Pelvic steaming, often referred to as vaginal steaming, V steaming, or yoni steaming. Are you familiar? Perhaps you even have experience with pelvic steaming; and if that’s the case, high five and hell yeah! At the end of my third pregnancy I stumbled into the opportunity to use pelvic steaming as a way to prepare myself, body and mind, for birth. And I am so glad that I did!
While pelvic steaming wasn’t completely new to me, I was really excited to learn more about it’s deep and dynamic roots before diving in bottom first. Pelvic steaming is a self-health practice thousands of years in the making. Folks all over the world, for generations, have used pelvic steaming to promote health and wellness through menstruation difficulties, after birth, during and after menopause, and much more. The list of potential benefits of pelvic steaming is long but, generally, this intimate practice in self-care can help restore balance, relieve stress, and deepen your connection with yourself.
Just a few weeks before my estimated due date, I came across a post on Facebook looking for folks who were late in their pregnancies and open to exploring pelvic steaming for birth prep. I thought this quite serendipitous as I had been, for weeks, trying to find a good way to connect with my growing babe and prepare myself for this third birth experience. After replying to the Facebook post, I was connected with Laura Durbin of Reviving Fire, a local Pelvic Steaming Practitioner. She proved to be a fantastic guide in this journey!
Within a few days my steaming herbs had arrived and, with many thanks to my husband, I was set up with a makeshift steam seat. The set up wasn’t pretty but, it was very functional! That extra toilet seat that was sitting in the basement finally proved useful and to complete the aesthetic, underneath the pretty blanket I draped over was an orange Homer bucket.
Following Laura’s guidance, I started steaming during my 38th week of pregnancy. My routine was to steam in the evening, just before bed for about 15-20 minutes. I was set up in the front bedroom of our home where I birthed my first two babies and where I intended on giving birth to our third. This felt so good. Literally and figuratively. The warmth of the steam and the floral scent of the herbs was immediately relaxing! That front room was again a sacred birthing space and I preparing my body for the journey. The evening routine made for some really great overnight rest as well.
I steamed 12 times in the week and a half prior to my third birth. The pelvic steaming sessions were always enjoyable and extremely relaxing. But, a few of them were completely euphoric! Between the comforting heat, the healing herbs, and the pre-birth pregnancy hormones I felt like I was buzzing after a few of those sessions.
Come birth day my experience was quick and seamless (read that entire birth story here). I could feel my body stretching and opening beautifully to make space for our baby as he made his way down. I felt very clearly that crowning sensation but, for the first time I did not feel completely overwhelmed by it. Despite a very precipitous birth, I was left with zero tearing or perineal trauma. I am certain that my pelvic steaming prior to birth only helped in all of this.
I went into the pelvic steaming experience wanting mainly to create time and space to mentally and emotionally prepare for the birth of my third; the steaming helped me achieve exactly that. I was so pleasantly surprised by the physical relaxation and benefits that I felt as well. I am so grateful for the opportunity to have prepared for my son’s birth with pelvic steaming. It deepened my connection with him towards the end of our pregnancy journey and helped keep me in a balanced, calm, and positive emotional space leading up to the birth.
If you’re interested in learning more about pelvic steaming I would encourage you to connect with Laura Durbin. Find her on Facebook, Instagram, and at https://www.revivingfiresteaming.com/ Look out for pelvic steaming part 2! I used steaming as a way to help my body heal after the birth as well. More on that in a few weeks.