You’ve probably heard of a sitz bath being part of your postpartum care routine, but you’re also probably wondering what the heck it actually is.
Allow me to explain:
Your perineum is the space between your vaginal opening and your anus. It’s a sensitive spot (as to be expected) and is also the most ravaged spot of your body as you push your baby out of your vagina. While your perineum is meant to stretch to accommodate for large things going out (i.e. baby) or large things going in (i.e. *insert raised eyebrows and knowing smile*) it is apt to tear.
You can prepare your perineum by following the guidelines in this post but even then you may suffer some pretty severe tears, or, at the very least, discomfort from the significant stretching that was required to push that baby of yours out.
Your perineum is a rockstar and after the birth of your baby it needs an extra little bit of tender loving care. Enter: Sitz bath!
Who needs a sitz bath?
Well, I mean, ANYONE really can use a sitz bath. It’s meant to clean the perineum and provide relief from any discomfort, itching, or irritation. Some folks who have just given birth may opt to use one, as well as someone who’s enjoying the wonder that is haemorrhoids.
What do you need for a sitz bath?
There are very few things that you need for a sitz bath, however, it’s nice to have it prepared before baby comes so that you have these things ready and available for the exact time that you need them:
-clean bathtub (get your partner or support person to give it a good scrub before you go in. Use a little bit of bleach to make sure that you’ve killed all bacteria that may be in there. The last thing you’re going to need right now is an infection!)
-sitz bath toilet kit (that you can find in this post)
-additives to the bath (optional) that you can purchase here or make on your own using ingredients such as witch hazel, calendula, lavender essential oil, epsom salts, salt, chamomile.
How to have a sitz bath
First things first: this is your self-care time! You’re taking care of the lovely perineum of yours but you can also turn this into a pleasant experience for yourself.
- Hand the baby off to someone else if you are able to do so. If not, bring baby into the bathroom and either lay them on a blanket beside the bathtub or in a bassinet-wherever you can reach them if you need to and however you feel most comfortable.
- Fill the bathtub about 1/3 of the way full with warm water. Avoid making this too hot or you’ll probably feel some discomfort.
- Add the various herbs if you’ve chosen to do so.
- Sit in the bathtub for about 20 minutes. Add some more warm water if you feel like it’s getting too cold for you.
- Once you get out make sure to pat dry (don’t rub….ouch!!) or wear your birthday suit for a while and dry off au naturel.
- Do this 3-4 times a day unless you’re finding it irritating to your perineum
While a sitz bath can promote healing in your postpartum body if you aren’t enjoying them try and find another way to let your body heal. The key to healing your perineum is to make sure that it’s clean, dry, and not irritated. There are many ways that you can do this so a sitz bath is only one option.
Did you use sitz baths after your birth? What were your favourite things to add? Please share recipes in the comments below to share with fellow new parents!