Witch Hazel Is One Of The Safest Natural Postpartum Vaginal Care Options Around.

Witch hazel is a must have item for all new mamas and luckily you don't need a cauldron to use...
Witch hazel is a must have item for all new mamas and luckily you don't need a cauldron to use it. If you're thinking that witch hazel is only for hippies, witch doctors or natural healers you couldn't be more wrong. Witch hazel is an excellent and safe remedy for plenty of what ails new mamas. Infusions made with the bark and leaves of the witch hazel plant (Hamamelis virginiana) have been used safely in America since before the Mayflower's arrival in the New World. The bark and leaves themselves are cleansing and have astringent qualities. Witch hazel is added to facial and body care products, aftershaves, dandruff shampoos and many other commercial products.


As a new mama helper, witch hazel is your best friend! Witch hazel can be used on swollen body parts (birth gives your body quite the beating), varicose veins and makes a wonderful treatment for two obnoxious new mama problems - a sore perineum and hemorrhoids. Perineum problems after birth: After you give birth you'll most likely experience uncomfortable swelling, pain, and itching in the perineum area. Perineum problems aren't a big shock considering you just pushed your baby out of what's normally a pretty small opening right? If you had an episiotomy the pain and itching can be even worse. It's very important you care for your perineal area to avoid infection (and general crankiness). Many hospitals and health care providers will recommend pain relief options like ice packs, sitz baths and a numbing spray such as Dermoplast. Ice packs and sitz baths can provide some relief but not for long. Dermoplast is not the safest choice in my opinion. The main ingredient in Dermoplast is benzocaine. Benzocaine works like a chemical barrier, blocking pain but doesn't really aid the healing process and many people have allergic reactions to it. Additionally an overdose of benzocaine can cause fatal side effects - this medicine can be absorbed through your skin and into your blood. Lastly, it's not currently known whether benzocaine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Witch hazel perineum care: Witch hazel is an inexpensive and safe choice for proper perineal care.
  • Midwifery Today notes that witch hazel can be safely applied directly to the perineum or you can try soaking a cloth in cold water, wringing it out thoroughly and putting witch hazel on it before applying to the perineum. The Mayo Clinic agrees that witch hazel is a safe perineum treatment and suggests placing chilled witch hazel pads on your perineum to aid in the soothing and healing process.
  • Instead of a commercial peri-care spray you can also simply fill a little spray bottle with witch hazel and spray away. This spray is a healing and safer choice than many store bought sprays.
  • After you use the bathroom grab that postpartum vaginal perineal bottle the hospital or your midwife gave you. Fill the bottle with warm water and a dash of witch hazel - squirt onto your perineal area to cleanse and help reduce swelling.
Witch hazel pads and sprays can also be used to help treat and sooth postnatal hemorrhoids as well. Follow the directions above except apply pads and sprays to the hemorrhoids. WHERE TO GET WITCH HAZEL: Many commercial witch hazel products contain more alcohol than witch hazel so you need to be careful when choosing a witch hazel product. Good options include... NOTE: No matter what perineal care products or treatments you try, always contact your midwife or doctor right away if the pain in this area intensifies, if the area feels very hot, overly swollen or you have pus-like discharge. All of the above may indicate an infection that require immediate treatment. BONUS TREAT: I know all this talk of hemorrhoids and peri care is not the most fun. With that in mind why not make a treat with witch hazel? Try this super Homemade Organic & Refreshing Herbal Facial Toner recipe. [image via US Forest Service]

Tags: hemorrhoids after pregnancy natural pregnancy care new mama care organic witch hazel postpartum health postpartum vaginal care vaginal itch vaginal pain vaginal soreness witch hazel witch hazel pads witch hazel spray

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