Those early days after my son’s birth were magical, emotional and overwhelming. Pre-birth nesting habits consisted mainly of being in total denial of my son’s arrival by sipping cool drinks while window-shopping at local boutiques and having lunch with friends. With labor as my main focus, I spent a considerable amount of time lying in bed, air conditioner blaring over my huge pregnant belly, listening to Marie Mongan chant the rainbow colors until I fell fast asleep for siesta numero diez of the day. Incredibly important, yes, though virtually all of my efforts went into preparing for labor; pretty close to zero were spent educating myself about how to care for a newborn and equally as important, myself.
So a couple months back when an old friend gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, I knew I wanted to give a simple gift that focused on new mama care. A lesson that I personally (and quickly) learned was of great importance.
Postpartum my midwife gave me a bottle of calendula tincture and instructed me to squirt a dropperful in my peri-bottle to aid in the healing process. Calendula is a wonderful healing flower that reduces inflammation, controls bleeding, is anti-viral, and is an overall healing super plant. While I didn’t have a fresh bottle of the tincture to give, I did have beautiful dried flowers. In addition to using a peri-bottle, I also took many sitz baths, in a wonderful infusion of incredibly interesting herbs, flowers, and I believe even roots and bark. My husband would brew up big pots of this, letting it simmer all day long, and made our house smell so incredibly earthy and wonderful. My gift was an extremely humble (and much less involved) version.
Postpartum Calendula Flower Infusion
- Place dried petals in a pot and cover with water.
- Bring to a slight boil, reduce heat to very low and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Turn off heat and let it rest for several hours.
- Strain; pour into sitz bath water. Relax.
- Place dried petals in a clean sock.
- Attach to bath faucet with a rubber band or string.
- Turn on hot water and fill tub to sitz bath level.
- Wring out sock into tub, or place in tub during bath. Relax.
I also made up a little bottle of herbal hand sanitizer for visitors and those on-the-go moments when clean hands are a must.
Several bags of my favorite nursing tea.
A jar of delicious high protein Spiced Nuts & Seeds, along with the recipe (granola would also be a nice)
A handmade bib.
And a bundle of ceremonial sage for purification and healing.
A couple months after my son was born I was able to go to a Closing of the Bones ceremony, a womb wrapping ceremony which “honors the postpartum mother. It is a setting of intentional space, to nurture the mother after her passage through giving birth, as an initiation into the flowering of motherhood and beyond.” I will not be able to adequately express the experience I had during this ceremony. Whew. It was a life changing experience, highly emotional, highly spiritual. Unbelievably…necessary.
I was so pleased with how this gift turned out and it really got my brain swirling for other interesting, mama-centric gifts. Do you have a special go-to new parent gift or Mother’s Day gift? How will you be honoring yourself and other mamas this weekend?
P.S. – There are still two days left to enter the anniversary giveaway which includes some of the items mentioned in this post.