7 Herbal Bath Soak Recipes For New Mothers

7 Herbal Bath Soak Recipes For New Mothers

Childbirth is the ‘Mount Everest’ of your physical, emotional and psychological life experiences.

So understandably, it will take a while for your mind and your body to recover from it.

As a new mother, you’ll probably be getting by on very little sleep, have an overworked mind and a brand new love so deep that, even when you can sleep, you’d prefer to simply stare at your baby. This can leave you feeling desperate for rest and relaxation.

For the first couple of weeks, you may still be suffering from the aches and pains of late pregnancy.

If you’re breastfeeding, you may also be experiencing the joys of sore nipples, engorged breasts and even the odd blocked duct (ouch). As your uterus begins to return to its pre-pregnancy size, you may experience cramping that can be pretty uncomfortable at times. Just like period pains, these cramps can be eased by heat, so taking a relaxing bath may help you to feel a little better.

You may not even be able to find the time to shower some days, so the idea of a bath might seem laughable. But when your partner is around to help out, ask him to look after the baby for a while so you can enjoy a bath.

Be warned though, you should expect a tiny, naked visitor to join you in the bath for a feed at some point. If this happens, make sure the bath is a safe temperature for your baby (you can always add more hot water once the baby is fed, happy and back in daddy’s arms).

Herbal Bath Soak Recipes

Here are seven soothing herbal bath recipes to make your bath as blissful and healing post birth and in the early weeks of new motherhood:

Herbal Bath Soak #1: Marigold Soak

This bath soak is great for encouraging the perineum to heal, and encouraging relaxation.

  • 1 tbsp Marigold flowers
  • 1 tbsp Comfrey
  • 1 tbsp St John’s Wort

Simply mix the ingredients together in a cup and add boiling water. Leave for a couple of minutes and then add to the bath water.

Herbal Bath Soak #2: Coconut & Lavender Bath

Virgin coconut oil is one of nature’s true gifts. It tastes delicious, is a healthy alternative to other oils, and can even be used as part of your beauty routine. It’s great for nappy rash, sore nipples and, yes, you guessed it, even bath soaks. Make the most of this natural moisturiser by immersing yourself in a bath of it!

  • 1 tbsp virgin coconut oil
  • 2 drops Lavender essential oil

Simply add these straight to your bath, then lie back and enjoy the relaxing aroma.

Herbal Bath Soak #3: Herbal Salt Bath

Traditionally, salt baths have been used to promote healing. Anyone who has ever experienced the joy of swimming in the sea will vouch for the great effects saltwater has on your skin. If you had stitches after the birth, you should check with your healthcare provider before taking a salt bath. Saltwater may encourage dissolvable sutures to dissolve too quickly.

  • ¼ cup Epsom salt (or magnesium flakes)
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp virgin coconut oil
  • 3 drops Lavender essential oil
  • 3 drops Chamomile essential oil

Simply combine the ingredients in a cup, and then add directly to the bath.

Note: there is an old wives tale that epsom salts can dry up breastmilk. This is not true. Magnesium is very beneficial for new mothers.

Herbal Bath Soak #4: Aloe Vera Bath

Aloe vera is often a go-to choice for holistic healing. It is often used to soothe burns, and is a much-loved treatment for sore and chapped skin.

  • 2 tbsp Aloe Vera (squeezed from the plant)
  • 1 tbsp virgin coconut oil

Simply add these ingredients to a cup along with some boiling water. Once infused, pour directly into the bath.

Herbal Bath Soak #5: Raspberry Leaf Bath

You may have had your fill of raspberry leaf tea towards the end of your pregnancy, but this wonderful plant could also be an important part of your postpartum care routine. For a relaxing bath, try out the following recipe:

  • 3 tbsp Red Raspberry Leaf
  • 1 tsp virgin coconut oil

Simply place the red raspberry leaf in a cup of boiling water, cover and leave to sit for a few minutes. Then simply add it to your bath.

Herbal Bath Soak #6: Plantain Soak

Plantain is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties that make it ideal for postpartum healing. The witch hazel can dry skin out, so be sure to moisturise after you get out of the bath.

  • 2 tbsp plantain leaf
  • 2 tbsp witch hazel
  • 1 tbsp virgin coconut oil

Herbal Bath Soak #7: Simple Magnesium Soak

Magnesium is one of the most abundant elements in the body, but many of us are deficient in it. The great news is that your biggest organ, the skin, can be used to absorb magnesium when you have a magnesium bath soak. Magnesium is great for relieving stress, muscle aches and cramps, speeding up wound healing, headache relief, skin problems (e.g. eczema or acne) and more.

  • 1-2 cups of epsom salts or magnesium flakes (the flakes are a better option, but both suitable)
  • 1/2 cup of Himalayan salt (optional)

You can always add your favourite essential oils too, if desired. Soak for 20 minutes and enjoy! Always keep your cupboard stocked with ingredients for a magnesium bath soak, and make it a regular ritual — not just in the postnatal period, but for the whole family — even the kids. A nice, warm magnesium soak bath just may help lull them into a sound sleep.

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Last Updated: August 13, 2015


Fiona Peacock is a writer, researcher and lover of all things to do with pregnancy, birth and motherhood (apart from the lack of sleep). She is a home birth advocate, passionate about gentle parenting and is also really tired.

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