Postpartum soak in Dreft detergent? - Mothering Forums
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Birth Professionals > Postpartum soak in Dreft detergent?
JessicaE's Avatar JessicaE 06:17 PM 05-24-2009
Has anyone heard of this? I heard a hospital CNM yesterday recommend to a mom with a second-degree tear to do sitz baths with 1/2 cup powdered Dreft (the laundry detergent). I asked her if this was somehow better than epsom salts, and she said yes, because Dreft has phosphorus in it "for healing."

This hasn't been sitting with me well, as I'm imagining all the other chemicals that are in the Dreft, and I wouldn't want to sit my raw bottom in that! But that's just my gut reaction, and I wondered if others also recommend this, and/or have more information.

Marlet's Avatar Marlet 06:23 PM 05-24-2009
Saw this on new posts but ummm.....ew! That sounds wrong on so many levels. : for sure.
Cheshire's Avatar Cheshire 06:24 PM 05-24-2009
If I remember correctly that stuff stinks - very heavily perfumed (ugh! I don't think I could stand to sit in a tub with even a little of it, peeuuuu). And, as you say what other chemicals are in it. There have to be better, more natural, options.
Talula Fairie 06:26 PM 05-24-2009
also saw this in new posts

i am freaking out just THINKING about putting dreft near my vaj. it's not just soap, it's LAUNDRY SOAP! omg! i agree with the pp, bad on so many, many levels.
Peppamint's Avatar Peppamint 07:05 PM 05-24-2009
Ewwww! I've never heard of a Dreft sitz bath.

How 'bout a nice herb bath instead? Lots of midwives swear by herb bath for healing.
MidwifeErika's Avatar MidwifeErika 09:07 PM 05-24-2009
I have heard of it, but I wouldn't recommend it. I can think of much more gentle things to use in a sitz bath. Some herbs or sea salts would be better.
AllyRae's Avatar AllyRae 09:14 PM 05-24-2009
Um OUCH. Soap doesn't even feel good if you get it in your eyes, let alone an open healing wound.
munkeesmama's Avatar munkeesmama 10:28 PM 05-24-2009
I definitely would not recommend that. Eww.
Talula Fairie 10:28 PM 05-24-2009
Eww is right. I swear I shudder a little every time I see this thread in my inbox.
Sarahstw's Avatar Sarahstw 10:46 PM 05-24-2009
Ackray's Avatar Ackray 10:48 PM 05-24-2009
I've never heard of that. Dreft. Really? I don't know which is worse... Washing my baby's clothes with it or soaking my arse in it! I'll bet it stings.
Jilian's Avatar Jilian 10:56 PM 05-24-2009
Seriously?! : There is so much perfume in that detergent that it isn't even funny. My sister uses it on her son's clothes and the smell kills me. I cannot imagine soaking my healing lady bits in it
BrooklynDoula's Avatar BrooklynDoula 10:57 PM 05-24-2009
Not something I would want to do nor would I recommend it to a client. There are certainly better options for a sitz bath and the soap/chemicals in this detergent would make me worry more about things like yeast infection or other distrupances to mom's flora. Yuck.
mrshoobydoober's Avatar mrshoobydoober 11:03 PM 05-24-2009
Ew. I can't imagine how someone would come to think that was an ok thing to do.
fruitfulmomma's Avatar fruitfulmomma 11:07 PM 05-24-2009
Well, it certainly would drum up more business for them, cause I'd be swollen with hives and in misery if I tried to do that. Yuck.

Herb baths -
JessicaE's Avatar JessicaE 11:47 PM 05-24-2009
THANK YOU! I'm glad to know it's not just me who has the heebie jeebies about this. I did give her a recipe for an herbal bath soak, and I am hoping she will NOT use the Dreft. Blech!
dewi's Avatar dewi 10:43 AM 05-25-2009

What that midwife recommended is harmful and tell your client so.
You don't want the cleint passing along that information to other mothers.

It's Not even a remotely correct clinical recommendation for a sitz bath to sit in laundry soap.:

Some people won't even wash baby clothes in that crap!
JessicaE's Avatar JessicaE 09:56 PM 05-25-2009
Just to soothe everyone who is (rightfully!) oooged out by this, I talked with the mama today and she is NOT soaking in Dreft, and has charged her husband with assembling the herbal bath recipe I sent her. BLECH! I just shiver thinking about how many moms have followed this midwife's advice.
shellnurse's Avatar shellnurse 11:05 PM 05-25-2009
I was curious about this and googled "dreft and perineal healing"- there are a few websites that recommend using unscented dreft for clothing and a website where you can buy Deft perineal washes...still not super-exited about sitting in detergent.
Carolinamidwife's Avatar Carolinamidwife 05:00 PM 05-26-2009
Ack! That makes me itch just thinking about it! I'm having Mr. Bubble flashbacks to my youth or something.
TzippityDoulah's Avatar TzippityDoulah 06:28 AM 05-27-2009
ewww!!! or maybe... ouch?

no thanks! why would one do that if you could use gentle soothing herbal mix? it's not expensive or anything. and if I dind't have that I'd use plain water before using alundry detergent!!
durafemina's Avatar durafemina 08:24 AM 05-27-2009
I read the title of this thread thinking "surely not. . . ?! - they must be talking about soaking cloth pads or soiled linen postpartum and even then, hydrogen peroxide works without the horrible scent, etc".

scifimom's Avatar scifimom 03:03 PM 05-27-2009
They use dreft for burn healing at our local e.r. Haven't heard of it for perineal soaks yet though, gross.
Rachel J.'s Avatar Rachel J. 09:47 PM 05-28-2009
This ranks up there with the "what on earth are they thinking?" idea of using baby shampoo for perineal support/massage during birth that was mentioned a while back. It just leaves me saying, "Huh?"
JessicaE's Avatar JessicaE 08:43 PM 08-30-2010
I just heard this recommendation from ANOTHER CNM this week. I think I might add this to the last class in my childbirth series, when we talk about postpartum care. "And please, for the love of G**, don't soak your tender postpartum bottom in chemical-laden Dreft." And I'll give them an herbal postpartum bath recipe to consider instead.
phathui5's Avatar phathui5 11:14 AM 08-31-2010
Yuck. I've never heard anyone recommend that.
fruitfulmomma's Avatar fruitfulmomma 12:22 PM 08-31-2010
Forgot about this thread but it reminds me of the Lysol douche ads...
courtenay_e's Avatar courtenay_e 01:58 PM 09-01-2010
Originally Posted by scifimom View Post
They use dreft for burn healing at our local e.r. Haven't heard of it for perineal soaks yet though, gross.
OMG, this freaks me out, too. My mother was a burn victim, and I cannot imagine all of that petroleum being sucked into her body...NOT what you need when your body is trying to heal that much trauma! There are many other, healthier things they could use--like honey (there are some wonderful studies out of England, I believe, on burn healing and raw honey/royal jelly, esp on victims with large percentages of tissue burned and infections on the burns that disallow the burns from healing), herbs, supplements. SALINE, even. *shudder* Just... yeah. Not cool. Let's keep petroleum based chemicals away from any type of tissue that has healing to do, shall we?

Sorry, I remember reading this thead, but I must have missed this post.
mwherbs's Avatar mwherbs 03:20 PM 09-01-2010
Well I can see using the Lysol or at least the old Lysol that basically used alcohol tinctures of certain phenolic plants, sort of like how some people use EO's now and it was developed long before the invention of antibiotics. In any case I tried to look up the background for using dreft, and I think it probably is less caustic than say old lye soap, in using it before debridement of burn tissues i imagine it helps to soften the scabs so they are easier to scrub off, but for perineal healing ick.
fruitfulmomma's Avatar fruitfulmomma 05:23 PM 09-01-2010
Well I can see using the Lysol or at least the old Lysol that basically used alcohol tinctures of certain phenolic plants, sort of like how some people use EO's now and it was developed long before the invention of antibiotics.
Huh, that is interesting. I was wondering if it was something like that but the ads don't give any info on exactly what it was.
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