2 Tablespoons Shepherd Purse
1 Tablespoon Fennel Seeds
1 broken Cinnamon stick
Put all herbs in a big pot. Boil water separately and pour boiling water (at least 5 cups) over the herbs. Let steep. (You may have to re warm but do that with least heat possible. Leaf and seed herbs are not boiled).
Get your big mug ready before the baby is born.
Put 2 teaspoons maple syrup or honey in the cup with a spoon. Have bendy straw ready. Put tea strainer (small strainer with a handle) over the top of the cup. As soon as the baby is born one attendant runs to get a cup of the tea and the straw. Make sure it’s warm but not hot enough to burn mother’s mouth with a swallow. Give it to her and say “This tea will help your placenta come out smoothly, all in one piece.” Say this only once. Keep offering the tea liberally.
The mother’s body needs warmth inside and out after the birth and women seem to love the taste of this tea plus the hydration.
We use this tea for primips. With multips we use a crampbark/cinnamon tea for helping to reduce the afterpains. Barks and roots are boiled so there is a different method for preparation.
RECIPE FOR MULTIP (second or more baby) TEA
2 heaping tbsp cramp bark
1 cinnamon stick about 4″ long, broken in pieces
Place the ingredients in a pot with 2 litres of water and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer on a low boil for one hour. Barks need to be boiled in order to release their properties.
Strain the tea and drink like medicine whenever the cramps/after pains are bothersome. Remember, the cramping is stopping you from bleeding too heavily so it is a good and healthy thing your body is doing.
Update August 13, 2014 Recently, I spoke to two different women, in two countries who didn’t know each other. They both brought up in the conversation how special it was that their caregiver (one a doula, the other a birth attendant) had given them a tea to drink right after they gave birth that tasted wonderful and was just the right temperature and sweetness. One of the women I was speaking to, who has had 5 births actually teared up and said “It was the nicest thing anyone ever did for me in my births —it was so tender and thoughtful of my doula”. Kudos to both those birth workers who have incorporated the making of tea into their care.
The tea preparation is part of the setup for the birth when the birthing woman is reaching the pushing stage: —sterilize instruments, make the post partum tea, prepare a waterproof bed for the mother and baby to lie down after the birth, find a placenta bowl, make sure the resuscitation bag is at hand. We leave a mug with sweetener, spoon, straw and strainer all ready on the counter beside the pot of tea. Then, as soon as baby is in the woman’s arms, one helper runs to the kitchen and pours the tea and brings it back. Without passing between the gaze of the woman/baby, the bendy straw is put near her mouth and she can take a big swallow. (best to pass it from behind her if she’s sitting in a water tub.) It’s not just the properties of the tea, it’s a warming, hydrating thing, too. In a pinch, you could just go in her cupboard and find some herbal tea bags and make up a warm cup of herbal tea for her.