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I will never forget the first time I watched the movie “Look Who’s Talking” and heard the main character, Mollie, utter the following line:
“Why don’t you try squeezing something the size of a watermelon out of an opening the size of a lemon and see how hot you look?”
It certainly paints a picture for you, doesn’t it?
Most of us women are well aware that giving birth is no walk in the park. And while the euphoria you feel after your baby finally makes its debut is glorious, this doesn’t erase the postpartum pain you’re sure to face.
Enter the postpartum sitz bath.
While I won’t try to convince you that a sitz bath after delivery is the equivalent of a massage at your favorite spa, it has its perks. Please make sure that you ALWAYS talk to your OB-GYN or medical care team before using a sitz bath, though! Each mama has a unique body with unique needs.
Whether you choose a ready-to-use product or create a DIY postpartum sitz bath, it can help you overcome the wear and tear your body has undergone after pushing something the size of a dang watermelon out of your body.
Want to learn more about the benefits of a sitz bath or how to use one in the first place?
No worries! We’ve polled our staff and incredible community and gathered a list of their favorite tips, information, and postpartum sitz bath recipes.
The Top 4 Sitz Bath Benefits You Should Know
I, for one, will never forget the unmistakable feeling that my body was being torn apart from the inside out.
In fact, as my little girl was making her way through the birth canal, I remember looking at my husband and insisting they let me take a break – just a five-minute breather, that’s all I was asking for!
Like most new moms, I forgot about the scary parts of labor and delivery after my daughter was born. Once the initial waves of love and adoration began to wane, I suddenly realized how bad my body felt.
If this sounds familiar or you’re looking to get ahead of your postpartum care, it’s time to consider whether figuring out how to use a sitz bath is a good option.
When it comes to childbirth recovery, there are four key sitz bath benefits you should know about.
Keeping Things Clean After Delivering a Baby
Let me be brutally honest; you will not want to wipe during those first few days (or more!) after childbirth. Your situation will be raw, sore, and possibly stitched up following tears or an episiotomy…neither of which go hand-in-hand with toilet paper.
Unfortunately, keeping things clean will be more important than ever after having a baby to avoid infections and postpartum challenges.
Thankfully, taking a postpartum sitz bath is a great way to maintain proper hygiene until things start to feel better!
Reducing Swelling from Hemorrhoids
While certainly not the most glamorous side effect of childbirth, hemorrhoids are common after delivering a baby. Research shows that 25 – 35% of new moms will experience postpartum hemorrhoids.
If you’re looking for a natural way of soothing your hemorrhoids and reducing their swelling, using a sitz bath several times a day for 15 minutes at a time can help.
Soothing Anal Fissures
Find me a term that’s less appealing than “anal fissures,” and I’ll be surprised. There is nothing pleasant about small tears around a woman’s anus after birth or a struggle to pass their first postpartum poop.
Regretfully, though, these can be par for the course.
While anal fissures can be itchy and painful, performing a postpartum sitz bath can offer almost immediate relief.
Performing Perineum Care
Allow me to paint a picture for you – things tend to “stretch” during childbirth. Once the process is over, the after-effects can be problematic. Whether you’re dealing with swelling, stitches, or tears, sitz baths are a popular choice for postpartum perineum care.
Is There a “Right Way” to Do a Postpartum Sitz Bath?
So, you’ve made up your mind to give a postpartum sitz bath a try – what’s the next step?
Well, for many new moms, Googling the phrase “how to use a sitz bath” is probably at the top of the list.
One of the perks of using sitz baths as a pain management technique post-delivery is how simple they are to put together. All it takes is some clean water, a bathtub or sitz bath basin, and your favorite postpartum sitz bath recipe or store-bought soak.
Follow These Simple Sitz Bath Instructions to Get Started
- Fill up a clean and disinfected sitz bath basin or bathtub with water that’s at least two or three inches high. You should have enough water to come up to your hips. Many mamas prefer using a basin that fits over their toilet because it requires less water, and you don’t have to get fully undressed. Note: While cold water is good for perineal care, many women prefer warm water for their postpartum sitz baths (never hot!)
- Use your sitz bath one time each day for 20 minutes at the most. If you have stitches from tears during delivery or an episiotomy, soaking them too often can cause problems.
- Add optional ingredients to your sitz bath. A lot of practitioners suggest witch hazel or Epsom salts. Add-ins like these are especially helpful if you’re dealing with hemorrhoids.
- Gently pat the area dry with a clean towel. Treat your postpartum body kindly – don’t rub too hard when drying off after a sitz bath.
Trusted Sitz Baths for Your Toilet Seat
While taking a sitz bath in a regular bathtub is always a luxurious option, some people prefer the direct contact they can get from using a product that attaches directly to their toilet seat.
That way, they’re keeping all of the focus on their *ahem* problem areas.
If you want to buy a postpartum sitz batih for your toilet, here are some of the most popular choices on the market:
As a universally-sized sitz bath basin, the Soothing Sitz Bath is a solid choice for anyone in the market for one of these products.
Many reviewers mention how sturdy this basin feels. Another popular feature is the rear vents on the seat that makes for easy water disposal and cleaning. Some people do say it’s a little smaller than some other basins, so that’s something to consider when mulling over your options.
Not only is the PerfectSitz basin one of the top-rated postpartum sitz bath products on Amazon, but it’s also one of the most affordable. It also features BPA-free plastic, a comfortable contoured design, and rear vents for quick cleaning.
If you’re looking for something that a ton of people have reviewed and recommend, then this product is for you.
If you’re looking for an over-the-toilet sitz bath basin at your local Walmart, your best choice is going to be the Carex Sitz Bath.
Constructed using sturdy plastic and a deep well design, this product ensures you’re comfortable throughout your entire postpartum sitz bath. What’s even better is that it can be yours for the shockingly low price of $10.06.
Should You Buy a Pre-Made Soak for Your Sitz Bath?
Adding in some type of medicinal or herbal sitz bath postpartum product to your water is a great way to increase the effectiveness of the treatment.
While some people might like the idea of making their own DIY-blend, there are plenty of great options available from local and online stores. These include:
With more than 3,400 ratings on Amazon and nearly a 5-star rating, it’s no wonder so many women rely on the Recovery Ritual Sitz Bath Salt Soak after delivering their babies.
Made from a soothing blend of Epsom salt, dead sea salt, and various essential oils, i.e., rosemary, lavender, grapefruit, and more, this product will not only relieve postpartum pain, but it will also provide a calming, mood-boosting aromatic experience.
As with all products like this, it’s essential to monitor your sensitivity and discontinue use if problems occur.
Reviewers rave about the Thena Natural Wellness soak’s ability to offer perineal care and soothe pain and itching from hemorrhoids and anal fissures.
It’s made of finely grained Epsom salts, plus other quality ingredients, such as lavender, coconut oil, and sweet almond oil.
As a big fan of Earth Mama Angel Baby products, I was thrilled when I discovered they made an herbal postpartum sitz bath soak.
Trust me when I say this product doesn’t disappoint!
Created by a registered nurse and certified herbalist, this product has everything you need to create a soothing postpartum sitz bath experience. Plus, it’s 100% organic, Kosher, and Non-GMO Project Verified.
What are the Best Herbs for Your DIY Postpartum Sitz Bath Recipe?
Are you interested in creating your own DIY postpartum sitz bath? You’re not alone! Many new moms choose to put together their own herbal creations instead of buying a product from the store.
Before you dump just any ingredients into your next sitz bath, it’s crucial to know which herbs work best and are safe to use, such as these:
- Myrhh (Perfect for moms who have tearing or episiotomies)
- Uva Ursi
You can also use correlating essential oils in your postpartum sitz bath recipe and receive the same results you would with the herb itself. It’s also a good idea to combine these types of herbs or essential oils with other soothing ingredients, such as witch hazel, Epsom salts, or dead sea salt.
Treat Your Nether Regions to a Luxurious Postpartum Sitz Bath
Don’t just sit back and suffer from the after-effects of childbirth. There are plenty of pain management options you can rely on to provide the relief you deserve. If you’re in the market for a trusted and natural solution, a store-bought or DIY postpartum sitz bath is going to be your best friend.
Whether you use warm water by itself or add in an herbal postpartum sitz bath recipe, your lady parts are sure to thank you for the much-needed reprieve.
Do you have a favorite product or recipe for a postpartum sitz bath?
Kristen Bergeron is a freelance writer from Florida. In addition to writing, she is a wife, mother of two beautiful girls, Hadley and Scarlett, and a part-time photographer. After overcoming infertility and having two successful IVF cycles, she’s made it a personal goal to help educate men and women on the realities of fertility struggles. She is passionate about supporting fellow women who are trying to navigate the complicated world of conception, pregnancy, and learning to be the best mothers we can be.