Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Let's Talk Postpartum Recovery: V-Steam with Myrtle & Flossie

Sharing Grayson's birth story last week was important to me not only to have it on record as I did with Nia, but also to finally be able to share a slew of posts that have been waiting in the pipeline.

One of those is about my postpartum experience. I believe modern science and technology is a gift, but I also believe in the importance of educating oneself. This was part of the reason why I was open to trying a v-steam session with Myrtle & Flossie after giving birth. 

When I shared a picture of v-stream on my Instagram feed last year it definitely piqued some interest and I'm happy to share my experience at last!

Think of v-steam as a recovery facial for your vagina. There are those who see birth as a glowing, serene, ethereal experience. I am not one of those people. I am in awe of my body and the metamorphosis it takes to conceive, grow and birth a human. I'm also very a bit weird: while pregnant I admit to feeling empowered by the fact that I could grow a penis inside of me. Just think if a man could grow a vagina inside of him? I'm sure he'd broadcast it proudly for the world to know!

Anyway, getting off the weird train. . .

Fellow mompreneur Nia, founder and owner of Myrtle & Flossie (I've featured her on the blog before here!), offered me a complimentary v-steam session in my home ($55 value). It can be a challenge getting out the door postpartum (and even now 8 months later!) especially with more than one child, so I was thankful that this was able to be done in the comfort of my home.

Image provided by Myrtle & Flossie

What exactly is v-steam? It's a vaginal bath that has been performed for centuries in Chinese medicine, but is now gaining popularity across the US especially amongst holistic circles. Advised for postpartum as well as post-menstruation, it is a medicinal, herbal steam facial for the vagina. The practitioner combines a select combination of herbs in a steam bath while the woman sits over it for 20-45 minutes. 

Why would a woman want to do this? Tearing can be part of a vaginal birth and having experienced a 4th degree tear when I gave birth to Nia, the recovery from that was worse than the actual vaginal birth. I was in the most intense pain I had ever experienced. My midwife, knowing I had tore so badly, guided my pushing and thankfully, I did not tear with Grayson. I felt the infamous ring of fire, more so this time around than before as I did not have pain medication, and in the weeks following birth, my vagina was still very sensitive. For me, the v-steam was an extra step in the healing process.

Image provided by Myrtle & Flossie
Is it awkward? Nope! Like any good practitioner, Nia explained exactly what she would be doing. Everything was in her kit including her herbal mix of mugwort, basil, calendula, marshmallow root, wormwood and rosemary, and she set it up quickly and left me in the bathroom to experience the v-steam for about 30 minutes. I wore my own comfy robe and found the steam to be soothing. It was also a welcome break for self-care during the erratic first few weeks of caring for a newborn. 

Besides doing Kegels, the v-steam is a great addition to getting everything back in place postpartum and even if you're not pregnant and want to give v-steam a try, it's recommended at least 1 or 2 days after your period and is known for  tackling other issues such as: 
  • Irregular and painful periods
  • Vaginal cysts
  • Infertility
  • Bladder and yeast infections
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Scarring from childbirth, hysterectomies and laparoscopies
If you're in the NYC-metro area and would like to give v-steam a try head over to Myrtle & Flossie's website to book a session or simply reach out to Nia if you have questions - she's so helpful! It also makes a great gift too for any moms-to-be in your life and I encourage you no matter where you are to explore providers in your area.

What did you find helpful during your postpartum recovery? Have you ever heard of v-steam?