What is a Postpartum Sitz Bath, and How to take one.
Lets face it, Mamma’s are awesome, able to push themselves past the limits of what they think they can do just to meet their new little one. Labour is hard work (for the majority of us), it’s physically, mentally, and emotionaly a rollercoaster ride. And at the end our bodies have this amazing and inspiring capacity to heal.
However in our North American fast-paced society women are almost required to hit the ground running as fast as we can. Even after the life-changing event like birthing a new family member. No longer are women encouraged to take the 28 to 40 day rest period society used to encourage while others help and care for both Mom and Baby like other cultures in Asia and Europe.
I feel like I got lucky in this case. Not only is my husband from another culture and encouraged me to rest up. But my support team did as well, even encouraged me to do the extra things I needed to take care of myself, including a postpartum sitz bath.
I promptly fell in love with this amazing process and now also use one during my monthly cycle when I feel the need to just relax or clean up a bit.
If you need someone to give you permission to take care of yourself after birthing a kiddo here it is. YOU HAVE PERMISSION TO TAKE THE MUCH NEEDED REST, TIME, AND ANY OTHER RESOURCE YOU NEED TO HEAL. Especially after the birth of a baby.
Mrs. B. @ OneWeirdMamma.com
YOU HAVE PERMISSION TO TAKE THE MUCH NEEDED REST, TIME, AND ANY OTHER RESOURCE YOU NEED TO HEAL.
So what is a postpartum sitz bath?
Simply put, a postpartum sitz bath is a warm shallow bath that cleanses the perineum (the space between your bum and vagina). It provides an
That being said, I’ve personally only used them for postpartum recovery and some self care on my cycle.
Why I love my Sitz Bath
To Speed up healing, Yes it can do this. It boosts blood flow to the area, which speeds up healing. Check out this article at WebMD.com for more info.
Take time for yourself. As a new Mom you are likely very focused on your new baby (its understandable and they are sooooo cute), but it’s true that you can’t pour from an empty cup. You need some kind of re-charge, taking 20 minutes a couple times a day is a great way to do that.
You can’t pour from an empty cup so, take care of yourself first.Aryan Bansal
Take time with Baby. Yes, I know you are spending a bunch of time with kiddo already. But when you have more than one kiddo this could be the ideal place to get some one-on-one time with baby while the other kids & your partner keep out.
Relieve pain. After pushing out a 9lbs 1oz baby I was feeling more than a little stretched. Stuff down there was a mess and I could feel it. While dissolving worked well, my postpartum sitz bath worked wonders.
To clean up. This is likely my most
When to use a sitz bath
A sitz bath doesn’t require a doctor’s prescription but you should check with your care provider prior to see if they have any suggestions for additives to the water that might help. Or things they would caution against in your particular care.
Sometimes your care provider may recomend things that you could put in your sitz bath to help speed your healing or things they would recomend you avoid due to risks while recovering and (if you are) breastfeeding.
If you notice that your discomfort or pain gets worse during or after a sitz bath stop using them and talk to your care provider. While a sitz bath carries very little risk to it you are caring for an area on your body that likely has some open wounds (think tearing if nothing else). And your care provider can assess and advise you on how to proceed.
How to take an effective Postpartum Sitz Bath at home.
There are 2 main ways that people take sitz baths, in their own tub or using a kit like this.
Personally, I’ve used both, if you have the time for a longer soak the tub is great and more comfortable. But if you are short on time the kit works well and you don’t have to get completely undressed if you don’t want to.
Step 1: Clean your tub or kit.
Or have someone else clean it for you. If you use something like diluted bleach make sure it is rinsed VERY well.
For both the tub and kit I did a mixture of Vinegar, Boiling Water and Tea Tree Oli. Mix well in a bottle & spray on all surfaces that you or the bath water might come in contact with. Let sit for a few minutes & rinse off.
Note: if you are using a kit you will want to place it on the toilet and test it to make sure that it doesn’t slip around.
Step 2: Use just enough water to cover your lady parts
Now if you think about it, internally the space that the placenta ripped away from is one big wound. Alongside
If you are using some added bits from the next step, I
The water temperature you are looking for when you are in it is warm enough to stay comfortable for 15 – 20 minutes but not HOT.
Note: if you are using a kit you can add more warm water using the bag. Most kits have an “overflow” holes that will prevent you from over filling the basin by letting the water run into the toilet.
Step 3: The added bits for comfort & speedy healing. (the optional step)
The Midwives Collective of Toronto claims Epsom Salts will reduce swelling, discourage infection and encourage healing. I personally bought some in bulk like this and used it as a base for what I was adding to the tub.
My “recipe” is as follows: (Note: mix all dry ingredients together & all liquid together then combine when adding to the bath)
- 2 cups Epsom Salts
- 2 tbsp Baking Soda
- 2 bags Red Raspberry Leaf Tea (open up the tea bags)
- 2 tbsp Chamomile Botanical Extract
- 5 tbsp Grapeseed Organic Carrier Oil
- 5 tbsp Aloe Vera Juice
- 2 tbsp Witch Hazel (
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 8 drops Lavender Essential Oil
- 1 tsp Vitamin E
Please make sure that you use
I also use this mix in my monthly routine. At any time you can find one container in the bathroom by the tub contains all the dry stuff. And once a month a peri-bottle (grab one here)
When you are ready for your sitz bath, just add 1/2 a cup of your dry mix & half the bottle from your well-shaken peri-bottle, let it steep for a couple minutes (the tea will color the water yellow so mix it a bit to get everything in all the water)
Step 4: Strip from the waist down
You want to keep your upper body warm, and the water isn’t going to go that deep (about 3 inches) so keep your shirt on or crank the heat in the house to keep you comfortable.
You’ll see it recomended all over the place (online, care providers etc) that you don’t want to get into a full tub right after childbirth. If there is enough water the force of you sitting down in it could push the water up inside…
Step 5: Enjoy
This is the part of I love the most, especially in the tub. Sit back, relax and let go of some of the tension. Prop your neck up with a bath pillow and set a timer for 15-20 minutes and chill out.
Step 6: Stand up / Get out
When you are done, stand up and pat the area dry with a clean towel. I used a bunch that I picked up from the local dollar store that were “fuz free” and would highly recomend you get cotton ones if possible to prevent fuzz getting stuck to you.
Avoid rubbing or scrubbing the area as this can cause other issues.
Also, if you happen to pee in it before getting out it may make peeing a bit easier and no one will know the difference. 😉
Step 7: Get things ready for the next one.
Just clean it again thoughouly, if you got a kit it may well contain cleaning and storage instructions follow those, or use the same stuff as you did in the prep of the sitz bath.
It’s not difficult to do, and I know I loved it, and many of us need that extra
Step 8: Repeat
I say repeat as necessary, for some that is 2 – 3 times a day for others it may be once. I’d rather see you start out with 3 times a day and scale back as needed.
What else can you do to help your body heal postpartum?
Yes, there are many things you can do besides taking a postpartum bath for faster healing and more comfort.
Here is a list of THIRTEEN things you can do to help your Postpartum Recovery After a Vaginal Birth
Looking ahead but not yet given birth? Check out the Hands-Down Best Labor Advice I Ever Found for the 7 best tips I used to prepare for our first labor.