On June 18th, supermodel Chrissy Tiegen posted an instagram photo of her postpartum self-care routine for her 18M+ followers. And guess what? She was vaginal steaming in the photo!
We talked to licensed Midwife and Peristeam Hydrotherapist Raquel Lemus to see her response to Chrissy Tiegen's vaginal steam practice. You're gonna want to hear this.
As a midwife how do you feel about Chrissy Tiegen steaming postpartum?
As a Midwife it gives me a sense of incredible joy, pride, excitement and Fuck Yeah Get It Gurl!!! gusto to see Chrissy Tiegen steaming in her postpartum. Postpartum care is so important ! The integration and healing time after you have a baby is often under estimated or ignored. The birthing parent or mother is too quickly expected to bounce back into their routine as if they did not just create , usher in life, and have to clean up lots of poop. I'm glad she is highlighting her postpartum healing journey. I feel so strongly in vaginal steaming and its ability to support the mother or birthing parent in their postpartum recovery and long term uterine health.
Are there benefits for Chrissy?
Absolutely! There are many benefits to steaming in the postpartum regardless of what type of birth someone had, vaginal or c-section, medicated or un-medicated, 2hrs or 48 hrs. Here are a few without going into the details of exactly how. Steaming postpartum has shown to help with the following:
- Tonifiying the muscles of the vagina, uterus and surrounding structures.
- Clearing out afterbirth
- Loosen and dissolves scar tissue
- Suture (stitches) Healing
- Nourishing the uterus and surrounding structures.
- Involution of the Uterus (Contraction of the uterus to a approximate pregnancy size)
- Emotional Integration of the Birth Experience
There were several media articles after Chrissy's IG post that were not in favor of vaginal steaming. Some of the articles claim that doctors are opposed to the practice and say that there is no evidence it works. What would your response to that be?
They say that because, to date, we have no Clinical Studies on Vaginal Steaming that were performed by western universities. We do have Case Studies though. Clinical Studies are what is most valued in the Larger Western Medical System. Since the systems of protocols and procedures most doctors use as their foundation for practice, diagnosis and treatment is based on Clinical Studies, they often invalidate the practice of vaginal steaming as a valid health tool.
Coincidentally, however, vaginal steam expert Kris Gonzalez recently uncovered several clinical studies performed on vaginal steaming that were conducted at medical universities in Asia. The studies showed remarkable results proving that steam therapy is an effective treatment for painful periods, infections, infertility, HPV and cervical cancer.
The reality is that most doctors don't know about vaginal steaming. Doctors don't study vaginal steaming in Medical School.For most doctors It is not a topic that they can speak on from experience or study. When doctors talk about the dangers of steaming its generally coming from a place of hypothesis and not one of experience, reason or understanding. Although there is no clinical research on vaginal steaming We do have thousands of Case Studies of real women that we've worked with that document the participants personal experience with vaginal steaming and how it has helped them with many uterine health issues. Unfortunately our society does not always honor the voice of women as valid. But the message from women who are steaming is clear -- it helps! Perhaps a reason why there is such a long history of vaginal steaming being used across cultures and over several continents.
Is vaginal steaming dangerous?
I wouldn't use the words dangerous. The steam isn' t out to grab your pussy! There are however Contraindications, certain instances in which steaming should be delayed or not done at all. For example, steaming immediately after having a c-section is Contraindicated. The incision needs time to come together and heal and steaming might delay that process. After six weeks of a healthy postpartum period the person could steam safely with the guidance of a certified steam practitioner. Most people that have a vaginal birth can steam a few days after the birth. In general when starting a vaginal steaming practice you want to consult with a certified vaginal steam practitioner (yes, it is a thing) in order to get the right steam herbs and treatment protocol for your situation.