vaginal steaming

Inhale the sweet smell of the herbs, bringing you into the present moment. Feel the warmth of the steam go straight to your core, healing you physically and rejuvenating you emotionally. You savor this time each night. A moment of peace. A time of reflection. Vaginal steaming what you need to ease your tired body to sleep.  

My vaginal steaming oasis

        Many of you who follow me on Instagram know that I followed a vaginal steaming plan for 30 days postpartum. Every night before bed, I would boil water, add the herbs, let it sit for about 15 minutes, and re-boil. Then, I got to experience what I described above. Thirty beautiful nights of self-care. 

I asked my friend and practitioner in Colorado Springs to spread awareness of this traditional postpartum care practice. I encourage all of the postpartum moms in my care to research vaginal steaming for themselves. Every mother deserves this experience and opportunity for deep healing. 

Interview with Serra Piko, Certified Vaginal Steam Facilitator

         Hello, my name is Serra Piko. I am from Turkey, where the East meets the West. Growing up traditionally with a Nurse Grandmother and a Midwife Auntie, I was always fascinated with pregnancy, birth and especially the Eastern postpartum period.

Women are treated like brides, sacred and cared for, for 40 days. Vaginal Steaming is an age-old natural remedy to balance, cleanse, tone and heal the vagina and womb.

Steam plays a very big role in traditional Eastern Culture.

Have you ever heard of the Turkish Hammam? It is a Turkish bath that helps with cleansing and relaxation. Women take care of women, nurture each other, support each other and help each other cleanse their bodies, mind and soul to achieve the ultimate state of relaxation. As a result Postpartum depression (also in men, yes this is a thing) is rare. As the world seems to move faster and away from old, wise and proven century old traditions, I have made it my mission to reclaim those. Though I know, that we no longer have the luxury to rest for 40 days and most women have to return to work within weeks after giving birth, we can still try to implement some of the old traditions into our lives, teach our daughters and sons and make a change and difference one person at a time.

FAQs about Vaginal Steaming:

1. How is Vaginal Steaming beneficial for postpartum?

        During our period and also postpartum our uterus has to go through a complete cleanse. In both cases the uterus is in a cleansing state. Our body is going through the same cleanse motion during our period and postpartum and requires the same kind of care to ensure a better cleanse and well being.

        During the period the blood vessels are open and the body sends blood to clean out the uterus. Postpartum, the blood vessels are closed and the uterus is shedding lochia. Lochia (Mucus, blood and white blood cells) is the term for fluids that are left inside the uterus after the baby and afterbirth are out.

        Steaming helps loosen up and liquefy the lochia. Clearing the lochia as soon as possible helps with reducing the chance of infections, postpartum contractions, helps the uterus go back in size and position to return to a healthy period.

Vaginal Steaming Postpartum also helps:

Tighten the vaginal opening and canal

Helps lift the uterus and facilitates proper re-positioning of neighboring organs. Aids in prolapse.

Reduces skin swelling and hemorrhoids

Disperses water dampness

Water retention can cause blooding, swollen hands etc. and water can turn into fat within 3 to 4 weeks (resource: 7 times a woman by Lisa Andrews).

Addresses past problems

Postpartum the woman’s cervix is open (takes about 3 to 4 weeks to close and 6 weeks or longer to heal). This helps the steam get right up where we want it. It can help treat previous fibroids, cysts etc. and achieve a “uterine reset”.

Releases oxytocin

Increased Milk Production. Mood: Love, Happiness, Trust. Stimulation of cervix and uterus can increase the release of oxytocin by 200% (study on rats).

2. How is Vaginal Steaming beneficial for your period and in general?

        Just like during your postpartum period we aim to get a good uterine cleanse and loosen up stagnation (signs are brown or black blood and or clots). Signs of a good uterine cleanse are fresh red blood. It also helps treat infections and irregular vaginal discharge, short periods (uterine fatigue), missing periods, infertility, helps with dryness and excess heat during menopause. There are also positive side effects of Vaginal Steaming. Some of which are:

        Relaxation, deep sleep, increased vaginal nectar (clear, pleasant smelling fertile nectar), heightened libido and sexual sensation, heightened fertility, circulation improvement, decreased PMS symptoms, water retention disbursement, emotional balance, skin beautification, tightened and lifted vaginal canal, scar softening, prevent and treat ingrown hair.

3. What is your favorite thing about steaming?

        I love how it makes me feel in general. Addressing my body’s needs. Listening to my body. The cleanse. I absolutely don’t mind that my vaginal opening and canal have tightened and sex is definitely more pleasurable 😉

4. What are some of your favorite herbs and what benefits do they have?

Lavender: It is disinfecting, deodorizing and aroma therapeutic

Astragalus: It is a Qi Tonic, good for toning

Calendula: It is cleansing, disinfecting and a kidney tonic (nourishes kidneys and promotes moisturization)

Motherwort: It is a blood tonic (nourishes blood with Iron and Vitamin B)

5. Can men steam?

        Yes, absolutely! Men statistically suffer more from hemorrhoids than women. Steaming can either help recovery after surgery or help reduce swelling during.

6. I have a young daughter, when can I let her steam?

        Steaming is for every age group. Just make sure that the steam is not too hot and if you use herbs, only use gentle herbs, nothing that is too cleansing.

7. When should a cesarean mom start steaming?

        It is very important that you only start steaming postpartum after your uterine vessels have closed. This usually happens right after birth. A good sign that they didn’t is, if the lochia is heavy (more than one pad per hour). In this case steaming is contraindicated. First aid to stop the bleeding should occur.

        In any case, if there is no heavy bleeding (lochia decreases) you can start steaming within 48 hours postpartum. If the cesarean mom can not fully sit or feels uncomfortable, she can start at a later point and steam for 30 days consecutive after.

Steaming can be very beneficial if done correctly! It is very important that you know your herbs and how to address the area that you need help with. I always recommend starting with a Certified Vaginal Steam Facilitator or somebody who has a background in herbal medicine and is familiar with all contraindications.

If you have any questions or are interested in Vaginal Steaming you can contact me at serra.piko@gmail.com or (808) 476 – 5437. 

If you are located near Fayetteville, North Carolina, check out V Spot Feminine Wellness!

About Kelsey Budge

Hello, I'm Kelsey Budge, The Movement Doula. I support families that want to change their childbearing journey their second time around, with an emphasis on movement, mindset and recovery. I believe you can fully enjoy this journey when you can focus on what matters most.

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