Trauma and Drama; Baby’s first week

Even after a great birth, there’s body-trauma to deal with. And even with a healthy, peaceful baby, there’s a little first-week drama to face. Here are a few things I found to help with both.

Bruising on upper chest (stripe from armpit to armpit where I leaned into the side of the tub): lavender essential oil applied directly to the skin. I did not dilute, and was not concerned about the proximity to breasts/nursing since this is indicated for mastitis as well.

Bruising on sacrum: PanAway* essential oil blend, applied neat. I felt that this not only helped with bruising of the bones, but that the absorbed oil helped to mend the pelvic floor muscles faster than in previous births.

Sore Upper Arms: PanAway* applied neat on location.

After Birth Pain: Cramp Bark tincture (alcohol) every few hours in first day, decreasing until 3rd day. I also used more of my Labor/Birth essential oil blend as a foot rub and low belly rub. I did not need to take Advil or any other synthetic pain killer.

Neck Misalignment/muscle discomfort from turning my head tubside during labor: Valor essential oil blend, on location.

General Exhaustion (birth is a marathon, afterall!): Frankincense oil on wrists, and inhaled. NingxiaRed wolfberry juice with essential oils (Young Living) and Chinese herbal tea (blended by my doctor) really helped me feel revived.

Water retention; drinking lots of water with lemon essential oil to help flush out excess fluid.

Tissue Soothing/Regeneration; Gentle Baby essential oil blend in peri bottle with water: 1 drop per peri bottle at each potty use.

Emotional Stability Post Partum: I used Ylang Ylang on wrists and inhaled. At ten days I began ProgessencePlus* serum which contains wild yam extract; 3 drops on forearms 2xday. I also began 1 drop Sclaressence* essential oil blend under tongue 2xday. I continued to take nutritional oils of flax, evening primrose, and fish for their omega 3 fatty acids.

Mastitis/clogged duct/engorgement: lavender and copaiba essential oils rubbed on site. Lavender is very effective alone, but copaiba magnifies it’s potency and is highly anti-inflammatory in its own right.


Belly Button: a drop of myrrh on the navel helped the belly button to heal and dry faster than my other babies. Works as an antiseptic.

Circumcision: a drop of myrrh in a dab of carrier oil at the base of the penis as an antiseptic. For pain, the “morphine bomb” worked wonders: I mixed 1 drop each Copaiba, Idaho Balsam Fir, and Frankincense in the palm of my hand and applied to baby’s feet and spine, and he was sleeping peacefully within 5 minutes (previous frantic pain).

Colic: in week 2 baby had a night of colic after too many feedings. Upon applying 1 drop of DiGize to his bloated belly in a clockwise pattern, he became calm and we all went back to sleep.

*Note: PanAway, ProgessencePlus, and Sclaressence essential oil blends contain a small amount of peppermint oil, which in large amounts some women find to reduce their milk supply. I have not found this to be the case with these blends, perhaps because it is such a small amount, or perhaps because the other oils in the blends support milk supply.

I only use Young Living essential oils for topical and internal use in my family. Please do your research about essential oils; I feel confident that Young Living EOs are the safest and most pure oils on the market, and have personally seen a difference in their potency as well. Please see my Essential Oils page for more information on purchasing a starter kit of Young Living essential oils.

What I’ve Been Up To

My last post was August 1st. Considering that tomorrow is November 1st, this post could be titled How to Let a Blog Die. Instead, I’ll tell you what I’ve been up to these past 3 months.

Thaddeus, at 4 weeks

On August 22nd, I gave birth to my 4th child, this one at home (first time). He was born just before midnight, and after about 50 hours of labor. 9lbs, 5oz was quite a bundle to push out, but I had no complications. My midwife with 2 nurse attendants were on hand, as well as my husband and mother. Little Thaddeus arrived, and was tucked into bed with me about an hour later; what a sweet prize after all that work!

My mom was able to stay for a week after Thaddeus was born, and when she left my 15-year-old sister Johannah stayed for another 3 weeks. Wow! what a blessing they were!

Thad has done fabulously; he gained about a pound a week his first 6 weeks (breastfeeding only), and sleep schedule is going well too.

However, we have had quite a learning experience with Pertussis (Whooping Cough). My three children began to show symptoms the week before Thaddeus was due (we knew we had been exposed) so we all took antibiotics to wipe out any bacteria that would be contagious to others, particularly the baby who was due any day. Unfortunately, the antibiotic doesn’t help the disease process in the patient, so all 3 children had a dreadful, scary cough (worse at night), which has only now begun to subside (11 weeks later). However, I was very grateful that we were able to catch it, and avoid exposing our infant.

But, 5 weeks later, Thaddeus began to have the same funny tiny cough the children had started with…a culture showed that he was now positive for Pertussis! This was outside the window for disease gestation, so we don’t believe that he could have even contracted it from our own family; it is obviously a highly contagious disease for him to have come down with it from casual exposure outside our home. It is quite dangerous in infants, with 87% requiring hospitalization. 8 infants have died in California already this season (it is an epidemic year for this).

However, Thaddeus has weathered Pertussis marvelously, perhaps better than the 3 older children. Many, many people were praying for him: family and friends across the country, and even many people who don’t know us (thank you if you were one of them). We thank the Lord for being so gracious to him and to us, and sparing him from hospitalization or even death. I’m also grateful for excellent and prompt medical care, and for the excellent diet I was able to pass on to him in breast milk.

We found that Vit. C, cod liver oil, and Guafinasin were helpful supplements for the children, as well as eucalyptus chest rub. And the silver lining on this experience is that these 4 children now have lifetime immunity, which is more than my husband and I can boast of through vaccination, which is only about 80% effective for about 10 years, they now believe.

In addition to all this, in September I began the school year with our 2 oldest (1st grade), hosted 2 waves of out-of-town relatives/guests, attended an out-of-town wedding, and experienced mastitis for the first time (probably because I was too busy doing all the above).

October has slowed down quite a bit and we’ve fallen into a good routine with school in the mornings, naps in the afternoons (I try to get one a week!). I’m still trying to cook in healthier ways, and taking pictures of the results to share with you. I think my house is more green than clean right now…hmm.

Yesterday was my birthday, and I spent the whole day with my husband redeeming Chinook Book coupons (green living coupons in Portland); will share all about it soon.

So I’ve been busy…but I’m back to blogging!