Two babies down and a few more to go (someday, not now) and I’ve got a little feeling that I’m growing in my expertise of all those mama things that rock your bod postpartum. Today, I want to share about postpartum sitz baths – also known as mama bath magic.
So, you just pushed a baby out of your lady parts? Feeling a bit sore? Torn? Uncomfortable? Ready to get your heal on? It’s time for a postpartum sitz bath!
You’ve got a couple options in regard to location. You can purchase a sitz bath to the tune of $10-$20 that will fit over your toilet or you can draw a shallow bath in the tub – just 3 to 5 inches of water.
And, for the magic potion … you can purchase a pre-mixed blend (I’ve used Motherlove, Deerfoot Herbs, and Wish Garden) or you can make your own as a fun little nesting project prior to baby. If you opt to make your own, you’ll most likely end up with enough herbs for a number of bundles. This way you’ll be able to bless all your mama friend’s with a batch of homemade postpartum sitz bath herbs. Because really, don’t all good friends take care of each other’s lady parts? I would think so.
Postpartum Sitz Bath
- Uva ursi leaves
- Yarrow flower
- Plantain leaf
- Comfrey leaves
- Sage leaf
- Calendula flowers
- Slippery elm bark
- Epsom salt
Combine herbs (except epsom salt), approximately 1 ounces of each. Toss and package in resealable bag. Store in a cool, dry place until needed. This amount will make approximately 2-3 baths.
Preparation & Execution
Place 1 cup of herb mixture into a gallon of boiling water. Simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and allow herbs to sit, covered, for 15 minutes to strengthen. Strain out herbs (save) and add the remaining liquid + 1 cup of Epsom salt to a bath filled with 3-5 inches of warm water. The goal is to keep the mixture as concentrated as possible. For ultimate concentration, opt for a sitz bath that can be purchased to fit on your toilet. In the tub, you’ll use more water, so, consider doubling your batch of herbs to keep the concentration high.
Soak in the tub for 20 minutes. When water begins to cool, I usually fill the tub with water for a regular bath. If you like, baby can join you for a splash or bath time nursing session. Just be sure to keep water away from your little one’s umbilical cord. Pat lady parts dry after bath, no need to rinse off. Tea can also be used in a peri bottle for relief while urinating postpartum and dabbed on with a washcloth as needed.
Postpartum sitz baths can be part of your routine for the first 2 weeks after baby. At least once per day, but up to 2-3 times after the first 24 hours. The properties of each herb aid in soothing perineal muscles while reducing swelling and helping to slow postpartum bleeding. And who doesn’t want all that?
I usually re-brew my saved herbs for a second, less strong tea because I’m resourceful like that and hate to waste :) Herbs can be composted after they’ve done their healing.
Disclaimer … I am not a medical professional so use herbs at your own risk and/or talk to your doctor or midwife about specifics in regard to your individual healing. Do not ingest – gross. Make sure water isn’t too hot – duh. If irritation occurs, stop using – obviously. Bath with assistance as getting in and out of the tub postpartum can be difficult – advice from experience.