Childbirth is a marathon. And, soon after the experience; for all the sweat, blood, and uncleanliness, it might be natural for you to feel like taking a bath. But, when you can take a bath after giving birth is not something that you get to decide, your OB/GYN is the best judge. It’s different for a C-section mom, who can’t bathe for at least a couple of weeks or until the scars have healed, and it’s different for a mom who had a vaginal birth. Here’s all you need to know about bathing after childbirth:
How early can you take a bath post delivery?
Most medics might recommend a warm bath in a bathtub to get relief from the aching body and muscles after all the pushing business. Bathing is also likely to take care of your vaginal or perineal swelling. You naturally feel fresh and energetic after a bath, and promote better blood circulation. However, a shower is not usually recommended.
How safe is it to bathe after delivery?
If you have had a vaginal birth, immediate bathing after delivery might not be advisable. A shower is likely to put you at the risk of infection, especially if you have undergone an episiotomy or have stitches in the perineal region. If exposed to water or moisture, there is every likelihood that there will be contamination, and it could hamper your healing mechanism. Also, your doctor or midwife instruct you or provide alternative means to bathing for personal hygiene. In case you haven’t received your instruction in the discharge summary, you might as well ask them for the same.
If you’ve a had a C-section, you will most likely be asked not to bathe for almost two weeks or until the wound heals. Modern soluble stitches, however, allow C-section moms to take a bath once every two days after the surgery, but your doctor will be the best person to recommend it. Even otherwise, sponge bathing is recommended in most cases, long as you don’t touch the incision.
Means of bathing:
Bathtubs are relaxing and comforting, especially when your body is exhausted from labor. If you have had excessive vaginal swelling, a sitz-bath might be a good option. A sponge bath is the safest when it comes to C-section. However, high-pressure showers are totally discouraged for they can worsen worn out tissues.
A word of caution: Drain the water after every bath in a bathtub. Using hot tubs before six weeks is recommended only if the tub is extremely clean. It’s important that you keep any form of contamination in the early weeks after delivery at bay, as you are still healing. Also, if you are bleeding, you might contaminate the tub for others or subsequent use.
Apart from healthy bathing, you need to make a note of the following too when it comes to cleaning yourself:
- Use sanitary pads instead of tampons as they increase the risk of infection.
- Use ice-packs or ice wrapped in cloth to your perineal region at fifteen-minute intervals to relieve yourself of swelling or pain.
- Don’t douche fluids or perfumes inside your vagina.