In the early days of motherhood as much as you would like to take time to rest, there's a new baby who needs your love and attention and self-care can easily slip out of your schedule. An herbal sitz bath is a great way to help you relax, facilitate healing, soothe the perineum and help with hemorrhoids-not to mention give you a few much-needed minutes for yourself. Read on for this at-home guide for how to make a sitz bath.
What is a Sitz Bath?
Herbal sitz baths are a mixture of herbs that you can place directly in your bathtub or even in a small basin that fits over your toilet to soak in after giving birth. Each herb is chosen for its benefit to the postpartum healing process. For example, comfrey leaves are one of the most popular herbs for sitz baths postpartum because they contain allantoin, a substance that helps new skin cells grow, along with other substances that reduce inflammation and keep skin healthy. Lavender is another great postpartum sitz bath herb because it aids in relaxation and promotes skin regeneration, all while offering antibacterial properties. Red raspberry leaves can prevent oxidative stress and improve the cell's ability to expend energy. And yarrow is used for women's pelvic cramping, intestinal gas, bloating and to stop bleeding in wounds, making it a smart choice for a sitz bath for hemorrhoids. Each of the listed ingredients provide their own relieving effects, so you can mix and match using the herbs that you already have at home or easily source them locally or online (more on that below). Even just one or two postpartum herbs for sitz baths are beneficial. Note: Be sure to check in with your doctor or midwife that a sitz bath is safe for you and your baby.
How to Prepare a DIY Sitz Bath
This DIY recipe is one of our favorites because it's something that can be done while your little one is sleeping. Follow these simple instructions and treat yourself to a few quiet moments of calm along with healing for pregnancy hemorrhoids or perineum pain. These ingredients could even make a great gift for any mothers you have on your shopping list this holiday season, or for upcoming baby showers of friends and family members who might enjoy a sitz bath postpartum.
- 1/4 cup Comfrey Leaf
- 1/2 cup Lavender Flowers
- 1/4 cup Plantain Leaf
- 1/2 cup Red Raspberry Leaf
- 1/4 cup Yarrow Flower
- 1/4 cup Calendula Flowers
- 1/4 cup Shepherd's Purse
- 1/4 cup Uva Ursi Leaf
- 1/4 cup Sea Salt or Epsom Salt
- Combine the ingredients: Mix your chosen bath herbs in a large bowl. Remember, the proportions don't need to be exact. And if you don't have all the herbs, you can even just stick to comfrey leaf to keep it simple! You can store your herbs in a mason jar or other container for up to a year in a cool, dark place.
- Once you've combined your bath herbs, portion out 1 cup and place in a bowl. Meanwhile, heat water with a tea kettle.
- Remove water from heat and pour over your bowl of herbs. Let the herbs steep, as you would a cup of tea. Strain and add to a bath.
- Soak for 20 minutes-you can even bathe with baby if you'd like for some extra bonding time! (Bonus: The herbal bath will help baby in healing the umbilical cord.)
- Enjoy and relax!
Where to Get Sitz Bath Supplies
You can find all of the herbs listed above at Mountain Rose Herbs. Buy them individually, or simply order pre-made blends on Amazon or Etsy. Sitz bath basins can be found at many local pharmacies. If you prefer to order a sitz bath basin online, Amazon and Walmart have good options available.