8 Essential Therapies and Natural Remedies for Labour, Postpartum and Beyond.

If you haven’t already caught our drift; we believe mamas are numero uno. Number one. The most important piece of the postpartum puzzle. We face labour, side-splitting contractions and literally bring our babies into the world, all by ourselves. And once we are safely on the snuggly side of birth, we are expected to (somehow?!) slow down, rest and recover, without a second thought. 


It’s a lot to ask and many mamas find it incredibly difficult to focus on their own needs during such a demanding time. To give you a small helping hand, we have compiled 8 safe, natural and absolutely essential therapies and remedies to see you through labour, postpartum healing and beyond. 


Heat therapy = your new best friend 

Heat therapy works by applying a warm (not too hot!) heat pack or hot water bottle to improve blood flow and circulation to that area. It’s an effective and natural way to soothe aches and pains by gently encouraging the muscles to relax, allowing the damaged tissues to heal. 

Often in the midst of labour, you will use and exhaust muscles you didn’t even know you had! Having a few sources of heat on hand will aide a quicker, more comfortable recovery. Afterbirth pains are another common source of discomfort because of your uterus contracting back down to its’ pre-pregnancy size. They can range from mild cramps through to contraction-like surges, so it is recommended to take a holistic approach: lots of rest, regular heat therapy and paracetamol when required.    

Our 100% Australian Organic Wheatbag Heat Packs are designed to be used again and again, filled with South Australian grown wheat and calming organic lavender, to promote a more restful recovery. Investing in a quality heat pack will see you successfully manage Braxton Hicks, back labour pains, sore muscles and even soothe caesarean wounds. 


Book a massage, yesterday.

If you baby is not yet 12 weeks old, you will have to make sure the provider you book with is equipped to safely offer a postpartum massage and if you are yet to give birth, of course you will need to see a therapist for a pregnancy-safe massage. Massage therapy is a fantastic, natural way to reduce swelling as a result of water retention, improve you circulation (thus increasing your milk supply!), aide in regulating those rollercoaster pregnancy and postpartum hormones and even improve your sleep quality allowing for some more restorative shuteye. 😴


Slow, deep breaths. And repeat.

Whether you decide to invest in a Hypnobirthing course, take up prenatal yoga or simply download a meditation app onto your phone, learning how to properly breathe will benefit you before, during and after labour. The most common breathing technique to induce a relaxation response, lower adrenaline and cortisol (the stress hormones) and increase your oxygen levels, is called abdominal breathing. As you breathe in, allow your abdomen to “fill up” with oxygen, relaxing your stomach muscles outward. As you breathe out, allow the carbon dioxide to leave your abdomen, contracting your stomach muscles back into a neutral position. Repeat this in a slow, controlled manner, for an even number of counts. It takes practice to be able to properly breath abdominally, but the benefits are ten-fold, helping many women work their way through transition and the delivery of their baby. If breastfeeding is painful, looking inward and focussing on breath helps a lot of new mama’s cope with the initial discomfort. 


Hypnobirthing.

According to experts at the Mayo Clinic (https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/labor-and-delivery/expert-answers/hypnobirthing/faq-20058353), Hypnobirthing is a “birthing method that uses self-hypnosis and relaxation techniques to help a woman feel physically, mentally and spiritually prepared and reduce her awareness of fear, anxiety and pain during childbirth.” It can be an excellent way to feel in control of your labour as it progresses and utilises a lot of breath to help cope with the sensations and surges felt during contractions. If you are dreaming of an intervention-free birth, many women swear by Hypnobirthing techniques, just be sure to take a class through a registered provider!


Sit in a sitz bath.

A sitz bath is essentially a very shallow bath filled with lukewarm water, designed to help soothe pains down there and aide in recovery following a vaginal birth. You’re going to want to have a friend make sure your bath is nice and clean, before filling it with approximately 10-15cm of warm water (now is a good time to bust out that bathtub thermometer! 🌡️). Adding soothing extras to your sitz bath will improve the experience, we recommend:

  • Epsom salts – reduce perennial swelling, relieve haemorrhoid itchiness and even help to get your bowels moving!
  • Coconut oil – deeply nourish your skin whilst adding a moisturising protective layer (bye-bye pad friction!)
  • Lavender oil – a very natural, very effective bacteria-fighter which will also help to boost your mood and improve your quality of sleep. Just one or two drops will do the trick.

If you are looking for a quick, mess-free sitz bath alternative, our Australian made Heal Bath Tea Soaks include both Epsom and Dead Sea Salt, plus Raspberry Leaf (helps tone the uterine muscles and can reduce bleeding) Yarrow Leaf (speeds up the recovery of tears or episiotomies), Lavender Flower, Calendula Flowers (soothes abrasions with anti-inflammatory properties), Witch Hazel (reduces swelling and pain) and Chamomile Flowers (calms anxieties and helps you to relax) to boost your postpartum recovery. Simply drop a bag straight into the tub and soak yourself!


The essential, essential oils.

Let’s be real: you could spend hours researching essential oils for labour and postpartum and end up with a list a mile long. That’s why we’ve researched and shortlisted, compared and critiqued, to bring you a cost-effective and condensed list of the essential, essential oils for pregnancy, labour and postpartum. Remember, the safest way to reap the benefits of essential oils is through aromatherapy, i.e. diffusing them or mixing them with a carrier oil (such as sweet almond oil) to inhale or massage. 


Clary sage: Mixed studies have touted that clary sage oil can induce contractions, so it is recommended not to use before 38 weeks. Once in labour, it can be effective in dilation progression and also help to ease pain levels. When used postpartum, it can soothe afterbirth pains. 

Lavender oil: Pop a few drops in your bathwater whilst pregnant and postpartum to relax your muscles and mind, or inhale deeply during labour to clear your thoughts and find focus during stronger contractions.

Jasmine oil: While not commonly talked about, one study reported that women who received a lower back massage with jasmine oil during labour experienced less back pressure and pain. Also useful for massage postpartum! 


Hire a TENS Machine.

TENS stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation: an all-natural alternative to painkillers during labour and postpartum. It is a small and portable device which delivers tiny electrical pulses to the body via sticky pads. It can be an effective way to manage the pain associated with contractions and again, helps to soothe afterbirth pains postpartum. A quick google search will provide you with plenty of options to hire a TENS machine, with most businesses offering express shipping as standard and generous hire times to accommodate going past your due date! 


Thought about Hydrotherapy?

Once again, water takes the centre stage, offering a natural way to soothe pains and improve muscle flexibility. Be sure to ask your health provider what the options are for utlising water during your labour: even if a birth pool or submerging yourself into a tub is out of the question, having a hot shower head sprayed on your lower back or belly during a contraction can bring a lot of relief. Formal hydrotherapy (booking a class with a qualified physiotherapist) is also a gentle, holistic approach to postpartum recovery which is low impact and restorative. 


You won’t be able to properly heal and recuperate on your own mama. It’s best to reach out to your partner, close friends and family, to work out a labour and postpartum support plan which is natural, effective and easy to stick to you. This will ensure you have the best shot at nurturing your physical and mental health while getting acquainted with your beautiful bubba. Oh, and remember: labour doesn’t wait for no-one so it’s best to have these essentials organised early in your third trimester!