Dr. Angela Potter is a Naturopathic doctor, nutritionist, herbalist, and certified vaginal steam practitioner based in Portland, Oregon. Her practice is focused on supporting women through postpartum healing and recovery. After her last baby she implemented a postpartum vaginal steam protocol for 30 days. Since then she has been recommending steaming to her clients. We interviewed Dr. Potter to learn more.
What is your profession?
I am a Naturopathic doctor, nutritionist, herbalist, and certified vaginal steam practitioner.
Where did you go to school or get your professional training?
I began studying natural wellness at Bastyr University where I got a Bachelor’s of Science in nutrition. Bastyr is also where I began my studies of herbal medicine. I then went through Naturopathic medical school at the National University of Natural Medicine. For those who aren’t familiar with Naturopathic doctors, we are trained in conventional and pharmaceutical medicine as well as holistic, herbal and functional medicine. It’s a very exciting field to be a part of. I also received my Vaginal Steam Facilitator certification through Steamy Chick's Peristeam Hydrotherapy Institute.
How long have you been practicing?
I have been working in the nutrition field for over 10 years and practicing Naturopathic medicine since 2010.
How did you learn about vaginal steaming?
I first heard about vaginal steaming when Keli Garza of Steamy Chick was on the Birth Kweens podcast. Once I heard her interview, I was so excited because I knew steaming was an answer that I had been looking for without even knowing it. I was currently researching postpartum healing therapies and I knew her interview had opened a whole new exciting approach to how I help postpartum moms. I started learning all I could about steaming. Having been in the natural wellness field for many years, I was surprised that I hadn’t heard about it before. Now I use it myself and with almost all my patients!
Do you use vaginal steaming yourself?
Yes! Vaginal steaming was a huge part of my postpartum healing experience after the birth of my second baby. It was the best thing I could have done for my postpartum healing and I am so grateful to have found out about it while I was pregnant. Now that I am away from those immediate postpartum days, I still use steaming to help balance hormones and for self-care.
What has your personal experience with steaming been?
When I heard about vaginal steaming I was pregnant, so I had to wait until after I gave birth to steam. Two days after I gave birth I started steaming and continued steaming every day for thirty days. Each day after I steamed my body felt stronger, calm and relaxed. Something that amazed me since I was barely sleeping at night! My pelvis healed much more smoothly than after my first birth. I now use steaming to help balance my hormones and become more in-tune with my monthly cycles.
Why did you decide to offer vaginal steam services to women?
When I started steaming after giving birth. It was incredibly relaxing, nourishing and healing for my body. It helped my body heal efficiently and I was surprised at how calming it was. I am just sorry that I didn’t know about it after the birth of my first baby because that postpartum healing was much more difficult.
How long have you been offering vaginal steam services?
I have been offering vaginal steam services for six months now since I’ve been back from maternity leave. I talk about steaming with all my patients, I find it is such an excellent therapy to help support postpartum healing and the hormone balance after birth. I work with moms during pregnancy to set up postpartum steaming plans for their immediate postpartum days. I also help new moms use steaming to heal pelvic issues that have come up if they didn’t start steaming right away post-birth. After that, I help women use steaming to balance their hormones and postpartum periods. For many women their periods after giving birth can be heavier, more painful or irregular and steaming helps really well to balance that out.
Where do you offer your services?
I offer my services in my office is in Portland, Oregon and I also offer online appointments.
What benefits do vaginal steam services have for your clients?
For the women that I work with who steam immediately after birth they tell me they get a lot of relief from the swelling, pain and tenderness that they experience right after birth. I also hear that they love the time that they set aside for steaming. In those early, sleepless postpartum days when days merge in to nights, the time they can take for steaming feels relaxing.
I also work with women who are a few months postpartum and use steaming to help heal things like incontinence and pelvic pain. I have seen it take away period cramps and help get period flows to be stronger and without clots or brown blood.
I will also say that everyone that I encourage to start vaginal steaming will initially be excited but a little apprehensive about it. Once they start it, they come back and say how much they love it.
Any favorite quotes from clients either during or after steaming?
I’ve heard from two people that they lock themselves in the bathroom when they steam so their kids won’t disturb them!
For more information:
Dr. Angela Potter
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