- Can you take a bath after a C-section?
- Why should you be careful while taking a bath after C-section?
- Precautions while having a bath after C-section
- What are the benefits of taking a bath after C-section?
Childbirth is not a very clean affair. And the first thing you might look forward after giving birth is a relaxing bath. But you may not be sure if you should take a bath after C-section. Your doctor may advise you on that and tell you when to have it and how.
Can You Take A Bath After A C-Section?
No, you are not supposed to take a fully submerged bath until three weeks after the surgery (1). It is to keep the incision area dry and prevent bath water from entering into the vagina. You may also strain yourself by getting in and out of the bathtub, which might delay recovery.
However, your doctor may advise you to take a shower, but it is important not to scrub or mess the incision area. Also, you should be careful if there is any bandage or wound around the incision. In this case, it has to be dried using a dry cloth or hair dryer to avoid infections (2).
Why Should You Be Careful While Taking A Bath After C-Section?
After a cesarean, your body needs some time to recover completely. You may experience pains and aches, some of which require immediate attention and management. You will also experience vaginal bleeding and fever that could be favorable factors for contracting infections.
Therefore, it is safe to take a bath only after the incision heals. This is a reason why most hospitals recommend and provide a sponge bath under special care.
Precautions While Having A Bath After C-Section
Following are the precautions you need to follow to avoid complications.
- Allow the water to run gently over the incision. Do not use direct hand-shower or pour water on that area.
- Use antimicrobial soap to keep microbes away from the area. Do not apply soap directly; instead, use your hands to create foam and then apply gently on the incision area.
- Use only lukewarm water while taking a bath. Avoid extremely cold or hot water as it could affect the wounded site.
- Take care not to be harsh over the incision area while you are bathing.
- Once you wash the area, use a clean towel and pat gently to remove as much water as possible (3).
- Your doctor may give a medicated ointment to treat the incision. Use your finger to take the needed amount, and apply over the area lightly.
- Do not use any other creams or perfumes, or bath oils over the incised area. They might react with the tear and irritate the area.
- Avoid using the bathtub at least for one and a half month as they are rarely cleansed every time after a bath and increase the risk of infections.
- Also, if you are having vaginal bleeding, this could contaminate the bathtub for others using the same tub.
- There is a risk of slipping and falling in the bathtub that may worsen the wound. You should, therefore, wait for the wound to heal completely and then use the tub.
When you follow precautions, a good bath can be beneficial.
What Are The Benefits Of Taking A Bath After C-Section?
Taking a warm water bath after cesarean section provides the following benefits:
- A warm water bath after a cesarean delivery will offer immense physical and mental relaxation. It relieves you from fatigue and takes your mind off the discomfort.
- A warm water bath relaxes the muscles of the pelvic region and gives you a soothing effect.
- Helps to ease hemorrhoids that irritate and swell after the delivery.
- Repairs episiotomy and soothes the are to make you feel better.
A C-section is a major abdominal surgery, and it takes time for you to recover before you resume to normal activities. Following your doctor’s advice will help you heal physically and emotionally. While taking a bath may seem like a good idea, remember all the things mentioned above to enjoy bathing, and reduce the risk of infections. For a submerged bath in a tub, you will need to wait until the incision heals.
So, when and how are you planning for your first bath after a C-section? If you have anything more to add to our suggestions, write in the below comment section.
2. After Your Cesarean Birth; University of Washington Medical Center (2008)
3. Care and advice after a cesarean section; University Hospital Southampton (2017)