One day, my cousin was riding her bike when all of a sudden her bike faltered over a stump or uneven pavement or just nothing, as bikes sometimes do when they’re intent on bucking you off. But instead of throwing her backward, she went forward- straight down onto the bar between handlebars and seat. Hard.
For weeks she couldn’t walk. There was a hard, huge, purple lump between her legs that made sitting, standing, walking- all the movement- excruciating.
Being a teenager unacquainted with the joys of birthing, she had no clue what that was, so she just told people “I broke my vagina.” Which is scientifically correct terminology.
Ladies and gentleman...actually just ladies... introducing the Hematoma.
A painful, swollen collection of blood outside of the blood vessel, hematomas occur when a blood vessel bursts open and blood leaks into the surrounding tissue (sorry if you're eating...). Not surprisingly, this can happen during a traumatic childbirth on the labia or even in the birth canal. And when it happens, it’ll lay you up for weeks. Hematomas often look like a bruise gone really bad- purple, swollen, rock hard, and painful. If things aren't going so well, it might even need to be surgically drained.
If you’ve got a hematoma (probably the reason you’re still reading) – there is hope for your babymakers. From a momma who was told it would be 4-6 weeks of bedrest (or surgical drainage) and instead healed in a week, here’s the trick you need to help that hematoma disappear.
Essential Oil 1: Frankincense
Frankincense is known to enhance the effectiveness of oils it’s mixed with. It works it’s magic on bruises (as well as a host of other ailments) and combined with helichrysum, it’ll make quick work of your hematoma.
Essential Oil 2: Helichrysum Oil
Actually, this should be #1. Because Helichrysum really is the star of the show when it comes to hematoma healing. Additionally, it can be helpful with stress, particularly anger or emotional pain or despair (hello, traumatic birth). According to sustainablebabysteps.com, "[Helichrysum] might be helpful for a person who has experienced trauma, even (or especially?) if it was long ago. Old wounds, present turmoil, or even feelings of hopelessness can be supported with Helichrysum oil. This oil can lend a person inner strength to address what might be buried and the courage to see the healing through to the end."
Helichrysum also happens to be a boss at healing tears, so if you such gifts from the birth gods…helichrysum performs double duty. (Thank you, superstar essential oil. We love you.)
You’ll spend a little money on these two oils, but in exchange get weeks of your life back. If you can only afford one, go for the Helichrysum.
You want me to put essential oils where?
There is little to no research on the vaginal application of essential oils. However, the mucous membrane of the vaginal wall is highly permeable, meaning that the essential oils will carry very quickly into the bloodstream. For that reason, essential oils should be properly diluted, and it may be wise to keep the oils on the surface skin, such as on a labial hematoma. Internal use of essential oils should be done only under the supervision of a certified aromatherapist or your healthcare provider.
Make sure your oils don’t become contaminated by using a spray bottle for application and keeping the sprayer from touching your vaginal area. And of course, keep it clean down there to prevent infection. Using a Fridababy Fridet or Peri Bottle full of warm water to wash down there- especially after using the bathroom- is a lifesaver in times like these.
You’ll absolutely want to use the highest quality oils available. Essential oils found in supermarkets or drugstores can have additives and chemicals that wouldn’t be safe for vaginal use. I personally recommend DoTerra when dealing with vaginal tissue.
Mix the essential oils with a high-quality carrier oil. I recommend fractionated coconut oil but avocado, grapeseed, sweet almond, hazelnut, or jojoba oils would work well too. Because of the severity of a hematoma, a ratio of 10%-25% essential oil would not be overdoing it, and a lesser dilution may prove necessary but should be done with the help of a certified aromatherapist or your OB. This dilution calculator makes the "Exactly how many drops?" question a cinch.
Spray the hematoma every hour, or a few times a day.
Always do a patch test on skin that's not your vagina to be sure you have no reaction to the oils.
And while Helichrysum and Frankincense are both considered safe for use in postpartum, you'll want to check online for drug interactions if you're on medication, and of course be sure you're not allergic to your chosen carrier oil.
Use Helichrysum oil (along with Frankincense), and watch that inconvenient birthing gift pack its bags and be on its way. May you be quickly healed and back to the fun stuff of life... like sitting. And walking. And rocking your world, as you do.