Postpartum Recovery with a Sitz Bath
Why You Want a Sitz Bath as a New Mom
It is no surprise that your body is stretched, torn, and in pain after delivering a baby. As a new mom, you may find yourself looking for ways to find relief. When someone first mentioned a sitz bath to me after giving birth, I thought of a nursing home and hemorrhoids. I did not realize how much a sitz bath would help my perineum as a brand new mom
What is a Sitz Bath
A sitz bath is a therapeutic bath to help alleviate pain or irritation. Specifically, this allows you to address conditions that affect the genital areas. Sitz baths can be used to treat constipation, hemorrhoids, anal fissures, and other pains. Following childbirth, a sitz bath will increase your blood flow to the area and promote healing and tissue repair.
A sitz bath can be a small amount of water in the bathtub that you sit in, or it can be a portable sitz bath tub that goes inside of your toilet seat. Either way, it is not fancy but is warm water that often includes other add-ins such as epsom salt or witch hazel. As a new mom, a sitz bath can be a much-welcomed time of relief for birthing wounds. If you have had an episiotomy and/or tearing during birth, you can use a sitz bath to help alleviate your pain and reduce the swelling. You can take a sitz bath once a day for 10-15 minutes.
While we are primarily discussing a sitz bath for perineum healing postpartum, there are other notable usages for new moms. If you are every wondering how to get rid of hemorrhoids that could occur after having a baby, a sitz bath is helpful for this too.
Other Relief Methods for the Postpartum Body
The postpartum sitz bath is not the only way to repair your vulva, perineum, and anus after childbirth. While recovering, many moms also enjoy padsicles, ice packs/pads, dermoplast spray, or peri bottles. A combination of these can help you have your best postpartum body recovery.
Padsicles are frozen pads covered in witch hazel and sometimes also aloe vera and other components. Padsicles started as a DIY project many moms did at home before giving birth. Witch hazel is known to heal and other components like aloe vera can aid in that. To make DIY padsicles, you can purchase your favorite type of heavy maxi-pad and follow a recipe to add the witch hazel and other components chosen. You then wrap them back up, place them in the freezer, and take them out to use when needed after birth.
Step by Step Padsicle Recipe
- Unwrap the pad, but leave the wrapper attached so that it can recover the pad after you complete the padsicle
- Start with witch hazel. Saturate the pad- 3 to 4 tablespoons worth.
- Add the aloe vera. Use 2-3 tablespoons.
- Add a couple of drops of lavender oil if you’d like.
- Use a spoon or spatula to spread evenly over the pad.
- Fold the pad and cover with wrapper.
- Put in freezer safe bag and into the freezer until they are needed.
- Pull them out and enjoy the relief after baby.
If you give birth in the hospital, you will likely be given pads and ice packs for your recovery. You will want to take advantage of these ice packs inside of your mesh undies or within a pad.
Dermoplast is a topical numbing spray that provides relief for the pain and itching you might experience. The numbing spray can help moms to have their first few pees and poops after birth.
You might not think there is much power in a small squeezable bottle, but this bottle could be your best friend after giving birth. A peri bottle is similar to a sitz bath in that you are applying warm water to your perineum. I found that this was very helpful for the first few pees after baby. Using the peri bottle to direct warm water to the perineum helped alleviate stinging and burning.
Rest and Recovery as a New Mom
When you are a mom with a new baby, there are a lot of demands on you and your body. However, after giving birth, it is important that you prioritize rest and recovery for yourself. Use every chance you can to put you and your baby at the forefront, and let other things take the backseat. Take great care of your baby, and take great care of yourself.
A sitz bath is a great time to create a relaxing space for yourself as you recover from childbirth. Set up your sitz bath, add a favorite candle or incense, play relaxing music, and take this time to restore and recover your postpartum body.