Preparation for birth and steaming in hospitals

Preparation for birth and steaming in hospitals


I’m forever grateful to Monika Valova from for letting me share and translate her article. There is nothing like this in another language. She is an amazing woman who brings vaginal steaming into hospitals all over the Czech Republic and with much success. 
I hope you enjoy the read as much as I did.
Laura Hooper
Herbs and Steam

 Feb. 15, 2018
Relaxation of birth canals – vaginal steaming before and during childbirth
I was going to work on this topic for several months. It took me time to gain my own experiences first, and then to share them. Most of the information in this article is original and not yet published. They are based on the experiences of women who used vaginal steaming as a tool to relax the birth canal. I believe that this article will be useful not only for expectant mothers, but also for midwives and doulas, who can use steaming to prepare their women for childbirth.

You may be wondering how it is possible that you are now reading an article on the use of steaming in pregnancy. After all, it is written everywhere that it is not recommended during pregnancy. The truth is that in the first 38 weeks of pregnancy, steaming is really contraindicated. The exceptions are the last weeks of pregnancy, during which the herbal heat no longer threatens to significantly affect the natural development of the fetus, does not endanger the nidation of the fertilized egg due to a possible reduction of the uterine mucosa and does not cause abortion under any circumstances.

An exception to the general ban on steaming during pregnancy is therefore a mature pregnancy.

If a woman approaches the due date, she can indulge in the warmth of the vaginal steam from the end of the 38th week of pregnancy in order to relax the birth canal. As of this week, it is a term pregnancy and the baby is considered full-term, so it is perfectly fine for the woman to start preparing for the way out.

A vaginal steam can make the last stage of pregnancy more pleasant and influence the course of childbirth thanks to deep relaxation, warmth and the effects of herbs.

Properly chosen herbs can help eliminate the unwanted bacteria and yeast that many pregnant women suffer from. They help to keep the vaginal microflora in a balanced state, and at the same time have a positive effect on the birth canal and the smooth course of childbirth.

The warm steam from the steaming itself has the effect of softening the tissues of the dam, which makes it more flexible and elastic. Finally, to achieve the same effects, the midwives heat the dam during childbirth.

Prenatal vaginal steaming can speed up childbirth due to the above-mentioned effects, and this is also the reason why pregnancy is contraindicated by the 38th week of pregnancy.

The steaming relaxes the pelvic floor muscles, moisturizes and prepares the birth canal, and also helps the body shorten the cervix, thus opening the "gate" to the desired baby.

In the case of transmission, the steaming is a gentle, non-invasive and safe technique for inducing childbirth. Of course, it doesn't work 100% like a magic wand. If the right time has not yet come, it will not cause a birth, but will help prepare the woman for it.

Relaxation, meditation and visualization ...

Before giving birth, more than ever, a woman will appreciate the relaxing effects of a steam, which will relax her beautiful pregnant body and allow her to let go of the fear of childbirth. She tunes in to herself and the baby, and because she will be well, she will be well with him.

During the steaming process, a woman can visualize how heat gradually penetrates her body, reaches the cervix, which gently caresses, opens a little, and continues on to the baby, to whom she shows a safe way out. And also that it is as warm outside as inside, because his mother's loving arms are as warm and safe as her womb. This visualization can also be used at the beginning of childbirth as a ritual of opening the birth canal.

More than ever, the rule is that steaming must be pleasant, that is, gentle warmth, appropriately chosen herbs, nice surroundings, candles, music, intimate atmosphere.

When contractions begin and a woman is not sure if they are messengers or starting childbirth, she can also use a steamer. She will especially welcome this option if she does not have a bathtub at home.

If the birth stops or slows down much during the opening phase, steaming at this point will help the woman to relax and restart the contractions. Amniotic fluid outflow is not a contraindication after consultation with a midwife.

Steaming at the end of pregnancy was also mentioned in her book Healthy Pregnancy, Natural Childbirth by the well-known German midwife Ingeborg Stadelmann. In it, he advises women to use steam sitting baths, as she calls steaming, in the term pregnancy. She recommends hay flowers for steaming, with which I have no personal experience, so I mixed my own combination of herbs.
Zuzana Švancerová is one of our first midwives to use steaming and recommend it to women. I asked her to cooperate, as well as to share her experience with prenatal and obstetric steaming, which she will gradually publish on her

Zuzka writes:
I recommend steaming for pregnant women for about half a year. I used to just tell them about her, basically just passing on information from Ingeborg Stadelman.Today, I use it on my own and I have no doubt about its effects.

About 6 of my clients have been steaming lately. One of them steamed for about a week and praised it very much. As a first-born, she gave birth quite quickly and the injury was minimal. Of course, it also depends on a lot of other factors. She massaged the perineum, practiced with epi-i ball, I heated her perineum for a long time during childbirth…Anyway, I believe that the steaming helped her soften the perineum, warm up and generally tune in and relax. Steaming continues even after childbirth.

The second of the women was a third-born. She only steamed once. She went to bed after her, and after a while the birth began, gave birth in about 3 hours. However, she had fast and previous births.

Another woman has a due date in February. When I was with her and steamed on a stool that made her comfortable, it was nice. She then tried it herself, but on a make her own seat that pushes her, so the feelings are pleasant, only the seat spoils the impression. However, after the first birth she has a cut and rupture to the rectum, which they had to suture under anesthesia and make a plastic), so I think it is very important for her to relax and the scar is soft.

When I steamed women during childbirth, it was very pleasant for them.

To sum it up, I think vaginal steaming is amazing. The woman calms down, stops, tunes in, warms up, and cares for her inner woman. And when she takes care of this inner goddess, she wakes up, comes to life, and the whole woman brightens and blooms.

And what are the specific experiences of women who used herbal steamers before and during childbirth?

Personally, I am grateful for the recommendation of the steamer, I used it 1-2 times a week before the birth and so far once after the birth (after 14 days after the cessation of cleansing, for "final cleaning"). About 20 min. steaming has always been a moment for me for myself (or next to my partner in the film, ...) to calm down and relax, while beautifully softening the womb before introducing Aniball. I love hot massages and other warm-ups (such as thermophones), so it was a little pleasure for me. With a drop of lavender essential oil or even a teatree, a mild natural disinfection of intimate areas. For me, it is a pleasant and useful practice not only in connection with childbirth.


(note by the author of the article - essential oils are not recommended for steaming due to their strength and concentration)
My first antenatal caregiver exceeded expectations! It took me a while to find the ideal location and temperature, but then it was a swan! I could feel the birth canals and the pelvic floor relaxing with heat. I had a nice rest and realized my femininity. Now after giving birth, it's so pleasant that I indulge in steaming several times a week.

I tried the prenatal vaginal steaming 5 times. For the first time at the beginning of the 40th week of pregnancy, the last in the 41st week of pregnancy about 5 hours before delivery. The steaming always relaxed me and warmed me up pleasantly. At the first stage of labor, she confirmed to me that they were not Breton hics, but on the contractions, the contractions intensified slightly. I highly recommend.

My water broke, but the birth went nowhere. Despite the contractions, Linda remained high in the birth canal and I did not open. I was giving birth in Switzerland. During my pregnancy, I had several visits and consultations with a midwife, with whom we agreed on the most natural birth possible.
When it was 12 hours after the water burst and the bath and shower did not help, nor did you go up the stairs and walk around the premises, a physiotherapist came and we practiced a bit. She showed me the stork walking, but Linda was still waiting nicely upstairs. Each shift came up with another idea. Like an enema. But it didn't help either, and it wasn't necessary, because I cleaned myself during the night. Then another shift came up with the idea that in addition to homeopathy, we would try a midwife.
I don't know exactly what herbs were in it. The water was in the base bowl, which fit into the toilet. So I sat on the toilet, warming the birth canals. It was very pleasant. I would say the best part of the opening hours. There was a large handrail by the toilet. For which I could hold on and exhale during contractions. Pleasant warmth poured into my whole body. The scent of herbs was (and always is) very relaxing and soothing for me.
Another advantage was that I was sitting on the toilet. So the midwife said I could do the need in peace.
Too bad I had no idea there was a postpartum steaming because I would definitely do it further. Because it was a beautiful birth experience for me.

I would very much like to share my experience with you. I steamed long before I got pregnant, and I actually missed steaming a lot during my pregnancy. Apart from the fact that it has always been a ritual associated with self-care for me, I again began to suffer from mycoses, with which I no longer had a problem due to steaming before pregnancy. I wrote articles about the steaming, spread awareness about it among women, started a business with steam aids and answered questions about women about the steaming on a daily basis, I lived by a steaming, but paradoxically I couldn't actually steam. As I sat over the warm steam after 8 months, my heart sank with joy. I was completely surprised how pleasant it is! I only managed it once before the birth. A few days later, I had a wonderful birth without injuries. I then continued in the sixth week,

Now it is my big dream to allow women to steam in maternity hospitals in the Czech Republic. I know it's not an easy goal, but I believe that every woman who works as a midwife, after trying a herbal steam, will admit to herself that this is exactly the type of care that belongs to caring for a woman during childbirth.
I wish that you benefit from my article.

With love…
 As a certified practitioner in Preparation for Birth and Postpartum Steaming
I invite you to contact me if you have any questions or would like further information about your journey with Vaginal Steaming. You can reach out to me on my email
 Much love
Laura Hooper
Owner and practitioner
Herbs and Steam
Sunshine Coast, Queensland

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