Congratulations! You made it through labor!
Remember when you thought labor would be the hardest part of childbirth? No one told you about the #struggle that is postpartum.
Although the second our baby arrives, we instinctively become nurturing and make it all about them.
However, you need to take care of yourself as well. Especially the first couple of weeks postpartum. Your downstairs most likely look like a mini-disaster and hurt like hell. It will heal, in time, but a sitz bath postpartum is one of the best things you could do for yourself.
It not only helps you relax and feel clean, it also has many benefits that most new mommies aren’t even aware of.
What Is A Sitz Bath?
All new mothers know how serious postpartum pain is. Even if it’s just focused on one part of the body, it’s still severe pain.
“Sitz bath” comes from the German word “sitzen” which means to sit. In taking a sitz bath, the only thing you would want to submerge are your bottom and your hips. It doesn’t have to be like youre taking a bubble bath, you only need to fill your bathtub with 3 to 4 inches of warm water to take a sitz bath.
Many new-mothers aren’t aware of the many benefits of taking a sitz bath, unless their midwife or your doctor tells you about it (or you read this blog ).
After birth, new mothers might feel weird and uncomfortable – most people will still feel pain following the continuous labor for delivering the baby.
Taking a sitz bath, can definitely help you relax and feel more comfortable after delivering your baby.
Taking a sitz bath is very easy and straightforward…
How To Take A Sitz Bath
1. Cleanliness is everything. Make sure that the basin or the tub is clean and disinfected.
2. Once you’re sure that it’s clean, fill it with warm water. Make sure that the water’s just right – it shouldn’t be too hot. The water can be somewhere about two (2) to four (4) inches. Remember, we don’t want to wet the whole body – it just needs to settle somewhere around your lower torso – around your hips.
3. Add Epsom salt or (my preference) this sitz bath salt specially made for postpartum care and hemorrhoids.
4. Get in the tub. There’s really no “golden rule” as to how long you need to be soaked on the water. Experts suggest, however, that it should be somewhere around five (5) minutes a day – but you have to do it four (4) times a day. Other doctors say that you can soak for ten (10) up to twenty (20) minutes and do it for about twice a day. For clarification, you can ask your midwife or your doctor what method best suits you and your bodies needs.
5. Once done, you can gently pat the perineum with a soft towel before getting dressed. DO NOT RUB the area as it can worsen the situation and make you feel pain you’ve never imagined before (wish i was exaggerating).
You can air-dry the area, too if that makes you feel more comfortable.
Important To Remember
1. Do not put on hot boiling water. It can irritate the perineum; warm water is enough.
2. You can also add some natural oils such as witch hazel, chamomile, and lavender oil for relief and relaxation. Do note, though, that there’s not enough evidence that supports this claim.
3. NEVER EVER rub on the wound. You can dry it out by patting gently or by letting it air-dry.
What Are The Benefits Of A Sitz BAth?
Regular sitz baths help in relieving postpartum pain faster and better. Other than that, here are five reasons why you need a postpartum sitz bath.
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Since it’s a wound, it will definitely become itchy, especially the more it heals.
Using a sitz bath, however, can reduce the itching that usually comes from the stitches after child birth.
Instead of scratching it, when you’re feeling like the itch is at its maximum, take that time to take a sitz bath. We promise you that you’ll feel much better.
Improved Blood Flow
Using a sitz bath can definitely aid the flow of blood in the perineal area. This can decrease inflammation and swelling – helping speed up the healing process.
Keeps The Area Clean
It wouldn’t be called a “bath” if it didn’t clean you.
In fact, using warm water to water the wound up, along with the stitches is the best way to clean the wound. Plus, warm water and epsom salts substantially decrease the risk of developing infections due to the open wound.
Speeds Up healing
We want to feel like our old selves as soon as possible and although we can’t just leave the hospital feeling brand new, a sitz bath can help speed up the healing process.
Although you may feel like your healing process is going shockingly slow, a sitz bath can knock off a lot of recovery time and have you feeling better much sooner than expected.
A warm sitz bath will help relax your tense muscles and take a short breather.
After all you’ve put your body through, you should enjoy the ten minute you get to yourself before you go into mom-mode.
It isn’t a luxury, it should be mandatory. You don’t want to start your new journey as a mom by not caring for yourself. Taking care of your health and wellbeing is one of the most important ways you can take care of your baby.
When Is The Best Time To Take A Sitz Bath?
Generally, there’s no rule of thumb as to when a sitz baths should be done. In fact, you can time it when your baby is fast asleep.
Otherwise, you can go by your bodies signals. When you’re feeling discomfort like itching and pain, you can take a couple of minutes to soak.
Take note, though that you need to do it at least twice a day for the best results. If you are to do it for five minutes each session, do it four (4) times a day.
What If I Don't Have A Tub To Soak In?
Sitz Bath Vs. Heating Pad Vs. Padsicle
A heating pad can definitely help relieve pain as well, but you won’t get the healing benefits of a sitz bath.
Especially if you’re using the sitz bath as recommended (minimum 3 times a day).
You can definitely use a heating pad in between if it help relive pain.
However, i would argue that a padscicle would offer more relieve. I find the cold of a padscicle and cold packs to be much more helpful in relieving pain.
However, padscicles and heating pads are just helpful for pain management. A sitz bath will actually help your body heal quicker postpartum.
So now you know all about the famous sitz bath. It’s for your own benefit – for your own comfort.
Be sure to ask either your doctor or your midwife if you can start taking a sitz bath immediately. More often than not, you can start once you get released from the hospital.
Although being a mommy is an amazing blessing, postpartum can feel like an absolute drag. Don’t forget to prioritize your health and wellbeing during the first few weeks and I promise it all gets better with time.
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