What is a Sitz Bath?
A sitz bath is a warm, therapeutic bath used to heal and cleanse the area around the perineum (the space between the genitals and anus). It can be especially useful following vaginal birth and tearing/episiotomy to aid healing and reduce discomfort. Sitz was originally called a Hip Bath where a vessel was filled with cold water to waist height. It was originally thought to have been offered in 1842 Europe to alleviate lower abdominal discomfort. The term “Sitz Bath” comes from the German word for “seat”. The term describes more the mode of bathing rather than the ingredients inthe water.
Sitz bath benefits healing following birth, helps prevent infection, reduces pain and swelling and helps keep your perineal area clean.
Why is a sitz bath beneficial?
There are a number of benefits to sitz baths:
Improves blood flow to the perineal area, which reduces swelling and inflammation and promotes healing.
Relaxes the muscles in the perineum, which can relieve the pain of a tear or episiotomy.
Soothes the soreness that comes from childbirth stretching.
Relieves the itching that often accompanies stitches.
Keep things clean down there, helping to lower the risk of infection.
A sitz bath can also help ease pain and itching from haemorrhoids — another postpartum symptom you may be experiencing.
How do I take a sitz bath?
There is a couple of ways to soak your perineal area but the most common is a half filled bath tub.
To use a bath tub- Put as much water as it takes to cover the area you wish to treat. Add your sitz blend and mix to dissolve. A couple of inches if warm water should do the trick. This means you don’t even need to take your bra and top off….because who can be bothered. Soak for 20 mins and gently dry the area. Some people dry the area with a hairdryer on the cool setting.
You can also get a sitz basin that fits over the seat of your toilet. You can fill the basic with warm water and a sitz mix and they often come with a little sprayer targeted at the general area.
What do I add to Sitz Bath?
Traditionally a blend of salts was all that was added however we have access to a lot of herbal alternatives which can be really beneficially too. When we created the Birthplace Sitz Bath Perineal Soak we hand blended a healing collection of florals and herbs.
- Epsom Salts
- Lavender Flowers
- Yarrow Leaf
- Witch Hazel Leaf
- Chamomile flowers
- Plantain Leaf
- Comfrey Leaf
Can I add essential oils?
There isn’t any essential oils in the Birthplace Sitz Blend however you can add a some lavender or tea tree following a discussion with your care provider.
Are You Planning A Calm & Connected Birth?
Birth Affirmations are a great way to tune in to your body’s power and trust the process of birth. Your body listens to what you tell it, make you your body knows how capable it is of birthing. Read How Affirmations Work Here
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