I am so excited to share my personal Yoni steam experience for labor preparation! I have been steaming regularly since 2016, and it was so hard for me to discontinue my steaming ritual when I found out that I was pregnant (steaming during pregnancy is contraindicated). I couldn’t wait to get back on the steaming throne once I was far enough along in my pregnancy to start the labor prep protocol! Below you will find my steaming protocol and some reflections on my experience throughout as well as a bit about my labor and birth.
The protocol listed below would not be the same for every woman. Determining the best prep program for each woman is based on a number of factors. I share my protocol only as an example of what it might look like.
I steamed on the Friday that I reached 37 weeks with 3 tablespoons of the cooling blend for 10-min mild steam.
I started steaming daily with 3 tablespoons of the cooling blend and did 10-min mild steams each day.
I was able to return to my favorite blend, the cleansing blend! I used 6 tablespoons of herbs, and steamed for 20-min mild steams (when steaming for 20-min, I had to re-heat the water midway to make sure it stayed warm throughout.
I noticed that my body responded much more in terms of relaxation and tissue softening once I started using the cleansing blend and when I increased to dosage from 3 to 6 tablespoons.
I continued to use the cleansing blend and used 6 tablespoons for 30-min daily steam sessions. I still reheated the water every 10-min to make sure it stayed warm enough for the full 30-min session.
My due date of March 6th came and went, and I was still pregnant so I continued to steam. I knew that my body and my baby would work together to push me into labor when they were ready. In the meantime, I thoroughly enjoyed my daily 30-min steam with 6 tablespoons of the cleansing blend. I continued to anxiously await the arrival of my little one.
Labor and Birth:
At 41 weeks and 3 days, on Monday morning March 16th, I woke up with period-like cramps at 5 am. I took a bath, I tried to go back to bed but my contractions were getting too intense and too close together to rest.
By 6 I woke my boyfriend up to tell him I was pretty certain I was in labor. I started timing my contractions and they were already pretty regular, every 3 min and 1 min long.
We were planning for a home birth so I reached out to my midwives, but I still wasn’t convinced I was very far along because it had only been an hour. I also called my doula and after talking with her she said she was on her way. I think my voice and inability to talk through my contractions made her aware that I was pretty far along.
I live in the middle of nowhere so it took her about an hour to get here. I stayed in the bathroom on the toilet the whole time I waited for her. My boyfriend was checking on me constantly, but I found myself wanting to be alone in the dark, sitting on the toilet (haha).
When the midwives and doula arrived, I was still in the bathroom and found I really didn’t want anyone around or touching me. I thought I might want a lot of physical support, but what I actually wanted in the moment was to be fully present in my body, and to ride the waves on my own.
The first time my midwife checked me was at about 10 am and I was already fully dilated and ready to push. They helped me in to the birthing tub in my bedroom and I LOVED being in there. I was VERY vocal throughout, using deep primal noises with every push. I pushed for 45 min and she was born in the tub and immediately put on my chest. It was the most physically challenging experience I have ever had and also the most powerful. I felt like superwoman when it was done. In absolute awe of this little being and in awe of what my body just did. I did a lot to prepare for labor, and I can’t say for sure my birth wouldn’t have been the very same without the things I did, but I can highly recommend steaming for labor prep. I had absolutely no tearing and now, 6 days postpartum, I have minimal bleeding and am feeling less sore every day!
Best of luck to any other mamas out there. Your body really does know just what to do. Stay tuned for a blog I will be sharing about the ‘Love You Labour’ program I also used throughout my pregnancy to prepare my body and mind for labor and birth.