Homemade Natural Postpartum Care Kit

It is our final celebration week on Passionate Homemaking before we take a sabbatical for a period of time, so I thought it would be appropriate to share the top posts on PH in regards to childbirth concluding this weekend with an awesome giveaway of a special book that has just been released on the topic! So enjoy these favorite posts this week!

Originally posted on August 16, 2010.

There is no doubt that postpartum healing can be painful and challenging, but there are several natural methods for restoring your body in a peaceful and refreshing manner.

It is important to realize and be prepared that dealing with a large range of emotions after birth is very common. There are extreme changes happening in your body from various hormones (estrogen, progesterone, oxytocin, prolactin, and thyroid hormone) that occur after birth. Taking steps to prepare for postpartum in advance is essential for helping guard your adjusting body against the baby blues and postpartum depression that you are susceptible to after birth.

These recipes can be combined in advance for great relief, but also can be assembled as a wonderful gift set for an expectant mother.

Natural Nipple Cream

Combine equal portions of coconut oil, shea butter, and cocoa butter for a wonderfully moisturizing natural nipple cream. Coconut oil alone can often do the trick to soothing sore nipples. Use an old baby food store for storage. Apply liberally before and after nursing as desired. Completely safe for baby and moisturizing and healing for the breastfeeding mother.

Postpartum Care Pads

Witch hazel is your best friend for the postpartum healing period. 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. These soothing pads do wonders for soreness and swelling after vaginal birth. Prepare 18-24 ahead of time.

Overnight/Jumbo maxi pads
1/4 cup Witch hazel
2-3 drops Lavender oil
1 Tbsp Pure Aloe Vera gel
Aluminum foil

Combine witch hazel, lavender essential oil, and aloe vera gel in a small bowl and mix till thoroughly combined. Transfer to a small spray bottle. Unfold each pad, and spray each pad with the healing mixture till the pad is damp, but not soaked. Wrap each pad in foil and store them in the freezer. Witch hazel and lavender are natural astringents, so they’ll help reduce swelling, and the aloe and the cold are very soothing.

Refreshing Perineum Spray

Fill a small spray bottle with witch hazel and a few drops of lavender essential oil and apply to your perineum after you use the restroom.

Comfrey Gel

Comfrey is wonderfully healing for damaged skin, and is especially useful for lubricating the stretched, sour, and damaged skin of the perineum after childbirth. Apply a small scoop with your fingers from front to back after using the restroom postpartum. This was my favorite natural soothing relief for postpartum healing! Mountain Rose Herbs sells a Comfrey-St. John’s Wort Salve that is perfect for this use.

Healing Postpartum Bath Salts

Regular ionized table salt is wonderfully healing for sour and stretched muscles after birth. Plan to take 1-2 baths per day after birth to soak in a tub with 1 cup of salt. Add a few drops of lavendar, geranium or orange essential oil for a delightful pick-up.

Postpartum Blues Spray

Geranium or bergamot essential oils are excellent to prevent post-partum depression, so dilute a 2-3 drops in a small spray bottle or diffuse around the room to help balance all those adjusting hormones. A small spray bottle with this concoction is another great gift for a new mommy.

Homemade Mother’s Milk Tea

It’s never too early to start consuming mother’s milk tea for the hearty production of your milk supply. Start drinking 2-3 cups per day of this yummy homemade mother’s milk tea. Combine and store in a glass quart jar or give as a gift to an expectant mother.

Take time to rest, get fresh air, drink plenty of liquids and nutritional meals, and accept help that is offered to you. Set up a Meal Baby registry for those that want to provide a meal for you. Birthing a baby is a strenuous task and you want to take at least a week of very little movement to allow your body to recover properly. Becoming active too quickly can lead to further complications with excessive bleeding, and breast infections, which will only draw out the healing period. Blessings on all the soon to arrive babies out there!

You can find high quality ingredients for all of these recipes through Mountain Rose Herbs – my favorite natural healing cream, oils, and essential oil supplier!

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional, nor do I claim to be able to give medical advice. This information is merely to educate, inspire, and motivate you to look into these issues more on your own, or to speak with your own medical practitioner for more information.

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of four, homemaker, and writer. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

74 Responses to Homemade Natural Postpartum Care Kit

  1. Vienna May 17, 2013 at 8:45 pm #

    So happy to have found this, I went and bought the supplies before I read the instructions for the postpartum care pads. If you have time could you please add the spray bottle to the supply list. Thank you for your time :)

  2. Living Forever deals to keep you healthy April 17, 2013 at 8:10 am #

    Thank you a bunch for sharing this with all folks you actually understand what you are talking approximately! Bookmarked. Kindly also visit my web site =). We may have a link change contract between us

  3. Kelly February 1, 2013 at 11:11 pm #

    This is such a great list of practical steps you can take to prepare for your postpartum healing. I will be bookmarking and giving it to my clients.
    I have written a post on preparing for your babymoon which has six great steps you can take to make your fourth trimester as easy as possible http://www.elementalbeginnings.net/1/post/2012/11/planning-your-babymoon-written-for-cares-sa.html

  4. Jill January 29, 2013 at 7:29 pm #

    Lindsay,
    So, just to be clear, shea butter is safe for babies? Is there risk of allergies since it’s a nut?

    Have you ever heard of anyone allergic or sensitive to coconut oil? If so, how would the sensitivity appear?

  5. Val W. January 28, 2013 at 7:11 pm #

    Lindsay, thank you a thousand times over, for all the wisdom you have shared with your readers over the years! This blog has been a treasure, a true blessing that has rippled farther than you may ever know.

    I really trust and value your opinion and have been eagerly hoping to see a post in the future about your education choices for first grade. I am considering homeschooling next year (my 3 kids are the same ages as yours, only girl-girl-boy). Just curious if you would still recommend Sonlight and some Veritas (if I remember correctly from previous posts) or is there a different program you are interested in pursuing? I’d be thankful even for a one-line answer if you get a chance to reply :) Thanks again and blessings to you and your sweet family in this season of rest!

  6. Sara December 13, 2012 at 12:49 pm #

    This is a great list! Doesn’t the salt in the bath sting if you have stitches or a tear?

  7. Chelsea November 13, 2012 at 4:46 pm #

    Thank you! So, excited to try these out! I am due in January with our first & just now thought, “HEY! I bet I could make that nipple butter stuff myself that “x-company,” is selling & save myself a bit of money & feel accomplished/productive!” Ha ha! Of course, will also use the other recipes too! Thank you, thank you!

  8. Jessica August 7, 2012 at 7:45 pm #

    I’m just curious. Will freezing with the ingredients provided be safe for CLOTH pads? I’m not big on disposable as of most used to give me an awful rash every time I used one. I don’t want to use a disposable when that area is already tender.

  9. kate July 19, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

    SO GLAD I found this website! It’s so straightforward, simple, and useful for moms-to-be. I made the soothing post partum pads and it was so easy. Thank you for all this information!!!

  10. Sarah Silvester May 27, 2012 at 6:57 pm #

    Wow these are fantastic ideas :) With the pads in the freezer, do you use them straight from the freezer or let them defrost a little? And are they safe to use pretty soon after giving birth? These could be a lifesaver for me. I wanted to chop myself off at the waist for weeks after having my first 2, and I have number 3 due November!

    • Lindsay May 28, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

      Yes, they are perfectly safe to use right after birth and you want to use them straight out of the freezer in order for them to be most effective in decreasing the pain.

      • Crissy P October 16, 2012 at 7:40 pm #

        Loved these with the birth of my son almost 2 years ago. I seriously feel as if I healed so much faster, vaginal birth, than I did with my first two. We just put the rest of the mixture into the bottle for the spray. My friend and I did them together. My question is, I still have about 10 in the bottom of the deep freezer. Would you use them and possibly spray them again with a new mixture or do you think I should pitch them and not use them. I’m so glad my friends stumbled upon your site, and I recommend it to all expecting moms!! Thanks!

  11. AnnaMichelle May 21, 2012 at 8:43 pm #

    I’d also like to know what consistency the nipple cream is supposed to be? I had to melt all the ingredients together to get them to mix because the cocoa butter was very hard. This ended up in a very liquid state. I poured the mixture into my containers and let them sit to harden. It has taken 2-3 days for them to become a solid again, at least enough that they don’t pour out of the container, but as soon as my finger touches it, it becomes like oil again. Is this normal? Or did I do something wrong?

  12. AnnaMichelle May 1, 2012 at 1:56 pm #

    Thank you so much for all your wonderful recipes! I loved the chapstick recipe, just finished making the deodorant (tried it for the first time today) and lotion/diaper cream. I love using it as a lotion already. I’m due to have my 3rd in July 2012, and am preparing some parts of the postpartum kit. I’m so excited about these, since I’ve been trying to go all natural for a while now, and these recipes sound so good.

    One question though. I went shopping for the pure aloe vera gel and noticed that my health food store had a few different kinds of “jelly” and then a liquid that the associate said had to be refrigerated. I want to buy the best thing, but also something that will be the most versatile to use in other recipes as well. What kind do you recommend? If I use the “jelly” will it still “spray” out of the bottle?

    Thanks.

    • melissa May 1, 2012 at 3:14 pm #

      I use the refrigerated kind and also use it for my cloth wipe solution. It is far more liquidy than the gel and blends well. Hope this helps!

      Congrats! I used so many recipes from this postpartum kit with my 2nd and loved it!

  13. amanda July 18, 2011 at 11:27 am #

    What kind of witch hazel do you recommend? Does it matter if it is alcohol free or not?

    • Lindsay July 18, 2011 at 12:40 pm #

      I just buy the standard witch hazel at the grocery store.

      • amanda July 18, 2011 at 9:13 pm #

        thanks!

  14. melissa June 22, 2011 at 11:21 am #

    for the postpartum blues spray…do you dilute the oil in water? or did you use something like witch hazel, as in a room spray?

    • Lindsay June 22, 2011 at 1:22 pm #

      Yes, water is perfectly fine.

  15. ash March 13, 2011 at 7:39 pm #

    I am giving birth to my 2nd baby in Aug2011.How do u make the witch hazel for the postpartum pads?these sound wonderful!

    • Lindsay March 14, 2011 at 7:02 am #

      I put it in a small spray bottle and spray it onto the pads.

  16. ~M February 28, 2011 at 6:32 pm #

    Hi Lindsay!
    I’m expecting my first little one at the end of March and this post is so helpful! I don’t have any lavender oil though…would it work to omit? Alternatively, I have tea tree oil and lemon oil, if you think those would work…

    Thanks!

  17. ~M February 28, 2011 at 6:31 pm #

    Hi Lindsay!
    I’m expecting my first little one at the end of March and this post is so helpful! I don’t have any lavender oil though…would it work to omit? Alternatively, I have tea tree oil and lemon oil, if you think those would work…

    Thanks!
    ~Michelle

  18. Lindsey November 15, 2010 at 4:04 pm #

    I’m so glad I bookmarked this after first discovering it. Our first born is one week old, and some of these items have been SO useful. THANKS!

  19. Hannah September 17, 2010 at 4:53 pm #

    I had my second on August 25th and so wish I had seen this before I had him. One of my best friends is due in a few weeks though, so I’ll go ahead and put some of this together for her=) Thanks Lindsay!

  20. Kim Kauffman September 13, 2010 at 5:30 pm #

    I keep coming back to this as I just had our first baby on Friday. Oh my, the soreness. They told me to take one or two baths per day as well to help with the stitches. It feels WONDERFUL.

  21. Emily September 2, 2010 at 7:33 pm #

    Lindsay,
    II just had a baby, so this post is perfect for me! You seem to be good at doing posts in perfect timing for me!!
    am not sure you will get this question, but thought I’d ask!
    I get vaginal varicose veins, and unfortunately, my mid-wives group aren’t well versed in natural remedies. I was wondering if you or another person reading this blog knows anything about them, and whether just a bit of the witch hazel might be ok to put directly on to the affected area.
    Thank you,
    Emily B.

    • Lindsay September 3, 2010 at 7:12 am #

      Yes, witchhazel is supposed to be very soothing to vaginal varicose veins.

  22. DelightfulBirth August 23, 2010 at 7:15 pm #

    What a great, comprehensive list you’ve put together! I will have to link to this in the future. A great resource for new mamas and expecting mamas, for sure! Thanks. :)

  23. Sarah August 23, 2010 at 6:18 am #

    Great list! :) I’ll have to put one of these together for myself here in the next couple of weeks.

    I do recommend looking up Comfrey in Hale’s Medications and Mother’s Milk. There is a risk to the baby’s developing liver even when just using topically. It hasn’t been tested in humans, at least the last time I checked, but it’s worth looking into to determine your own comfort level :)

    A few sources recommend using it, but many more don’t. I’m personally not comfortable using comfrey based on its toxicity. But, each to their own! I do always recommend using multiple sources when determining the safety of any medication-including herbal teas and such :) There are plenty of herbs that are good for BFing or Pregnancy but not both. Just because 1 book says to use it doesn’t mean they knew everything at the time of publication!

    Thanks again for the list, though :) I just like to try to raise awareness!

    Sarah

  24. Nicke August 22, 2010 at 7:45 pm #

    May I also suggest Kerry’s Herbal’s Miracle Salve for perineal lacerations? It contains comfrey, plantain, lavender, and calendula…Love it for diaper rash too! :)

  25. Erika August 21, 2010 at 6:19 am #

    Great list of ideas! I second Jennifer on the baby blues vs. depression – especially on how long it can last. I finally got medical help after my first one was over a year, and it was like a light turned on. So needed! Praise God, I have felt much more normal this time with my little 4mo.

    Something my midwife gave me for slight tearing was white clay. Both sprinkled/patted on, and dissolved in water with lavender essential oil for after the toilet. I healed sooooo quickly this time!

  26. Sarah August 19, 2010 at 6:47 pm #

    Thanks so much for this post! I’m hosting a mother-blessing shower for my friend and this gave me an idea to make some bath salts and sugar scrub with the essential oils for her. Also, I’m supporting her as an “unofficial” doula when she has a homebirth (God-willing) next month, and this post is a great help! Thanks so much for sharing your learnings on your blog Lindsay! Blessings to you!!

  27. Sara August 19, 2010 at 12:43 pm #

    love this lindsey. i had midwife care and was recommended this after my second (a homebirth) not so much for the first (hospital csection) i wish more natural remedies like this were recommended! can i add what my midwives recommended? arnica tablets, dissolve like sugar in the mouth, to help with post partum aches and pains and a mixture of motherwort, valerian, and crampbark tinctures (a dropper of each in a bit of juice or water) as a muscle/body relaxer. you can up valerian or motherwort for sleep aid at night (gentle and restful, not drugged out sleep)
    i was amazed at how this natural approach to healing helped, it works with your body rather than against it…

  28. Rebekah August 18, 2010 at 3:32 pm #

    For the car pads can you use cloth and dispossable?? I’ve done some cloth but was planning on doin dispossable for the first few weeks.

    • Lindsay August 18, 2010 at 7:03 pm #

      Yes, you can certainly use either cloth or disposable, although I have only used this recipe for disposable up to this point.

  29. Kim Kauffman August 18, 2010 at 6:46 am #

    This is so helpful as I’m due with our first in three weeks. I will definitely be trying these ideas!

  30. Simone August 17, 2010 at 3:23 pm #

    This is very timely as I am preparing for my first in October. I am wondering though, when you say “it’s never to early to start consuming tea…..to bring in milk supply”, do you mean even before you give birth? I really really want to be successful in breast feeding, but should I start now or wait until close/or after to anticipated arrival date??
    Thanks very much!

    • Lindsay August 18, 2010 at 7:04 pm #

      I would caution against using this tea before birth simply because some of the herbs can encourage premature labor. Start consuming immediately after birth and you will have an excellent head start since it takes a few days for your milk to come in anyway.

  31. Jennifer August 17, 2010 at 5:26 am #

    Thank you so much for this post! I just delivered my first on July 31st, so I am pretty much recovered from that by now, but I will definitely remember this for next time

    I know for me, one thing that really helped with the cramping that I experienced in the days after labor was using a heating pad (I have one filled with rice that I microwave). It was much more effective than motrin, and very soothing.

    Also, I had an episiotomy, and I would recommend that anyone who experiences any type of laceration or incision in that area take a stool softener, or at least eat a very high fiber diet and drink plenty of water. Hopefully this is self-explanatory :-)

    Finally, for prevention of post partum depression I would stress eating a nutritious diet, and possibly supplementing with fish oil and B vitamins

  32. fiona August 17, 2010 at 1:35 am #

    I think the reason they say not to have full on baths is the same reason they say not to have sex because of all the open blood vessels I have heard of a story of a new mother who upon returning home husband required her to have intercourse and it forced air into opened blood vessles after the the birth and it killed her same thing as when you give a needle you tap it to get all the air bubbles out so you dont inject them into the veins. I would say they dont recomend full on baths because of this reason. Has anyone else heard of this?

    • Rachel February 8, 2012 at 7:38 pm #

      Bath water won’t go all the way up to the cervix so there’s no concern with anything getting pushed up there. Studies have been done in this regard with concern to laboring women getting in the bath after the water is broken (it’s fine). You just don’t want to actively insert anything postpartum because of the risk of infection.

  33. Sarah-Anne August 16, 2010 at 10:35 pm #

    Carecalendar.org is another EXCELLENT website for setting up meals and other services for new mamas, and anyone who could use help from others (surgery, illness, unemployment, death, etc). I’ve used this website multiple times to set up meals for a mommy group of which I am a member. I have no affiliation with them, and they are free.

  34. Melissa @ Anxious for Nothing August 16, 2010 at 9:11 pm #

    Something that has been really helpful to me after the births of my 3 children is filling a peri-bottle (my midwives gave me one with each birth) with warm water and a few drops of tea tree oil (or you can use calendula tincture) and squirting it over the perineum WHILE using the restroom. Helps reduce the stinging that might otherwise be felt.

  35. Kathleen August 16, 2010 at 5:58 pm #

    You mean prepare the witch hazel pads 18-24 HOURS ahead of time, right?

    • Danielle August 16, 2010 at 7:00 pm #

      No, 18-24 pads.

  36. Cathy Holt August 16, 2010 at 5:48 pm #

    I’ve read a lot about encapsulating your placenta and taking that or cutting it up and adding it to smoothies until its gone. I’ve read about lots of moms feeling like they have more energy and bounce back faster after consuming it.

    • HerbanDoula December 29, 2010 at 5:23 pm #

      I highly recommend placenta encapsulation to all my clients. I think it is easier to take capsules than to cut it and add it to smoothies, but I believe that is mostly personal preference.

      Ingesting the placenta after birth is not only a great way to get more energy, but also a great way to fight or ward off postpartum depression and the baby blues. It contains your hormones and helps to even the hormone levels in your body when they are out of whack due to birth.

  37. Gabrielle August 16, 2010 at 5:21 pm #

    Thanks so much for this post. I’m due in October so I was so glad to see this here. I am super excited about the frozen pads. HA! Thanks again.

  38. Joy Eggerichs August 16, 2010 at 3:28 pm #

    Hi! I am not in the market for natural nipple cream right now, but it was fun looking at your blog. (-: It’s so well done. See you soon at the wedding!!

  39. Suzanne August 16, 2010 at 3:23 pm #

    Thanks so much for all the ideas!! I will definitely need this come February!

  40. Sarah August 16, 2010 at 2:35 pm #

    What great timing with this post–and what helpful tips! I’m due with my first any day now, so this advice is very helpful. Thanks Lindsay!

  41. Jessica in Europe August 16, 2010 at 12:58 pm #

    I’m about to deliver my 3rd child, but 1st overseas so I’m trying to make sure I have everything I need to recover postpartum in hand since I can’t get anything here. Thanks for the recommendations!

  42. Anne August 16, 2010 at 12:43 pm #

    Kind of a silly question, but do you use the same coconut oil for cooking as for the nipple ointment? : )

    • Danielle August 16, 2010 at 1:24 pm #

      Yup! CO has so many uses besides cooking. It’s AWESOME!

  43. Jennifer August 16, 2010 at 10:36 am #

    Just a note about postpartum depression. It might be helpful to distinguish between the “baby blues,” which almost every woman gets after delivery, and postpartum depression, which affects about 10% of women. I didn’t understand the difference until I experienced it first-hand. Postpartum depression is terrifying, and it can escalate over time. In my case, for months, despite my best efforts to do everything to combat it that I knew. While I am a convinced proponent of biblical counseling, there are medical aspects to true postpartum depression. Ed Welch addresses this briefly in his book on depression.

    I only mention this to be encouraging to others. People mentioned the baby blues to me, but no one prepared me for the depths of what could happen. It’s usually not something you talk about in Christian circles. Once I started talking about it, though, I was stunned by the number of Christian women I met who had suffered through this alone and silently.

  44. Meg August 16, 2010 at 10:13 am #

    @Candice – sometimes a full-on bath isn’t recommended, but you can do sitz baths, which are basically a tub big enough to fit your bum. I’m not sure why they tell us not to do a full immersion bath until we are done bleeding (my doctor told me the same thing, not that I listened… ahem).

    I make an awesome soothing sitz bath “tea” with comfrey leaves, milky oat tops (or oatmeal, in a pinch), lavender & calendula flowers, and slippery elm bark. It reduced the swelling after one sitz bath, plus, it smelled so good! I just mixed some up for a friend of mine who’s set to deliver sometime this week. :-)

    • Danielle August 16, 2010 at 10:33 am #

      yeah there’s a lot of things the dr told us NOT to do… but we didn’t listen lol.

      Of course, I’ve only had c-sections. (1 emerg, rest were elective) And we are finito in the baby making department (by choice).

      Oh, and Lindsay, you can take fish oil by mouth, and that also is wonderful for post-partum blues.

  45. Ksenia August 16, 2010 at 9:53 am #

    Lovely article and just on time! My newborn is 2 weeks old now! Thanks so much Lindsay!

  46. Candice August 16, 2010 at 9:32 am #

    Awesome ideas! If essential oils weren’t so pricey I would go get all of this right now!

    I delivered with a midwife up here on Seattle and she told me not to take baths until I stopped bleeding. I wanted to bath so bad too! Any ideas why? Or why it’s okay to bathe after delivery?

    • Lindsay August 16, 2010 at 12:37 pm #

      Strange. My midwife has always recommended it and it has had such powerful healing affects on my postpartum body.

      • Mackenzie August 17, 2010 at 11:08 am #

        My midwife recommended baths too. The hot water brings blood to the area to speed up healing, especially if you had stitches or a tear. I think they used to say not to take full baths, but only sitz, because they thought water might get inside your body when it was vulnerable to infection but that has been shown not to be the case. Although during the first few days, I prefered a sitx bath because the water was not gross after a minute or two and I could use hotter water.

  47. Jennifer Sara August 16, 2010 at 9:23 am #

    Dried comfrey leaves are awesome for healing tears! A real life saver! I used a poultice of comfrey, plantain and lavender flowers directly on the perineum almost immediately after the birth of our son (at home). The relief was instant and my swelling was down in five minutes. Plus the smell of the lavender relaxed all in the room and made the crying baby settle down to eat. The lavender is also acted as an infection fighter for my tear.

  48. Yama August 16, 2010 at 9:17 am #

    Thank you for this! I look forward to putting it to use whenever the Lord blesses us with a third!

  49. Julie August 16, 2010 at 7:58 am #

    This is a super article. I just loved it. Thanks especially for the link for the meal baby website. I just love to cook for new moms and i used to organize meals for them at my old church. It would have come in handy.

  50. Alison August 16, 2010 at 7:52 am #

    I’m being induced in 10 days and this was really helpful! Thank you!