No baths for two weeks after giving birth? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 35 Old 02-15-2007, 04:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My midwife's "handbook" says it's best not to take a bath for the two weeks after delivery (showers are ok, just no soaking in a tub)... I dont have it in front of me, but I believe it has something to do with bleeding??? But I keep reading about Sitz baths and other ways to relax/heal in the bath.

Anyone hear of anything like this?
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#2 of 35 Old 02-15-2007, 04:33 AM
 
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Interesting.
I personally feel so much like having a shower after giving birth that nothing can stop me, but I only wash from the waist down, without soaps or anything, because I do not want to wash the amniotic fluid etc off which helps baby to scent me properly, and helps with the estalishment of breastfeeding.
I have not heard of it being to do with bleeding. Hmmmmmmmmm.....

And I do have a proper soapy shower a few days after birth, especially if breastfeeding is going really well.
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#3 of 35 Old 02-15-2007, 04:34 AM
 
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I had a shower with both boys either late on day 2 or early day 3. I have NO desire to shower/bathe in the hospital (the only thing I wanted was to go HOME!) but once I got home I started itching.

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#4 of 35 Old 02-15-2007, 04:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I should have specified... Showers are fine, but sitting in a tub is supposedly a no-no.

On another note, it hadn't occurred to me that using soap would prevent baby from being "familiar" with my scent. I'm glad someone mentioned it!
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#5 of 35 Old 02-15-2007, 10:09 AM
 
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The reason my attending OB gave me for this was:

If you are breastfeeding, it isn't a good idea to sit in a bowl of lochia and let it get all over your nipples because lochia is unclean and probably full of infectious goodies that are not good for your baby to be ingesting. God knows mine was afterwards, however, I thought it was an odd reason. I mean, they allow water births and you could be swimming with your own poop, in addition to the usual suspects in that case...

Needless to say, I never really followed that advice, but I was extremely feverish and not all screwed on in the head at that time. To each their own.
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#6 of 35 Old 02-15-2007, 10:35 AM
 
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After the births of both of my children, my doctors recommended either sitz or full baths for perineal healing. I never had any problems.

This time I'm having a homebirth and will be having a lovely herbal bath after the birth. :

I don't think it's a problem.

ETA: Just don't use bubble bath or other weird chemicals in your water for those first couple of weeks...

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#7 of 35 Old 02-15-2007, 10:44 AM
 
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With both of my births, midwives recommended frequent baths. I'll bet the no bathing is somewhat of an old wives' tale. My SIL, a doctor, said it was so you don't get infected by fecal matter or bacteria that travel through the water. Seems like if you're that dirty, you'll have problems anyway.
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#8 of 35 Old 02-15-2007, 10:49 AM
 
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I took a ton of baths after my births. It really helped w/my perineal healing & comfort. There are lots of healing herbs you can add to the bath water. I spoke w/one of my OB nurses about the no baths recommendation. She said some doctors recommend against them, some do not. She told me to do what I felt was best.

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#9 of 35 Old 02-15-2007, 10:54 AM
 
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I bathed after both births...with the first, I did herbal baths and brought dd1 in the tub with me. Her umbilical cord was gone by day three - I think the herbs helped it heal and dry fast. With dd2, I spent two days after the birth lounging in my aqua doula that wasn't ready by the time she was born
Like most things regarding childbirth, I say do what feels right to YOU, not what some medical expert tries to say is best...

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#10 of 35 Old 02-15-2007, 11:19 AM
 
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baths can feel good- and soothe aching muscles, relax babies and promote healing. ask your midwife why this is in the hand book- why is it a recommendation.
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#11 of 35 Old 02-15-2007, 03:31 PM
 
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DD and I took a bath together everyday from day 1!

The first 4 were herbal baths. After that nothing but water. We never had a problem.

Quote:
If you are breastfeeding, it isn't a good idea to sit in a bowl of lochia and let it get all over your nipples because lochia is unclean and probably full of infectious goodies that are not good for your baby to be ingesting.
WTF? How misogynistic is it to talk about lochia being "unclean"? : Wasn't the baby inside me with all that stuff to begin with? It's one thing if you know you have an infection, but if you don't what's the big deal? It's not like there is tons of the stuff pouring out of you at every moment. Plus if you are nursing your baby the baby is getting quite a big immune system boost right there.

I'm just commenting on the OB's statement, not the PP.

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#12 of 35 Old 02-15-2007, 03:34 PM
 
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a Sitz bath is just a little tub that you place on the toilet and sit in for a few minutes
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#13 of 35 Old 02-15-2007, 03:42 PM
 
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I resumed taking baths immediately after both boys. I bathe, don't shower, and it was the only time I had to really relax. Re: lochia on nipples, I never ran the water up that high, I wouldn't soak, my bum wouldn't allow me to sit on that hard surface for long, but I would rinse with the same water I bathed in. :

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#14 of 35 Old 02-15-2007, 03:45 PM
 
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That isn't true.


My midwives recommend an herbal bath for mama and baby.

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#15 of 35 Old 02-15-2007, 03:45 PM
 
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Total crap. There used to be a theory that bath water entered the vagina and increased the risk of infection. That has been debunked, and we pop women in the tub immediately after birth if they want to be there. (Can't do water births because they freak out the peds too much.)

mama to Max (2/02) and Sophie (10/06); wife to my fabulous girl
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#16 of 35 Old 02-15-2007, 04:12 PM
 
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I took 2 sitz baths a day (in my tub, shallow warm water with an herbal sitz bath that I bought...) for almost a week starting 2 days post partum....... without those herbal baths, my swelling wouldn't have gone down as quickly (I skipped one or two and could honestly tell a big difference)
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#17 of 35 Old 02-15-2007, 04:25 PM
 
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My midwife suggested frequent baths.

-Angela
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#18 of 35 Old 02-15-2007, 04:34 PM
 
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I was told to avoid baths only because I had a c-section and the bandages over my incision weren't supposed to soak or they might come off. Would similar advice apply if you had bad tearing and stitches? That might be different, though, I don't know.
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#19 of 35 Old 02-15-2007, 04:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It's so odd they told me this... They are the most hands-off, non-medical people I've ever met (more laid back than I am!) so I am really surprised that they say no baths, when it seems like a wonderful way to relax after the marathon of birth. I'll have to take in the handbook to my next appointment and ask them why...
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#20 of 35 Old 02-15-2007, 04:52 PM
 
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I would take a bath if you want one...maybe avoid any bubble bath or scented products like that for a while since those could maybe sting on a tear or dry out your nipples making nursing uncomfy (though I've never heard of anyone being told that bathing could prevent the babe from recognizing you till this thread! I showered after birth and DD certainly didn't seem to notice/care).

I've never liked taking baths while bleeding, but I can't see that it would hurt anything!

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#21 of 35 Old 02-15-2007, 05:05 PM
 
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I was planning on taking an herb bath with the bath right after birth. Guess we will have to wait a few days.
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#22 of 35 Old 02-15-2007, 05:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pookel View Post
I was told to avoid baths only because I had a c-section and the bandages over my incision weren't supposed to soak or they might come off. Would similar advice apply if you had bad tearing and stitches? That might be different, though, I don't know.
No. The sutures are absorbable, but don't come off or come out. I assume you mean the steristrips, the little pieces of tape? It actually doesn't matter much for those either; we let our section moms tub as soon as their initial bandage is off (the top one that goes on in the OR, usually taken off the next day by the OB or nurse).

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#23 of 35 Old 02-15-2007, 06:06 PM
 
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I recommend 3-4 hip baths a day. So does my midwife.

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#24 of 35 Old 02-15-2007, 06:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxmama View Post
No. The sutures are absorbable, but don't come off or come out. I assume you mean the steristrips, the little pieces of tape? It actually doesn't matter much for those either; we let our section moms tub as soon as their initial bandage is off (the top one that goes on in the OR, usually taken off the next day by the OB or nurse).
Yeah, the steristrips.

I'm not taking any chances with the next one, because the one strip that peeled off a little left me with about an inch of split incision where it peeled.
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#25 of 35 Old 02-15-2007, 10:09 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pookel View Post
Yeah, the steristrips.

I'm not taking any chances with the next one, because the one strip that peeled off a little left me with about an inch of split incision where it peeled.
Make sure they use benzoin when putting the strips on, and that your skin is absolutely dry before they do. Steristrips shouldn't come off prematurely even with bathing; it's usually an application issue.

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#26 of 35 Old 02-15-2007, 11:16 PM
 
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Good Lord, I couldn't LIVE without my baths after dd was born. I'm a huge bath-taker though... it's my cure-all for everything. If I have a headache, cramp, if I'm sore or stressed or ANYTHING, I take a bath.

When I had dd, we didn't have a bathtub, just a shower stall. I would drive 45 minutes every evening to use my BIL/SIL's bathtub... that's how desperately I wanted my bath.

No one ever told me not to, though... even though I'm sure if they did I would have told them where to put it.
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#27 of 35 Old 02-15-2007, 11:49 PM
 
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so if we do extensive stitching we don't recommend taking an herb bath after the first one because it can cause the stitches to dissolve too fast-- but a regular bath would be fine-- I don't know about major abdominal surgery- I would not want to mess with any of that stitching--if there are adhesive things that hold the skin together- I would wait a week or so till the skin was coming together-
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#28 of 35 Old 02-16-2007, 12:21 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mwherbs View Post
so if we do extensive stitching we don't recommend taking an herb bath after the first one because it can cause the stitches to dissolve too fast-- but a regular bath would be fine-- I don't know about major abdominal surgery- I would not want to mess with any of that stitching--if there are adhesive things that hold the skin together- I would wait a week or so till the skin was coming together-
The sutures that take the stress of the incision are all internal (there are three layers, at least). The steristrips hold the skin incision together tightly to minimize scarring, but the incision has already started healing by the time the staples are taken out and replaced with steristrips (usually day 2).

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#29 of 35 Old 02-16-2007, 12:22 AM
 
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I had to take herbal/sea salt sitz baths to heal my tear, and I could not sit on the toilet with the sitz bath contraption thingy because it put too much pressure on my perineum. Instead, I took herbal baths in the tub. My tear healed wonderfully and it was comfortable to be in the bath!

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#30 of 35 Old 02-16-2007, 12:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxmama View Post
The sutures that take the stress of the incision are all internal (there are three layers, at least). The steristrips hold the skin incision together tightly to minimize scarring, but the incision has already started healing by the time the staples are taken out and replaced with steristrips (usually day 2).
so how soon after a c-section would you take a bath?
I know that for many things I like to soak because water alone can be so healing-- and my mom always had us soaking in epsom salts if we were getting any kind of skin infection to prevent blood poisoning, and i have used it for my family as well--
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