginal trauma due to the higher rate of episiotomies and the extra pressure placed on the perineum when moms push in semi-supine position as opposed to the positions that work with gravity to move baby down and out.
You can order these herbs and have them available to brew whether you have a hospital, birth center or home birth. It was $12 very well spent!
The second secret is that you can still have your baby’s hearing checked even if you have a homebirth. You can make an appointment at the hospital and pay upwards of $100 for the hearing screen. The other option in the Phoenix area is to call Pam Qualls, a licensed midwife in Glendale, and have your baby’s screening done for $25.
We got to take Angélika to a private office space, free of hospital smells, hospital germs and all the extra people that she did not need to be exposed to. The hearing screen took all of a minute or two. The drive from Chandler was well worth it to have the peace of mind that our daughter passed the screening test.
To visit Pam’s website, click here.
Another secret that has been gaining more mainstream attention is placenta encapsulation, also known as "happy pills". I will write about it in a separate post since there is a lot more to share regarding the process and the benefits. For now, I will say we had the happiest postpartum ever, and I encourage you to read up on it and decide what works for your family. You can start with my interview with Wendy Diaz, PBi certified encapsulationist, and go from there (read more).
I will write soon for about our experience with placenta encapsulation. In the meantime, I would encourage you to check out the herbs for the perineum and get them to your house one way or another.
What are some birth "secrets" you have learned?
To read more about other herbal therapies we used in as a result of our homebirth experience, click here.
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation. This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.