“Vaginal steaming. If you’re a bit of a skeptic (or know me & my desire to learn about all things seemingly “weird & wonderful”) you may be thinking “oh here we go with one of Alana’s trials of the week” but STOP.
Grab your suspension of disbelief - your pre & postpartum cha-cha (& headspace!) will SERIOUSLY thank you. Mine certainly did. I cannot tell you enough what an incredible part of my pregnancy, birth preparation, and more surprisingly, BEAUTIFUL part to my postpartum recovery womb steaming has been 🙌
I had cursorily read about vaginal/peri-steaming (you’ll find a ton of different names for the practice) in the past to support with all sorts of female health concerns & as a part of general wellbeing, but it must have slipped my cloudy pregnancy brain until I was reintroduced to the notion by this TREASURE of a human, Liberty Steams at 37 weeks.
A quick google will give you an overview of the steaming process, but as with EVERYTHING going on down there, compounded with your scruples while being pregnant, I for one wouldn’t be keen on just whipping up a pot of random herbs and popping a squat until whatever arbitrary time the dear old internet told me to. Enter the super knowledgeable Liberty.
Beyond just providing you with the natural, hand-made wooden stool (no toxic varnishes/paints/etc), plus the MOST instagramably stunning 😜, meticulously curated herbal blends depending on when/why you’re steaming, Liberty shepherds you through the process with a personal 1:1 consultation, where you immediately see this is undoubtedly her passion - helping women by spreading this awesome peri-steaming gospel (Her personal experience story is amazing! Ask her!)
Over the course of the three weeks that I steamed prior to giving birth (you can actually steam from 36), she’s been a constant by my virtual side (on WhatsApp asking how the progress has been, recommending changes in dosage, timing, and so forth). Moreover, the actual herbs themselves are certainly not off the rack from Carrefour! 😂 Many of them she actually harvests from her mother’s farm, others she sources meticulously from trusted suppliers, & for the yogi/spiritual gal in me, you can imagine the woo-woo delight on my face when I was lucky enough to meet her in July and see incredible care & pride with which keeps her herbs (she has Kundalini music/mantras playing over her stores of herbs🙃).
Hypnobirthing practice was a big part of my pregnancy journey & preparation, & while I constantly dedicated myself to listening to the tracks and recordings from the early days of being pregnant, I found that listening WHILE steaming provided an awesome tangible “anchor” to my practice (I found I was less likely to let my mind wander, & it helped create a little ritual for me & my baby).
I ended up having a second-degree tear that required stitches & around the fourth day postpartum (I think when the stitches were starting to heal and tighten things down there), I noticed a lot more discomfort than there had been for the past few days. It was at that time that Liberty (like she was reading my mind 😂) messaged me saying depending on if I was feeling up for it, it could probably a good time for me to start the postpartum steaming. I shared with her about the stitches & the kind of pulling/tugging sensations I was having. She shared that based on early evidence and from a few studies (as we all know, unless you’re big pharma, there are not nearly enough clinical trials run on alternative wellness & medicine🙄), this was one of the number one relief symptoms that participants experienced - reduced discomfort from stitches/healing process down there. Sure enough, after three days of steaming, I noticed a significant softening and lessening of the discomfort.
Much to my surprise, before the end of the second week postpartum, I physically already felt ready to go on long walks, do gentle yoga, & was generally buzzing around the house (I want to be clear that this was 100% NOT a goal of mine; in fact quite the opposite. I was committed to having zero expectations about having my body do anything physical that wasn’t taking care of my baby). But I was genuinely surprised at how well I felt “down there” (to the point where I remarked several times to my husband about how incredible the female body, its resilience, recovery, and healing is!).
While I of course can’t single-handedly point to the peri-steaming that I did both pre-and postnatally being solely responsible for my surprisingly great postpartum experience, I can definitely say for me, it played a REALLY significant role, and I’m SO grateful to Liberty for introducing me to this awesome practice I plan to continue even now that baby is here! 💗💗
Alana G, a real-life superwoman