Are you wanting to make your own sitz bath? You can make this at home with just a few ingredients. Read on to learn what a sitz bath is and start relaxing with this great DIY recipe!
I never even knew what a sitz bath was until I had my first child if you can believe that! Which I guess makes sense considering it is only recommended for specific situations, most of which occur at an adult age.
It’s really not that much different than a regular bath. However, some of the elements of the sitz bath are specific and important for the best results.
What is a Sitz Bath Anyway?
I think of it as a ‘gentle’ bath. Usually used to relax tender areas in the perineum after surgery, or childbirth. It can be an effective, natural way to relieve discomfort and promote healing. A sitz bath can also be used for hemorrhoids and other types of pelvic discomfort. This simple remedy can cleanse and soothe sensitive areas with minimal pressure. This is key while these areas are still healing. To keep them clean and free of infection without using harsh cleansers or linens.
How it Works
A sitz bath is done in just a few inches of water. Warm water will probably be the most comfortable but in some instances cold water may be recommended to further reduce swelling. By adding other elements like epsom salt and essential oils, the sitz bath increases blood flow and gently cleanses the area. In some situations this is the best you can do for awhile. After my second child this was my lifesaver! Even after soaking 2-3 times I already felt less pain and swelling.
It is usually recommended to soak in a sitz bath several times a day for about 10-15 minutes at a time. One thing to note is that after surgery or childbirth there is usually a waiting period of 2-6 weeks that may be advised before a bath is recommended. If you have questions, just ask your doctor.
Making Your Own Sitz Bath
There are several versions of a sitz bath out there. There are even kits that include a bath bowl that fits over the toilet seat for a sitz bath. To me, that doesn’t seem very relaxing. So I just went for the whole bathtub instead! This is the one I have used that seemed to help with healing and discomfort after childbirth.
2-3 inches of warm water in a bathtub
½ cup Epsom salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp witch hazel
½ tsp apple cider vinegar
2 drops lavender essential oil
1 drop roman chamomile essential oil
Why the Extra Ingredients?
Some recipes just use epsom salt with oils. I love the extra elements to this bath recipe. Baking soda can provide benefit by improving circulation and preventing growth of yeast and bacteria. Witch hazel is another important addition I always add to my mixture too. It is a toning agent that reduces inflammation and tightens the skin.
And don’t forget the apple cider vinegar! I feel like I continue to hear about this remedy for so many things. The sitz bath is no exception. You only need a little bit, especially with tissue that is still healing. Go easy on the ACV! But it can reduce swelling and promote healing as well.
You can use several essential oils for this recipe but I chose Lavender and Roman Chamomile. Lavender is a must here. It is so good for skin! It calms inflammation, promotes healing and has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. This is no doubt the most supportive healing essential oil for these types of situations. Roman chamomile is also a good choice because it can help with inflammation and redness, and ease sore muscles. Together, these two essential oils work together for an unmatched effort in healing.
Why I Was Hesitant to Try a Sitz Bath
It took me a few weeks to even want to try this, if I’m being totally honest. After going through labor and having a child, there is just a lot of pain, tenderness and swelling. Which I feel like you can’t really know what it’s like until you experience it. But once I felt healed enough to want to be back in a bath it made my healing go that much faster! I wish I had started these weeks before I did.
- Before you do anything, make sure the bath tub you’re using is clean. The last thing you want to do is introduce your tender, healing perineum to an environment filled with bacteria. We want to stay infection free here!
- Once you’re ready, just draw the bath water. Remember, just a few inches and check to make sure the temperature is comfortable to you. If you’re like me and are use to scalding hot baths, this is different! With tissue that is tender and healing warm to lukewarm is probably the hottest you’ll want to go.
- Using a small plastic container, combine the epsom salt, baking soda, witch hazel apple cider vinegar and essential oils. Mix together thoroughly until they are evenly dispersed.
- Then add the ingredients and stir them around in the water. Make sure the salt and oil mixture is dissolved.
- Lastly, sit in slowly and get ready to enjoy some quiet relaxation time. Feel free to turn down the lights and get the diffuser going too…enjoy your time even if it is only a few minutes!