If you’re reading this posts, then congratulations on your little bundle of joy.
(unless you’re one of those really curious people and just want to know about postpartum – no judging)
A lot has gone on with your body. The pain, the discomfort. Your lady bits barely recognisable!
I know. But I promise It will get better soon and all will be forgotten, (Yes, it’s true, it might not seem like it now but all you’re feeling right now will soon be forgotten).
One thing you can do for yourself to aid a speedy postpartum recovery is to take postpartum sitz baths.
WHAT IS A POSTPARTUM SITZ BATH
A postpartum sitz bath is a warm, very shallow bath that helps cleanse your private area. Most especially, your perineum after a vaginal delivery. You can have a sitz bath in with just plain water or could use some additives for added benefits.
A sitz bath can be taken a couple of days after delivery and when you’re back in the comfort of your own home. (do check with your doctor its safe to take one before doing so).
You can take a sitz bath either in your bathtub or by using a portable sitz bath that sits over your toilet bowl. Either is just as effective.
Although I washed whilst still at the hospital, I preferred to take mine in the bathtub as its less messy and – well a lot more relaxing.
WHY YOU SHOULD TAKE A POSTPARTUM SITZ BATH.
Many people discourage new mommies from taking baths or even submerging themselves in water for fear of introducing dirt up the lady bits and causing infection.
I say this is a decision YOU have to make dependant on your doctor’s advice and how you feel.
My midwife had absolutely no problem with me having a bath the night after I gave birth.
I understand that it’s not to everyone’s taste, but I would recommend any new mommy to try a sitz bath as soon as they are able to.
The benefits of taking a sitz bath far outweigh the risks.
If you are taking it in a thoroughly cleaned bath, then you should have no problems.
5 BENEFITS OF TAKING A POSTPARTUM SITZ BATH;
- Relieves pain and discomfort – the warm water relaxes your muscles down below which relieves some pain.
- Speeds up healing – The Essential oils used, Witch Hazel and the Epsom salt all have the elements that promote healing. Epsom salt and baking soda also fight infection.
- Dissolves Perineum stitches – If you were unfortunate enough to tear during childbirth, having a sitz bath will actually help heal your stitches. The Epsom salt and Witch Hazel dissolve the stitches and promote faster recovery and reduce infection.
- Sitz bath can also be used to treat hemorrhoids – Should you be unfortunate enough to be one of the many women who develop hemorrhoids after childbirth, this will be your best friend. You can couple the sitz bath with this hemorrhoid cream – It works wonders!
- Above all, a 20-minute bath helps you relax. Take time to yourself to do absolutely NOTHING. Amongst all the diaper changes, night feeds, laundry and whatever else, you NEED time to yourself. Even if it’s only 20 minutes – So take it, mama. You deserve it.
HOW TO PREPARE A SITZ BATH
USING A BATHTUB
I don’t know about you, but the bath in a tub sounds more appealing than sitting in water over a toilet! So, if you’re like me and prefer to ‘relax’ in a tub rather than on a toilet, then here’s what you need to do.
Make sure you have everything you need to hand before you start preparing for your sitz bath.
While taking the bath, your entire top will be on display. So. to avoid getting cold, make sure you have a t-shirt on, or you could have your bathroom at room temperature or a little warmer.
It’s also best to have your bath when your baby is having a nap or there is someone present to help you with the baby. This way, you won’t have to rush anything.
Here are the steps to follow if you decide to use your bathtub:
1. Clean your bathtub
Start by mixing of 2 tablespoons of bleach to a gallon of water. Scrub and rinse thoroughly (Or you could get someone else to clean it for you).
2. Fill the tub with 3 to 4 inches of warm water
Just enough to be around your hips and no higher. The temperature of the water should not be hot or case your ‘down below’ discomfort.
Feel free to use your hand to check the temperature. If you’re happy taking a ‘water only’ sitz bath, then skip step 3 and move to 4.
3. Add your additives in these guided measurements:
- ½ cup of Epsom Salt – Buy it in bulk so you can use it until you no longer need it
- 2 Tablespoons of Baking Soda
- 2 Tablespoons of Witch Hazel
- 8 drops of Lavender Essential oil
- 8 drops of Chamomile Essential oil
Note: These measurements are for guideline purposes only.
Get Essential oils from a reputable source. Choose an Essential oil that has soothing remedies, rejuvenate and promote healing, like Sandalwood or Frankincense. Harsh Essential oils such as Tea tree oil are too harsh to be placed on tender open skin!
4. Mix the water with all the additives and carefully place yourself in the water
Be sure to bend your knees to relieve some pressure on your perineum area. You can even drop your feet at the edge of the tub, letting them hand out while you lay back.
5. Close your eyes and relax
Sit in the bath for 15 – 20 minutes. Thinking of absolutely NOTHING! Ahh, bliss. You will come to treasure these moments!!
6. Once times up, carefully get up
At this point, you might feel a little headed so make sure to take great care when getting out of the bath.
7. Use a Cheap, pre-washed towel
Pat dry yourself. Make sure you are have dried yourself as well as possible WITHOUT any rubbing!
8. Get your maternity pad and comfortable leak-proof undies on and you’re all set
Repeat this 2 to 3 times a day.Dependant on your doctor’s recommendation, how you feel and how much time you have.
Your little bundle of joy will not always let you have these baths whenever you wish – One of you has to give in and it probably is going to be you, mama! 🙂
USING A PORTABLE SITZ BATH
OK, I know, we don’t get everything we want in life. And at times compromise is better than absolutely nothing.
So, in times when you can’t take your sitz bath in a tub with scented candles, for whatever reason, a portable sitz bath will do the job just as well.
To prepare your portable sitz bath and follow these steps:
1. Prepare the bathroom and make sure you have everything you need.
Clean the sitz bath with cleaning bleach and make sure to rinse thoroughly.
2. Fill the tub with warm water, making sure not to fill it up to the top.
If you’re happy just taking the bath with water only, then skip step 3 and move to step 4.
3. Add your additives as followed:
- 3 – 5 Tablespoon of Epsom Salt
- ½ teaspoon of Baking Soda
- ½ teaspoon of Witch Hazel – I loved this one because it contains Aloe Vera which aids in skin recovery!
- 3 drops of Lavender Essential Oil
- 3 drops of Chamomile Essential Oil
4. Carry your portable tub across and rest it on top of your toilet bowl
You can ask someone to help you with this). Once you’ve successfully balanced it on top of the toilet bowl, feel free to add a bit more water should you wish.
5. Carefully sit in the tub.
There’s no need to submerge your bottom to the tub floor. Just sit so you have the water gently touching your perineum area.
6. Relax (as best as you can on the toilet)
Unwind, think of absolutely NOTHING for 15-20 mins.
7. Once the time is up, carefully lift yourself off the bowl.
Take your time as you may become a little light-headed. Pat dry your lady bits with a cheap pre-washed towel. Making sure you’re nice and dry.
8. Slip on your Leak Proof undies with your maternity pad and you’re all set!
Again, repeat the bath as often as medically necessary.
There you go!
Now that you know all there is to know (well mostly) about sitz baths, would you consider taking one after delivery?
If so, I would LOVE to hear your experience with them, what kind of Essential oils you used (if any) and if they helped at all.
Just leave a comment in the section below
Enjoyed this post?
Be sure to check out other posts related to pregnancy and delivery!
- Your Body 48 Postpartum
- Different Types Of Tearing During Childbirth
- How to Care For Your Body Postpartum
- 8 Ways to prevent Tearing during Childbirth