You have just been through one of the most amazing and hardest experiences of your life. Giving birth, no matter what kind of birth you experience is tough on your body.
Having a c section is extra tough and if you are anything like me you want to get back to your normal routine like, yesterday!
This takes time and patience but there are several things you can do to feel a little more like yourself.
Some days taking a shower just doesn’t cut it. You want the calm, soothing experience of a bath.
Here are some things you need to consider before taking your first bath after your c section.
When you can Take A Bath After A C Section
The most important thing you need to do is make sure that your incision has sealed up. You will have some stitches that are dissolvable on the inside and you want to make sure that they are fully healed so that no water leaks through.
Some people are healed enough that they are able to take a bath 2 weeks after surgery but not everyone.
The general rule of thumb is to wait closer to six weeks just to be safe and make sure that the incision has healed sufficiently.
The reason you want that incision sealed is you don’t want any bacteria to get into the incision and cause an infection.
And trust me when I tell you that an infection is the absolute last thing you need or want right now. I experienced an infection after my first c section (not due to a bath) and it. was. awful.
As always, consult with your doctor before taking a bath.
Signs of infection
If you are worried you might have an infection in your incision, here are some things you can look for. If you see them you should immediately reach out to your doctor.
- Redness around the incision
- Increased pain around the incision
- Any fluid draining from the incision, especially green or yellow-colored drainage
- Bleeding from the incision, especially after bleeding has stopped
- Foul smell coming from the incision
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Tips on Taking Your First Bath After a C Section
When it’s time to take your first bath here are some things to keep in mind until you are fully healed.
It might seem silly to discuss bath safety for an adult but getting in and out of the tub is definitely not as easy as it was before pregnancy. You are stiff and sore and in general not moving around as efficiently.
Slipping is also a big concern so take steps to make sure you don’t slip and fall. You might want to consider having someone nearby the first time just to make sure you can get in and out of the tub safely.
How Should You Wash Your Incision
Keep the water temperature lukewarm. Don’t use very hot water, or very cold. It’s best to keep things moderate until you are fully healed.
Use a mild soap. An antimicrobial is a great option if you have it on hand. I like to use Dr. Bronner’s baby soap, it’s gentle and mild. Perfect for your incision and baby.
Do not scrub your incision. Lather up some soap in your hands and using your fingers, gently glide them over your incision. Rinse with water by letting it gently glide over your belly.
If you have skin that hangs over your incision be sure to lift it out of the way when cleaning and drying your incision.
Make sure you don’t use any bath oils or products containing perfumes. These can irritate the incision.
benefits of taking a bath after a c section
There are several benefits to taking a bath after a c section. The most obvious is to get clean but it goes beyond that.
Many times during pregnancy women can develop hemorrhoids. It’s common and taking a bath can help soothe the inflammation that comes with pregnancy hemorrhoids. This will make you feel so much more comfortable while sitting and caring for your new baby.
Pro tip: if you’re desperate for some hemorrhoid relief but too scared to take a bath you can get yourself a little kit to take a sitz bath, on the toilet! It will also feel good on your vagina which can still be sore and tender, even after a c section.
Here’s what I used for a sitz bath and it was a game changer!!
Getting alone time is really tough as a new mother. Babies require a lot of attention, and if you have other children then it becomes really tough.
You can’t even go to the bathroom without having an audience!
Taking a bath can give you some alone time which helps to relax your aching muscles and give your brain a break.
You are sleep deprived so that mind is working overtime to just do everything you need. Giving it a little break can do wonders to helping you feel refreshed and ready to tackle that exploding diaper!
remember, I am not a medical professional. I am sharing anecdotal advice based off of my personal experience and the research I have performed. This content should not be taken as medical advice; if you have medical questions please seek the advice of a medical professional.