Postpartum Sitz Bath – Benefits, How to Take & Tips

Postpartum Sitz Bath - Benefits, How to Take & Tips

You have endured the beautiful, bittersweet, and extremely tiring ordeal of pregnancy. You are now in the post-pregnancy phase, a phase that is synonymous with sleepless nights, dirty diapers, sore nipples, raging hormones, breastfeeding and more breastfeeding, unclean laundry, and the worst of all – a body that aches all over. This is where the postpartum sitz bath comes into the picture and you need it for your good.

What Is a Sitz Bath?

A sitz bath is a large tub that is made specifically for women to use post pregnancy. It targets your lower body, i.e., from the hip and below. The main purpose of a sitz bath is to provide relief from discomforts like fissures, haemorrhoids, muscle strains, and soreness that comes after pregnancy. A sitz bath is also used for therapeutic purposes.

Benefits of a Sitz Bath After Delivery

A sitz bath post-childbirth is recommended if a woman suffers from body pain and physical strain, something that is inevitable after pregnancy. Here are some other benefits of a sitz bath post delivery.

1. Helps You Stay Clean

Post-pregnancy your skin will be raw and there will be discharge and you may even bleed down there. But the worst part is that you can’t really use a soap. You will be pretty much in a fix, considering that if you don’t take care of yourself, your body will turn into a breeding ground for germs and infections. But all hope is not lost. You can soak up yourself in warm water that has essential salts or oils as it will soothe and clean your skin.

2. Speeds Up the Healing Process

Most of the time, people use warm water for a sitz bath, and sometimes people use cold water. Whatever be the case, this helps to increase the flow of blood to the nether regions and hips. This, in turn, facilitates healing.

3. Provides Relief from Pain

Soaking yourself in hot water will relax your body. Hot water can stimulate blood flow but make sure you check the water before you get in. The last thing you need now is getting burnt with scalding hot water. A temperature of 33 to 37 degree Celsius (92 to 100 degree Fahrenheit) is best suited.

4. Helps Dissolve the Stitches

Soaking your body in warm water can actually help dissolve stitches faster, but make sure you do this only after consulting with a doctor. It is not recommended that you try to dissolve the stitches soon after your surgery, there should be a window period of at least a month or two before you make any attempts to do so.

5. Helps Treat Haemorrhoids

Haemorrhoids are swollen veins around the anal region. This can be highly uncomfortable and painful but is just another issue that women face during pregnancy.

6. Reduces Itching

After pregnancy, your skin tends to get sore or raw. This, in turn, can cause your skin to itch, especially during the healing phase. Soaking yourself in a sitz bath that has essential oils and salts can help ease the itchiness. However, make sure you moisturize yourself after the bath.

7. Prevents Issues with the Bartholin Glands

The Bartholin gland is a small bulb-like gland that helps with lubrication during intercourse. Sometimes post pregnancy this gland could develop into a tumour or a non-cancerous growth. This growth can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. Soaking your body in a sitz bath can help prevent this from happening.

8. Helps Prevent Constipation

Constipation is something you will be familiar with in your pregnancy phase and even after pregnancy. Soaking your body in a sitz bath has yet another plus point – it can help relieve constipation. The hot water that you use can help soothe the enlarged veins in the rectal area, thereby helping with constipation.

9. Provides Relief from Cramps

During the post-pregnancy phase, you are most likely to experience cramps. Just the same way how a sitz bath relieves constipation, it can help relieve cramps as well. It soothes your veins and muscles, thereby easing your cramps.

10. Works Like a Therapy

A sitz bath can have a therapeutic effect on you, courtesy the hot water, salts, oils, and minerals. The warm water may also reduce swelling.

A woman adding salts to water

How to Take a Sitz Bath After Giving Birth

So now that we’ve established the fact that a sitz bath has several benefits, find out how you should use this equipment.

1. Sitz Bath in the Bath Tub

  • The first thing you need to do before you start to take a bath in sitz is making sure it is clean. Use a liquid cleaner or bleach and soak this in some water in the tub. After that, scrub it clean and wash it with water. Make sure you rinse the tub well to remove any traces of the liquid cleaner or bleach.
  • Fill the tub with hot or lukewarm water, depending on how you like it. Make sure the water is not too hot as it may hurt you.
  • You can add essential oils, minerals or salts. Epsom salt or lavender and chamomile oils are recommended. All of this can have a soothing, therapeutic effect on you. However, make sure you are not allergic to any of the oils or salt that you use.
  • Step into the tub and relax for 15 to 20 minutes. A sitz bath is only for below the hip and your buttocks. Leave your legs out of the tub.

2. Sitz Bath Using a Kit

  • A sitz bath using a kit is placed on an open toilet. Make sure you follow the same cleaning procedure before using this.
  • Place the sitz bath kit on an open toilet. Move it around to ensure that it is fixed in place.
  • Add hot or lukewarm water into the sitz bath.
  • You can add essential oils, minerals or salts. You can use Epsom salt or lavender and chamomile oil. All of this can have a soothing, therapeutic effect on you. However, make sure you are not allergic to any of the oils or salt that you use.
  • Step into the tub and relax for 15 to 20 minutes. A sitz bath is only for below the hip and your buttocks. Leave your legs out of the tub.

Postpartum Herbal Sitz Bath Recipe

Adding natural salts and essential oils into your sitz bath can have a lot of benefits. Here is a recipe that you should consider using:

Ingredients

  • Sea salt
  • Lavender oil
  • Plantain leaf
  • Witch hazel
  • Yarrow
  • Calendula
  • Chamomile oil

How to Prepare

  • Mix all the ingredients together.
  • Take a clean piece of muslin cloth but make sure it is clean and dry.
  • Wrap all the ingredients in this muslin cloth.
  • You can drop the muslin bag into the water.
  • Once the water is warm enough to handle, soak yourself in it.

Points to Remember for Post Delivery Sitz Bath

A sitz bath for postpartum recovery is an excellent way to give yourself some comfort and relief from the physical strain that your body is experiencing.

  • Always ask your doctor’s opinion before you go ahead with anything you have no knowledge of – the same holds good for a sitz bath as well.
  • After soaking yourself in a sitz bath, dry yourself well.
  • While a lot of us prefer hot water to cold water, sometimes soaking in cold water can be effective as well. Cool water can soothe your skin, too.
  • Adding salt to your wounds is not a very good idea. So before adding salts consult your doctor.
  • If you experience any sign of discomfort, stop using a sitz bath.

Are There Any Risks of Having Sitz Bath Post Childbirth?

Since this is a non-invasive treatment, the chances of risks are very low. However, if your surgical wounds or fissures are not taken care of properly, the chances of it getting infected are worse. Make sure you clean the bath well to prevent any infection.

Take good care of yourself after pregnancy is imperative, both for yourself and your little one. Invest in a good sitz bath for relief from postpartum pain.

Also Read: Taking Bath After Giving Birth

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