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What are the Best Tips for a Postpartum Bath?

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  • Written By: Amanda Piontek
  • Edited By: Kathryn Hulick
  • Last Modified Date: 31 October 2016
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A postpartum bath can be soothing and healing to a new mother, and there are many things a woman can do to maximize its benefits. A shallow bath known as a sitz bath is a popular method of postpartum bathing that assists a woman in keeping her stitches or abrasions clean, and can be taken several times a day. Adding different herbs to the tub or sitz bath serves to speed healing, prevent infection, and alleviate discomfort. Likewise, using warm water can help ease the pain of bruised and swollen tissues in the vulva, as well as relieve the stress of caring for a brand new baby. A woman who has just given birth can talk to her healthcare provider in order to determine which type of postpartum bath is best for her situation.

Childbirth can be a difficult process, causing trauma to the delicate tissues of the vulva and vagina. Tears, episiotomies, stitches, and bruising are all injuries that can be improved with a regular postpartum bath. Both sitz and tub baths are instrumental in keeping the injured areas clean and free from debris or discharge. A good tip for those unable to sit in a tub of water is to bathe the vaginal area with the assistance of a perineal cleansing bottle. Bathing the injured tissues in clean, warm water improves hygiene and promotes healing.

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A woman recovering from childbirth can choose from a variety of herbs to be used in conjunction with her warm-water postpartum bath. Herbs such as yarrow and comfrey leaf assist in restoring tissue health, while astringent additions like sea salt and witch hazel decrease swelling. Lavender and rosemary are often used to prevent infection. An herbal postpartum bath can be prepared by simmering the chosen additions in hot water, then straining and adding the liquid to a clean bath. Cool or warm water should be added until the herbal concoction reaches the desired temperature.

Revitalizing tub bathing can also be a key in postpartum depression support. Hormonal changes after the birth combined with the stress of caring for a newborn can leave a new mother struggling with difficult emotions. A woman who takes time to engage in stress-relieving activities like a relaxing bath is taking an important step toward healing her body and improving her mental state.

A new mother might notice an increased amount of hair loss during postpartum bathing or showering. Whether she decides to take a therapeutic bath to speed healing, or take a break from the constant demands of a newborn baby, normal postpartum hair loss can have a negative effect on the tub's drain and plumbing. It can be a good idea to use a screen in order to prevent any hair lost during bathing from entering the household pipes.

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bluedolphin
Post 3

Witch hazel is another wonderful addition to a postpartum bath. Some new moms use witch hazel wipes after giving birth for relief from inflammation. Using witch hazel in the bath will do the same thing. Dry witch hazel leaves are available at online stores and health stores, so it's not very difficult to find them.

candyquilt
Post 2

@literally45-- I had a postpartum bath every day for a week after giving birth and they were a life saver. I purchased a postpartum bath herbal mix and simply added to a bath tub. The mix had sea salt in it along with various healing and soothing herbs. I did not experience any irritation or burning from the salt in the bath and I had given natural birth. I don't think there is that much salt in these bath mixes. The baths were very soothing and reduced inflammation.

If you're wary about using salt, then make your own herbal mix or purchase a product that just has the herbs without the salt. But I think that salt is a good addition because as you said, it will help prevent infection.

literally45
Post 1

Is it a good idea to put salt into a postpartum bath? I know salts relieve fatigue and prevent infection but I think they might irritate the sensitive tissues of the vagina after birth.

Has anyone here had postpartum baths before? What ingredients did you use in the bath? Did you use salt?

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