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Taking a Bath After C-Section

A hot water bath can be a good way to relax after childbirth. This article provides information about the various risks involved, and the precautions to be taken while taking a bath after a C-section.
Leena Palande
After a cesarean or C-section, mothers are asked to watch for fever, vaginal bleeding, and pain for about 4-6 weeks. Vaginal delivery is comparatively safe, compared to a C-section in which the risks of bleeding, infection, and other complications are double. During a C-section surgery, other organs like bladder, intestine, etc., may also get injured. If there are no complications, then the mother can go home with her baby within 2-3 days.
Various instructions given by the doctor should be followed strictly, as they are for the safety of the mother and the baby. After childbirth, the doctor may recommend breastfeeding immediately. The mother needs to take utmost care of herself, as any health problem with the mother can affect the health of the baby. Following the precautionary instructions is really significant if the wound is healing slowly.
Surgical Incision
Childbirth can leave the mother exhausted. A Cesarean delivery requires cutting, and therefore it involves risks for the mother. Thanks to the modern-day researches, it has become a relatively normal procedure now. The advent of antibiotics and improvements in surgical techniques have reduced the risk of infections and complications. On the first day after the surgery, the mother is given intravenous fluid. The mother may be tired sitting up, and walking can restore her confidence. Also, she may be advised to maintain a soft diet. On the second day, the mother can walk a little more. On third day, the staples will be removed, if necessary. Nowadays mostly auto dissolving staples are used which do not require the procedure of removal by the doctor. They dissolve on their own in the skin. The bandage will be removed and the incision might be left uncovered. The mother is advised against any heavy work. Pushing too hard in the beginning may cause complications with the stitches, which may lead to a longer recovery period. Also, while taking bath, the C-section stitches and the surrounding area should be well protected. Adequate rest is required for faster recovery.
In the hospital the mother is most likely to get a sponge bath. The nurse will arrange for it. After returning home, the mother can have a proper bath, depending upon the condition of the wound. Taking a bath after a C-section requires more attention and precaution than a natural childbirth.
Taking Bath after C-Section Incision
You are expected to take utmost care to avoid any kind of infection after c section. Bleeding after surgery may lead to tiredness. You may find it difficult to stand in a shower, therefore taking a shower should be avoided after cesarean delivery. Warm 'sit bath' work in a similar fashion as the bathtub, and can prove to be a good way of relaxing. With assistance, you can begin taking a sit-bath, from 4th or 5th day after the surgery. While bathing, just let the water run gently over the incision. You may apply antibacterial soap gently to the incision, after making a dollop of suds in your hand. Don't rub the incision while bathing. Leave the suds for a minute there, and then rinse it off. With the help of a clean towel, pat the incision dry, and remember not to rub it. You may then apply the ointment prescribed by the doctor.
As the bathtubs are not drained and cleaned after every use, avoid using them until 6 weeks after the surgery. You cannot afford the risk of exposing your body in contaminated water, as your baby depends on you for everything. It would be rather difficult to clean and disinfect the bathtub every time. Make sure that the water is clean, so as to avoid an infection during these critical healing weeks. Also, it should be noted that, if you're still bleeding, you'll contaminate the tub for everyone else. There is also a risk of slipping while getting out of the tub. The new mothers want to clean themselves as early as possible but some of them may have to wait for several weeks before the incision heals completely.
Taking a bath after the surgery has a very therapeutic effect on the fatigued body of the mother. Warm water soothes the pelvic region that had enough trauma. Do not forget to follow the precautionary instructions, to any infection. Even a minor infection may lead to severe complications. This is the reason why swimming after childbirth is out of question. Moreover, adjust the temperature of the water to an appropriate degree. You should not use any strong oils or perfumes during the bath as they may irritate the affected skin. Every time you take a bath, dry yourself thoroughly.