If you are a mom who has given birth vaginally, you know that the perineum can burn like hell after birth. Regardless of whether or not you tear during birth, there is trauma to the muscles and tissue involved in birthing your baby. As you look for postpartum recovery methods, make sure to prepare yourself for a sitz bath.
*The perineum is the space between the rectum and the vulva.
Imagine, a simple formula made to give your vagina relief. It can help with itching, irritation, and pain. A sitz bath is usually done with a mix of water and Epsom salt or witch hazel. Both ingredients are meant to increase the blood flow and promote the healing of your body. The sitz bath will also be helpful if you have postpartum hemorrhoids.
Recovery for Tearing During Childbirth
Tearing during childbirth is quite common. It can be painful throughout postpartum recovery. There are different degrees of childbirth tearing from first degree (least tearing) to fourth-degree (most tearing and difficult to heal). If you experience tearing during your childbirth, you want to be extra mindful of the recovery practices such as a sitz bath, limiting movement, increasing rest, and ensuring that your provider checks up on you.
I distinctly remember the pain I felt during my first pee after baby. The small tears inside of my vagina and vulva led to a burning pain. While my tearing was minimal, the pain was noticeable and the four things I contribute healing to are time, peri bottles, padsicles, and sitz baths.
How to Take a Sitz Bath
Making the actual sitz bath is pretty easy. Making time for it and lowering your burning vagina into the sitz bath can be complicated.
- Communicate with your partner or support person about needing time for a recovery sitz bath.
- Make the bathroom a cozy place for relaxing and focusing on your recovery.
- Prepare the sitz bath (see below).
- Enjoy for 15-20 minutes
- Do not rinse off the healing element and air dry if possible.
Preparing the Sitz Bath
To prepare the sitz bath, you want to fill your bathtub or toilet seat sitz bath up with warm water. It is recommended you fill this 3-4 inches Add in Epsom salt, witch hazel, or other healing elements (1/2 cup). You may do this a few times a day in your early postpartum as you focus on recovery.
Other Times You May Use a Sitz Bath
Sitz baths are common for postpartum women because of the healing it can provider for the vagina, vulva, and perineum. However, there are other times when a sitz bath can be helpful. These times include:
Recovering from Birth
Recovering from birth is not something to take lightly. While many of the American culture talks about the “bounce back” and seems to have a race for how quickly a new mom can get out the door again after baby, the reality is we were not made for that.
Postpartum recovery is so important and it is a time to take good care of yourself and then be able to take care of others.
Check out other related posts on recovery:
Why You Want a Sitz Bath as a New Mom (Zulily piece)