Taking a bath after delivery may not be the first thing on the mind of a new mother. However, it can be very relaxing for her. This article provides some information about it and certain precaution tips that one needs to consider for the same.
Postpartum i.e. the time immediately after delivery is said to be a crucial period. This is because the body has gone through several changes during labor and needs time to recover. During this time, extra care has to be taken while doing any activity as any wrong step can cause problems to the mother and subsequently to the child too. One of the questions that many women ask is whether they can take a bath after giving birth. The answer to this question would vary for every women according to a variety of reasons.
Usually, after a natural childbirth, it is fine to take a bath immediately, however, if the woman has gone through a C-section, she would be asked to wait for a week or so before taking bath. Hence, the decision of whether it is safe to take bath after delivery should be taken only after consulting the doctor or midwife. Even if the doctor gives his green signal, there are some things to be kept in mind while taking such a bath.
There is no consensus among experts when it comes to the safest way of taking a bath after delivery. While some say that using the bathtub is the best way, there are many who say that it should be avoided. This is because episiotomy which is a procedure where the doctor makes a cut on the area between the anus and the vagina for easy childbirth is done during normal delivery. Due to this, most women have stitches on that area (perineum) and under such conditions, lying in the bathtub can cause the perineum to become tender or swollen and can lead to infection too. Hence, the best way would be to take a sitz bath which is available in most hospitals.
Even if one decides to take bath in the bathtub, one has to make sure that it is clean after the last use. This is because a used bathtub can cause infection, if exposed to areas where stitches are present. Nevertheless, having a sitz bath has a therapeutic effect and can help in curing the fatigue caused due to childbirth.
Some people have asked whether it is safe for taking a shower postpartum. The answer to this question is also vague, as people have different opinions on it. While some say that taking a shower is the best way after postpartum, there are some who say that this should be avoided because the jets of water have the ability to damage tender tissues of the body. Moreover, it can be difficult for the new mother to stand at the shower immediately after delivery.
One thing that has to be avoided completely is swimming after giving birth. This is because a swimming pool is usually used by many people and hence, it is a perfect place for bacteria to thrive. This can increase the chance of infection after delivery. Hence, it is important to wait at least for six weeks before one can resume swimming. Also, remember that one has to get a complete check up done by the doctor before one starts swimming.
The body is prone to infection and other such problems after delivery. Hence, it is important to take utmost care. Here are some tips that one has to keep in mind while taking a bath after childbirth.
- Make sure that the water is warm and not very hot. Water which is too hot may be dangerous if exposed to the stitches. Also, it should be clean and free from pathogens.
- Adding herbs to the bath can be therapeutic and can help in relieving pain and speed up the healing process. However, it is important to avoid using bubble bath or any essential oils in the bath water as they may irritate the already swollen skin.
- One must avoid douching during the same because this can cause vaginal infection. Once one has taken the bath, one must not forget to dry themselves thoroughly.
However, as mentioned above, these instructions are applicable only for women who have had normal delivery. If one has gone through a C-section, then consult the doctor who will give the necessary instructions on the time as well as the methods that can used to take bath after delivery.
Disclaimer: This HerHaleness article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.