Following the birth of my daughter, I learned about a lot of things that I’d never even heard of before. One of those things that was certainly not on my radar prior to her birth was a sitz bath.
As I recovered from childbirth, I asked my doctor, all the nurses, and even texted a few friends to get their advice on how to feel better faster. One of the top recommendations was to start doing sitz baths several times a day to assist in healing.
If you are picturing a serene spa-like bath situation, sorry, but this is not it. Though not as dreamy, sitz baths can be extremely soothing and are definitely worth considering.
So, what is a sitz bath?
It’s essentially like sitting in a tiny bathtub where the water goes up to your hips. It’s a warm and shallow soak that can provide relief from childbirth, among other down-there discomforts.
There are two ways to do a sitz bath. First, you can purchase a sitz bath kit which is a small basin that fits over the toilet and fills with water from an attached bag. These are available online, at medical device stores, or may be offered by the hospital.
Alternatively, you can use your own bathtub and only fill it so the water goes up to your hips. If you are using your bathtub, it’s important to make sure your tub is clean.
The typical recommendation is to soak for around 15 to 20 minutes, multiple times a day.
According to Healthline, the warm water increases blood flow to the perineal area, which can promote faster healing. Your doctor may recommend a sitz bath to assist in the healing of a vaginal tear or if you are experiencing hemorrhoids, another common discomfort following childbirth.
You can do a sitz bath with just warm water, or you may want to include epsom salt, which may further promote healing. If you find that doing a sitz bath is bringing you relief, you can do them multiple times a day.
Though there is no prescription needed for a sitz bath, you should consult with your doctor to make sure that it’s recommended based on your healing. Some doctors will advise against baths in the weeks following childbirth, so it’s important to specifically discuss sitz baths with your provider to see if they are a safe option for you.