La Matriz Birth

Tema Mercado, Midwife

Grounded Bilingual Homebirth Midwife Care for San Diego and Tijuana, Baja California Families

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tema@lamatrizbirth.com 619.500.6552

LOCATIONS
Mission Valley , San Diego
2835 Camino del Rio S. #210, San Diego CA 92108
Tijuana Clinic

Anjali Centro Bienestar
Calle Sacramento 4424, Jardines De San Carlos, Tijuana, B.C., México

 

Herbal Remedies

Here you will find herbal remedy products and information
for your pregnancy and postpartum healing.

For as long as I can remember I’ve had a fascination for herbal medicine. I grew up on herbal remedies passed down from one generation to the next. I greatly enjoy working with plants; from planting, harvesting, blending and enjoying for personal use. I have no formal training other than personal use, extensive reading and, most importantly, oral tradition.

My herbal offerings include topical remedies and teas, Postpartum Sitz Bath, Warm Womb and Baby’s First Bath, Radiant Pregnancy Tea, Postpartum Wellness Tea and Warming Belly Binding Oil. Once my growing family permits, I hope to add tincture for for the childbearing year.

La Matriz Birth ~ Herbal Remedies

Postpartum Sitz Bath

This blend will help promote the rapid healing of the mother’s perineum after childbirth. It is common for mothers to experience swelling, soreness, small abrasions, hemorrhoids, and tears. These herbs are safe to use immediately after the birth and they do not interfere with any sutures/stitches in the perineum. As you prepare the blend I recommend that you pour your intentions in, as an added ingredient.

Ingredients:
Comfrey, witch hazel, calendula, uva ursi, shepherd’s purse, lavender, chamomile, yarrow, lemon balm, rosemary, California sage, thyme, epsom salts.

Directions:
Bring a gallon of water to boil in a large pot. Add herbs and let steep a few hours. You may wrap the herbs in cheesecloth if you wish. Let cool down and strain. You may save the remaining herbs in a ziplock bag and reuse but only with half a gallon of water for future use. If not please place in compost or bury in your yard.

Recommended Usage

Medicinal Herbal Cooling Pads:

Once your herbal mixed has cooled individually dip six-teen chlorine free maxi-pads (no need to remove the sticker from the back) into the herbal mix, just enough to soak. In a medium size bowl, place the pads and cover with a lid or liner and freeze in your freezer. They will not freeze completely due to the sea salt.

You may use these pads after baby is born and after you have taken your first shower. Leave them in your home freezer, have someone help you take them out when you need to use the restroom. Use four pads throughout the day for four days. Place directly on perineum for at least 10 minutes at a time.

Peri Bottle:
Once you have soaked your medicated cooling pads, with the remainder of your herbal tea, pour some into two squirt bottles and place them in the freezer. Bring them out to defrost once you go into labor. Bring one of these bottles to the hospital with you. Leave your squirt bottle in your restroom and use every time you go to the bathroom, one bottle should last you a day.

Sitz Bath:
With the remaining herbal tea, pour into sandwich zip lock bags or a plastic container, as many as needed. You will freeze these and use postpartum for sitz baths. Defrost and warm up, pour into a shallow bath and relax for 20 mins.

Warm Womb Steam Bath

These steam baths are incredibly healing to the perineum, uterus, and overall reproductive system. Women suffering from yeast, vaginitis, spasms, fibroids, painful menstruations, irregular menstruation, and fertility issues can greatly benefit from a vaginal and womb steam bath. When to use and what herbs to combine are greatly dictated by your symptoms. In general, however, you may safely use the week prior or days after menstrual bleeding has stopped. Do not steam during your menstruation or while you are pregnant.

Most women will notice a difference in their next menstruation. While contraindicated during pregnancy, it is a wonderful healing remedy for the postpartum mother. A new mother should wait until her bleeding has completely stopped, or until her sutures are completely healed before her first postpartum steam bath. Steam baths penetrate and gently clean without spreading bacteria further through the reproductive system unlike douching tends to do. The herbs used promote blood circulation and oxygenation to the reproductive system brings warmth back into the uterus, assists PH balance, repairs damaged tissues and helps to break down scar tissue.

Ingredients:
mugwort, rosemary, calendula, yarrow, lavender, basil, red rose petal, oregano, red raspberry leaf, white sage.

Instructions:
Bring one five cups of water to boil and add one cup of herbs. Your bag will have two cups of herbs good for two separate vaginal steam baths. Allow herbs to boil for 10 minutes and then let sit for 10 minutes. Traditionally women would say a small prayer with their specific intentions of womb healing and repeat the prayer seven times as they prepare the herbal infusion. Transfer the infusion immediately into a ceramic bowl or a metal receptacle and place inside your toilet bowl. During the cold weather you might want to add hot water to your toilet bowl so that the cooler water doesn’t cool down your steam bath too quickly. Place two small towels on the rim of your toilet and close the seat on the towels. This will help so that the steam doesn’t escape.

Some practitioners advise against using your toilet bowl due to sanitary reasons. You may also place a white sheet over and into your toilet bowl to form a small barrier, placing your receptacle on top of the sheet. The traditional option is to hold a child’s pose over your receptacle for the during steaming. This option is nice but not too practical for those with knee and hip sensitivities.

If you are interested in purchasing a handmade stool, please contact me.

You will want to sit for twenty minutes and allow the steam to do its job. Other practitioners use a heat source to maintain a steady stream of steam during the whole process. You can do this by using a hot plate, crock pot. Cover yourself from the waist down or fully from head to toe with cotton or wool blanket. Make sure to wear socks and not touch the cold bathroom floor. This will help you retain the warmth in your womb. Use this time to meditate or read, DO NOT take your cell phone in with you. Once you are done, you may take a soothing, warm bath and it is recommended that you lay down for 1 hour. I prefer to do this at night once all my children are in bed so that I may sleep through the night.

Recommended usage:
Contraindicated prenatally, only under medical supervision while in labor. Anytime postpartum, though some prefer to do after lochia has ceased. Contraindicated if you have a history of hemorrhage. Monthly if you have a recurring issue. 3-4 times a year for maintenance.

Please contact me directly if you wish to have a personal consultation regarding individualized usage.

Baby’s First Bath

Your baby’s skin is so sensitive in the first days of life.

The herbal blend selected is especially good for your baby’s new skin. You may use this blend at any time after the delivery. It may be used as a mama and baby’s first bath together after the delivery; it will not hurt your baby’s umbilical cord. Other mothers prefer to wait until the umbilical cord has completely healed to give baby his/ her very own first bath.

Ingredients & properties: Chamomile, lavender and calendula are anti-bacterial herbs, helping the body destroy or resist pathogenic microorganisms. Chamomile also provides anti-viral and anti-inflammatory medicinal properties. Calendula is an immuno-stimulant and promotes the production of collagen and reduces scarring. Lavender not only smells wonderful but it also produces an analgesic (pain reduction) effect. Yarrow and Plantain are emollients: they soften, soothe and protect the skin.

Instructions for preparation: You have enough herbs to be used for a full bathtub or several small baby bathtubs.

If using all the herbs in the bag, bring a gallon of water to boil in a large pot. Add herbs and let steep a few hours. Allow to cool down and then strain. Add to the tub with water.

Another option is to place the herbs in a muslin bag or cheesecloth and place into the tub with hot water. Wait until the water has cooled down to a baby-friendly temperature. Squeeze the bag to let out all of the herbal infusion.

Lotus Birth Herbal Powder

I’m excited to introduce this product for mother’s desiring a Lotus Birth. While some mothers are not interested in consuming their placenta, they might be interested in handling it differently than simply disposing of it. The Lotus Birth takes physiological postpartum back to it’s roots.

In the words of Robin Lim… “As parents to be, you have a once in a lifetime opportunity to plan for how your baby will be separated from his or her placenta. As a midwife, I seek to minimize the separation trauma by helping families and health-providers execute the lotus birth as gently as possible.”

Read more in Robin Lim’s Book the Placenta the Forgotten Chakra

Ingredients: Rosemary, lavender, basil, clove and cinnamon

Instructions: Firstly you will want to have a conversation with your Doctor or Midwife regarding your lotus birth. I think it’s highly unlikely that the hospital staff will know what to do so you must be prepared.

In addition to your Lotus Birth Herbs you will need:

  • 2 cups of sea salt
  • 2-4 cotton sheet, cloth diaper or chux pad to wrap placenta in
  • 1 small cotton bag / purse to place wrap placenta

Once the placenta has been birthed and you and baby have bonded, have someone bring a clean bowl of water to help you rinse the placenta. You may proceed to thank it for all it has done and continues to do for you and baby. Pat dry the placenta and place in the cotton sheet within a dry bowl. Cover the placenta with the two cups of salt, making sure both surfaces are fully covered. Then proceed to add all of the herbal powder on, gently patting and rubbing the herbs in. Cover the placenta, salt, and herbs with the cotton sheet, cloth diaper or chux pad and place into the cotton purse or bag. You may also use a small basket. During the first 24 hours make sure to check and replace if needed the cotton sheet, cloth diaper or chux pad . These can get wet and humid, so you’ll want to replace them.

As the placenta and cord begin to dry, the cord will become hard and inflexible. By mindful of how the cord dries so that when you move the baby the cord does not impede or prematurely sever the umbilical cord.

Radiant Pregnancy Tea

Assists as a blood builder to help reduce anemia, strengthen the placenta and capillaries, and reduce varicosities.

This tea is a gentle liver support and uterine tonic to help promote healthy, effective labor contractions and healthy digestion throughout pregnancy.

Ingredients: Red raspberry leaf, nettle, oat straw, alfalfa, rose hips, red clover, spearmint

Instructions: Use ¼ cup of combined dried herbs per quart of water. Turn off once water comes to a boil. Steep the night before and in the morning your herbal infusion will be ready. Strain, sweeten or add lemon. You may drink hot or cold.

You may use equal parts or vary the concentration of each herb for flavoring or desired health benefit.

Recommended usage: 1 to 4 cups daily prenatally and during labor.

Tema’s Current Services

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