Sitz baths or full body baths can be wonderfully healing and comforting right after birth. Here are two great recipes, one for a sitz bath and one for a regular bath.
A sitz bath is a shallow bath in water just high enough to cover your hipbones. They’re easier and safer than a full bath in the early days postpartum. You can enjoy one once or twice a day for three to five days after birth. They are safe as early as one hour after birth. Sitz baths are highly recommended if you have perineal soreness or tearing or had an episiotomy.
Lavender Sitz Bath
Run hot water for the sitz bath and when the temperature is comfortable and it is deep enough, add 3 drops lavender essential oil and 3 drops cypress essential oil. Mix well with the warm bath water and sit down in the water at once. Lavender encourages new skin growth, while cypress has astringent properties and constricts the blood vessels. Alternately, you can use fresh herbs in a mesh or muslin bag hung in the bath.
You may prefer to add a tea of healing herbs to a sitz bath or a full body bath. For a sitz bath, reduce the following recipe by half.
Soothing Herbal Bath
Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Take the pan off the stove and add one handful each of the following dried herbs (use two handfuls if the herbs are fresh):
- Lavender flowers
- Comfrey leaves
- Sage leaves
- Calendula flowers
To this mixture add good quality sea salt without iodine. Add ½ to 1 cup of salt depending on the size of your tub. Strain the liquid and add this tea to your bath water. Soak and enjoy. Your baby can enjoy this bath with you, too.
About Peggy O’Mara. I am an independent journalist who edits and publishes peggyomara.com. I was the editor and publisher of Mothering Magazine for over 30 years and founded Mothering.com in 1995. My books include Having a Baby Naturally, Natural Family Living, The Way Back Homeand A Quiet Place. I have conducted workshops at Omega Institute, Esalen, La Leche League, and Bioneers. I am the mother of four and grandmother of three. Please check out my email newsletter with free tips on parenting, activism, and healthy living.