When Can I Take A Bath After Giving Birth?

When Can I Take A Bath After Giving Birth?

Even though you have carried your baby for nine months, you know the work is far from over. After you have gone through the (major!) exertions of delivering your baby, you’d like nothing more than to relax

A nice, warm bath may be calling your name after the messiness of giving birth. 

As wonderful as a bath may sound, your doctor may tell you to wait before taking a well-deserved soak. This all depends on how you delivered your baby and if you have any stitches or incisions. 

Vaginal Birth

Your vaginal area will very likely be sore after giving birth, and a warm bath will ease any tenderness. If you did not have any tears, stitches, or incisions, you are likely in the clear to take a bath anytime after giving birth. 

Any bath products, like bubble baths, oils, and salts, will need to be avoided so they do not irritate your skin in that area. You will also want to use gentle soaps to cleanse yourself during this time. Gently pat your vagina and perineal area dry. 

Suppose your perineal area tore, or your doctor had to perform an incision in this area during birth. In that case, you will want to consult your doctor before bathing, as they will likely want you to wait a day or two before submerging any stitches in water. 

A shower will most likely be the alternative until you can soak in the tub. Be sure to take your time moving in the shower and not scrub any areas with stitches. 

Allow the soapy water from your body to flow down to wash this area. Be sure to gently and thoroughly pat dry these areas to not irritate the skin and incision site. 

Cesarean Section

If you delivered your baby via c-section, you would have to wait for your incision to heal until you can soak in the bath. This is a major incision, and your doctor will want the area to be healed before submerging it in water. Healing may take up to three to four weeks before you can finally take a bath. 

You can still shower, and the water from showering will clean this incision area, no need to scrub or rub soap directly on the area. 

Don’t Hesitate To Ask For Help

Your incision site will be sore, and you may need help getting in and out of the shower if you have a step-in type. It can be surprising how many tasks use the muscles in the area where the incision was made! Be sure to ask for help, and take your time. 

Using grips on the shower floor can help you stay steady as the bottom of the shower can become quite slippery. If it is uncomfortable to stand for long periods of time, you can also use a shower stool to sit on while bathing. 

Avoid Harsh Scrubbing

If your incision site is secured and covered by surgical tape, your doctor may be okay with this area getting wet. As previously mentioned, avoid scrubbing this area and gently pat it dry. 

If you have bandages keeping your incision covered, be sure to change the bandages when they become soiled. You can gently clean the site and thoroughly dry it before applying a clean bandage. 

Monitor The Incisions

Keep a close eye on the incision site as it heals. You’ll likely have a six-week postpartum checkup to make sure your body is healing as it should (and hopefully get the clear to take a bath if you have not yet). 

However, if you do notice any discomfort and swelling as you heal, you’ll want to contact your doctor right away. This could mean that the area has become infected, and your doctor will want to take immediate steps to ensure that you are back on track to safe healing. 

Other Forms of Cleaning

If a relaxing bath isn’t in your schedule for the day, there are alternative ways of cleaning and soothing any tender areas from giving birth. 

Sitz Bath

A sitz bath can be helpful when you need a few minutes to soothe and treat the vaginal and perineal areas after giving birth. A sitz bath can be taken two ways, in the bathtub or with a special bowl that fits in your toilet. 

The bathtub method only needs a few inches of water, as this is only meant for the lower half of your body. If using the sitz bath bowl, the bath bowl will sit on the toilet seat, and you’ll sit in the bowl, exposing the tender areas to the water. 

For both methods, you’ll use warm water (unless instructed otherwise) and can add Epsom salt or medicine into the water. The water may sting a little at first. This sensation should go away, and you’ll be able to soothe the areas that need healing. 

You can take a sitz bath multiple times a day and for around 15 minutes at a time. 

Peri Bottles

A perineal irrigation bottle, also known as a peri bottle, can be a huge help during postpartum recovery and cleaning. It can be uncomfortable when using the bathroom after birth, especially if you are concerned about stitches. 

A peri bottle helps you aim and squeeze a gentle stream of warm water directly into your vaginal and perineal area to help soothe and keep things hygienic when toilet paper may be too abrasive. Using a peri bottle as you use the bathroom can help decrease the sensitivity that you may be experiencing. 

You can use clear, warm water in the peri bottle or mix in different remedies to help soothe those areas. There are pre-made peri washes you can purchase in the store or make your own with Epsom salt or other natural alternatives. 

How long it takes you to heal will determine how long you use the peri bottle. Some may use it only for days, while others may continue to use the peri bottle for a few weeks. 

Recovery After Birth

Recovery after a huge life event like giving birth isn’t completely solved after a warm bath (although it does help!). Taking care of yourself is very important. If you are not taken care of, how can you take proper care of your baby? 

Enlist the help of your family, friends, even close neighbors to help you during the immediate postpartum period. Not only will they be thrilled to see your newest addition, but you’ll also be able to focus on yourself to relax and recover. 

Giving birth is strenuous, and you need the time to recover. In addition to baths, be sure to incorporate healthy foods into your diet and drink plenty of water. 

If you’ve delivered via cesarean section, it is essential to take it easy. Do not lift anything heavier than your baby and only do light housework. It is okay to move around, like taking short walks with your baby, but keeping it easy the first few weeks can help you heal faster. Make sure you are following any post-procedure instructions from your doctor as well. 


As you welcome your new bundle of joy home, you’ll need time to relax and heal! 

Taking a bath is one of the best ways to soothe tired muscles and tender areas from giving birth. Even if you cannot take a proper soak in the bathtub, there are alternatives so that you can experience some relief from giving birth, like using sitz baths or a peri bottle. As you soak in the bath, you can also think of how your baby will enjoy bath time in the near future. 

Here at Little Yawn Collective, we are here to support you and your little one! This includes  bathtime with our Soothing Shampoo and Body Wash with Calendula for when your little one is three months old and above. Not only is it gentle enough for your baby, that means it’s gentle for you too! 

Backed by routine and science, we want your little buddy and you to rest easy!


Going home after a C-section | MedLine Plus 

Resources for New Mothers | Northwestern Medicine

C-section | Mayo Clinic

The Do's and Don'ts of Healing from a C-Section | InterMountain Healthcare 

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