Giving birth is a phenomenon of life. The power of a woman, in all her creative prowess, is clearly seen and acknowledged in this moment. The journey to motherhood is long, stunning, arduous, and worth every ounce of pain and joy. A mother provides life through her womb, gifts nourishment with the precious flow of milk, and delivers endless efforts of generosity with every breath along the way to sustain and grow her child in this world. A heroic calling.
The astonishing transformations that a woman’s body endures through pregnancy and after are powerfully life-altering. These changes are nothing short of miraculous! And they need time to occur. She will need support from others to move into motherhood. Her body and spirit will demand nurturing and guidance to complete the postpartum process of bodily and life transitions.
Cyclical contractions, sometimes more painful than those in birth, happen swiftly to reduce the uterus in size. If the birthing process was experienced via C-section, a major surgery, placing boundaries of care and deflecting stigmas may occur. At the same time, the commencement of lactation finds the new mom learning how to adapt to being the giver of life-milk, irrespective of whether she chooses to breastfeed. Her organs work overtime to process the influx of hormones no longer needed to maintain a pregnancy. Her nervous system adapts to withstand interrupted sleeping patterns while establishing a sacred bond with her child. Cascades of healing occur from the bodily trauma that giving birth leaves, restoring perineal tears or lacerations and excessive stretching of her tissues and skin.
Postpartum life — with its new responsibilities and recovery time — is a journey of transitions.
Postpartum Support From the Plant Kingdom
For thousands of years, plants have been trusted friends to new mothers, helping them evolve into motherhood fully nourished, calmed, and healed. When postpartum flows without judgment (from ourselves or others), the new mama knows that she is supported and held, just as she supports and holds the new life she’s birthed.
During this sacred transition from pregnancy to motherhood, herbal remedies combine to powerfully and gently vitalize, heal, and nourish the woman. Providing nervines, tonics, and hormonal support, they give her body nutrition to rebuild, strength to raise her newborn, and lend balance to her ever-changing state of energy.
Like waves in an ocean, she will rise upon the tides of emotion and at times crash along the shores of hardship. Periods of solace and rest are vital, but they can be hard to come by. Guilt, anxiety, depression, fear — these are all waves in this new sea of being, along with joy, contentment, and expectation.
The lifeguard’s whistle blows!
Art credit: SpiritYSol
As a new mother moves from profound love and fulfillment to unrest and depletion, plants become the buoy upon which she safely rides ashore. Hawthorn, St. John’s wort, motherwort, passionflower, dandelion root, calendula, lady’s mantle, black haw, yarrow, vitex, fennel, burdock, damiana, catnip, blessed thistle, sarsaparilla, hops, echinacea, sage, marshmallow root, and dozens more come to the rescue.
The mother needs her village as much as her newborn needs milk. The stewards of plant medicine act as guides for the miracle passage, preparing teas, sitz baths, compresses, balms, tinctures, and meals. This honored tradition of midwives, doulas, birthing practitioners, grandmothers, aunties, sisters, and daughters provides an unending chain of reciprocity from plant to person and back again.
Our roots at WishGarden Herbs sprouted from a midwife providing formulas for women embarking on the journey of transitions into motherhood. Over the decades, these remedies remain tried and true friends along the way, and long may it be so!
Meet the WishGarden Herbs Postpartum Rescue Team
Post-birth Blood-flow Support: Wombstringe
Shepherd's purse aerials, bayberry rootbark, witch Hazel bark, cinnamon bark
After-pains and Contraction Support: AfterEase
Crampbark, black haw bark, yarrow aerials, motherwort aerials
Perineal Healing Support: AfterBirth Sitzbath
Uva ursi leaf, yarrow aerials, sage leaf, comfrey root, comfrey leaf, witch hazel leaf, sea salt, plantain leaf
Postpartum Mood Support: Baby Blues
Passionflower, motherwort, dandelion, black cohosh
Hormonal Rebalancing Support: ReBalance
Black haw bark, calendula flower, lady's mantle aerials, motherwort aerials, St. John's wort aerials, vitex berry, burdock root, yarrow aerials
Dawn Amber Miller has apprenticed and studied across the United States of America and has received certificates in traditional and medical herbalism from the Appalachia School of Holistic Herbalism, the Commonwealth Center for Holistic Herbalism, and the Hawthorn Institute. She is a passionate steward of the sacred realm of Nature and moves with the wildflowers, tending the rituals of wildcrafting by heart and hand. Currently she is a customer journey representative at WishGarden Herbs.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, or sell any product.
Feature art credit: Tess Emily Rodriguez