having been around this block five times i know that it is more than just certain body parts that open up to accommodate childbirth - in a sense, my whole person opens up to birth a new life. during childbirth i become my most vulnerable and the days and weeks following the birth i notice an emotional rawness that is uncharacteristic. i try to be gentle with myself, embrace it for what it is, then let it go. i don't want any of it to have the opportunity to linger or grow.
personally, i have a Day 3 hormone crash (do you?) i am aware of it and this time was prepared for it. the kids were away at my parents so i had the freedom to bawl (and indeed bawl i did) without traumatising any offspring!
on Day 4 my midwife brought a basket of freshly picked herbs from her garden and that evening i was able to have the most relaxing, pleasant herb bath with our new baby. it was so calming and bonding for both of us that i wanted to share it with you and encourage you to try it also.
what you will need is a nice bunch of freshly picked herbs - (most of these are easily found in your average vege gardens) calendula flowers, comfrey leaves, lavender, rosemary, sage and my midwife also included the lovely smelling lemon verbena. if you have access to them, also add uva ursi and shepherd's purse.
put them in a delicates laundry bag (or a muslin cloth) and place them directly in the bath. i made the bath a bit hotter and let the herbs steep for half an hour before hopping in. as an added bonus, it made our downstairs smell amazing.
i turned all the bright lights off, grabbed the nekid bebe and jumped in. it was a deep bath and i held him with his body almost vertical so he could truly float around - just like old times! :)
and do you know what? he opened his eyes! for the whole time! (he'd had them firmly scrunched closed since being born) and he was completely relaxed and peaceful.
i didn't stay in there for long as i didn't want to over stimulate the baby (and kill the experience) so we jumped out after only 5-10 minutes.
but it was so lovely to share such a special first bath. i would really encourage you to try it.
**already prepared herbs for postpartum sitz baths are available at some herbal shops including The Herbal Shop. also, please consult your midwife before having a bath if you have had stitches or haemorrhaging.