Giving birth to a baby is one of the most emotional, joyful, and triumphant experiences ever. It's also one of the grossest. It's no surprise that labor itself is often marked by blood, sweat, and tears, but you may not realize that the postpartum period is, too. Your body continues going through major changes for a few weeks after birth, and there's a good chance some of them will make you feel gross. Luckily, there are some postpartum hygiene tips no one ever taught you that can make a world of difference.
The shock of becoming a parent combined with the sleep deprivation of your first few weeks with a baby can often make you feel like a total zombie. One of the best ways for me to quickly feel human again was to get myself clean and comfy. But after having a C-section, simple things like standing on my own for a few minutes in the shower, and even raising my arms to wash my hair, were incredibly challenging. With my next baby, I'm hoping that following a few of these tips will help me start feeling like myself again sooner.
Here are seven hygiene tips to help you survive the postpartum period.
1. Clean Up With A Spray Bottle
For a few weeks after birth, the amount of blood you'll be dealing with every time you go to the bathroom will be like your worst period ever, times three. The Mayo Clinic suggested using a spray bottle filled with warm water to clean up. The water will be soothing and it'll also help cut down on the amount of toilet paper you go through, which can be irritating when you're so sore.
2. Soak In A Sitz Bath
If you've given birth vaginally, your nether regions are going to be sore— especially if you experience a tear. You can soothe the area by soaking in a sitz bath, according to Fit Pregnancy. You can attach it to your toilet and just sit in it for some relief.
3. Blow Dry Your Lady Bits
After a spray or a soak, Parents suggested drying off downstairs with your blow dryer (on a cool setting, of course). It'll save you the trouble of potentially re-irritating tender skin with toilet paper, and keep the area as dry as possible to help prevent year infections.
4. Wash Your Hands
With a newborn in the house, chances are you're already washing your hands constantly. But it's not just about keeping germs away from your baby— it's also important for your own health. The World Health Organization noted that hand washing is one of the best ways to prevent postpartum infections in moms.
5. Stay Away From Tampons
No matter how much you're bleeding after birth, you'll need to stay away from tampons for a while as they can lead to infections, according to Baby Center. So skip them until your postpartum bleeding ends and your regular period returns.
6. Don't Soak In The Tub If You've Had A C-Section
As a new mom, you'll spend way too much of your day covered in bodily fluids— your own, and your baby's. You can shower as much as you want (if you can find the time and energy), but if you've had a C-section you'll need to avoid soaking in a tub according to the American Pregnancy Association. You'll be able to run a bath again once your incision is healed and your bleeding has stopped.
7. Invest In Dry Shampoo
As I mentioned above, as much as you probably need to shower making time for it isn't always easy. Popsugar suggested having dry shampoo on hand for those days when you can't even remember how long it's been since you last bathed.