After having a baby, a lot of the focus is on learning how to best care for your newborn. However, there are also things you can do to take care of yourself and to help promote recovery for your body after giving birth. One useful technique for postpartum care is the sitz bath. A sitz bath is simply a shallow bath. It involves sitting in a container of warm water that is just deep enough to cover your butt and hips. Pickles & Ice Cream Georgia wants to make sure you know the why and how of sitz baths!
Like a regular bath, a sitz bath is relaxing and cleansing. Specifically, a sitz bath is useful for keeping your perineum clean after birth, which can help prevent infection if you had any tearing or stiches.
Sitz baths can also relax the muscles of the perineum and help soothe any soreness you may feel post birth. The warm water of the bath can even increase blood flow to the area, which not only reduces swelling but promotes healing.
If you are experiencing postpartum hemorrhoids, a sitz bath can help reduce any pain or itching. You can use a sitz bath 2 to 3 times a day while you heal and recover from childbirth.
To do a sitz bath you can either use your bathtub or a special kit designed to fit in a toilet. Once you have your bath location, follow these simple steps!
- Clean and disinfect your bathtub or sitz bath basin. It is important to clean and disinfect your tub or basin every time before taking a sitz bath to prevent infections.
- Use warm (not hot) water. Some people feel relief from cool water baths as well.
- Fill the tub or basin with two to three inches of water. You want the water just deep enough to cover your hips when you sit down.
- Soak in the bath for 10 – 20 minutes, adding more warm water as needed to stay comfortable. 5. Some providers may suggest adding Epsom salts, witch hazel, or other herbs to the bath water for extra relief.
- When you’re done, pat the area dry with a soft, clean towel, or use a hairdryer on cool setting. Be very gentle and don’t rub, as that can increase soreness.
The postpartum period can be a strange time, with a lot of new routines and experiences. Sitz baths are one way to help you feel better. They can ease pain and encourage healing, and they can provide an opportunity for a little relaxation.
If possible, give yourself a baby-free space to relax and take the bath. Ask your family or friends to care for the baby while you take your sitz bath. If your baby needs to be in the bathroom with you, set-up a safe and comfy spot for them so you can both enjoy a few minutes of calm. Taking care of yourself physically and mentally is important for you and your baby. Join our postpartum class to learn more about caring for yourself after birth!