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Your First Shower After a C-Section: 3 Steps To A Fresh Start

Hey there mama. Welcome to our article on your first shower after a c-section. This self-care guide will help you navigate this first act of self care after surgery. First – if you are reading thing, it likely means you just gave birth by surgery. Congratulations on making it through pregnancy and birth. And thank you for this gift you’ve brought to the world. You are amazing.

After a C-section, taking your first shower can be a mix of anticipation and uncertainty. This guide aims to provide the information and encouragement you need to make this experience as comfortable and simple as possible.

In the following sections, we’ll walk you through the process step-by-step, prioritizing your well-being and comfort. Your first post-C-section shower is an essential act of self-care and healing. So, take a moment to breathe deeply and remember that you’re resilient. Together, we’ll navigate this journey of self-care, ensuring you emerge from your first post-C-section shower feeling refreshed and empowered.

1. Should You Shower After Taking A C-Section?

After a C-section, taking that first shower might seem like a daunting task. You may have questions like, “Is it safe?” or “When should I do it?” We understand your concerns, and in this section, we’ll address these important questions.

Is It Safe to Shower After a C-Section?

Concerns about showering after a C-section, particularly in relation to infection risk, are entirely understandable. However, rest assured that taking a shower is generally safe. The incidence of surgical site infections (SSIs) after C-sections can range from 3 to 15%, prompting questions about whether showering means more or less infections. One study delved into this inquiry.

While not all factors contributing to surgical site infections can be controlled, there is one that can: patient adherence to wound care instructions. A significant issue leading to post-discharge infections is patients neglecting (or being afraid of, or not knowing) proper wound care.

Surprisingly, many women coming in with infections hadn’t removed their gauze or cleaned their wounds two weeks after surgery. I completely understand – a shower when you are still in pain from surgery, with a wound that is still healing, is quite scary. But, rest assured, it is good for you.

In the study we mentioned, the clinic demonstrated an impressive 65% reduction in infection rates. How? By providing patients with gentle soap and instructing them on the correct daily wound-cleansing procedure. And where is this cleansing done? You guessed it, during your daily shower.

If your doctor didn’t provide you with a soap, consider using your baby’s soap – especially if it’s fragrance free. Most baby soaps are extra gentle and free from harsh ingredients. Plus you likely already have one on hand.

When To Shower After A C-Section?

If your healthcare provider hasn’t advised you to start your daily shower routine right after your surgery, don’t worry. You should typically take your first shower within 24 to 48 hours after a C-section.

Your healthcare provider will usually remove the sterile gauze initially covering your wound, and if they replace it with small adhesive bandages called Steri-Strips or use glue, it’s perfectly fine if they get wet. However, there’s no need to attempt to scrub them off.

This advice to have a daily shower routine applies regardless of how your surgeon closed the wound. So, whether you have staples, sutures, or a subcuticular closure with Steri-Strips, it’s absolutely okay to start showering.

2. Clean But Don’t Scrub In Your First Post C-Section Shower

If you’re worried about experiencing discomfort while tending to your surgical wound, please know that your concerns are completely valid, and we’re here to offer some comforting advice.

First, there is no need to scrub your scar vigorously or gently. You can clean it well without ever even touching it.

Begin by applying your favorite gentle soap onto a clean, wet washcloth. Then, let the soapy water flow down gently over your belly and scar, allowing it to do the work for you. Afterward, simply rinse out the washcloth and repeat the process with just water. This approach ensures that you won’t have to touch your wound directly or expose it to the harshness of direct shower water.

For added comfort, you might want to consider standing with your back to the shower, or even placing a chair or stool inside the shower for extra support.

If you’d like some assistance and companionship, having your partner join you during those initial showers can make the experience easier to get through.

3. Gently Dry Your Wound After Your First Shower After A C-Section

Ensuring your wound stays dry is like giving a green light to your body’s natural healing powers. Too much moisture can slow down the healing process, so making sure it dries after you shower is a good move.

Now, when it comes to drying your C-section wound after that first shower, think gentle and cozy.

You’ve got a few options.

You can use a super soft towel, softly tucking it under your belly to soak up any moisture.

Or, you can lie down flat and let the air do its thing to dry things out naturally before covering up again.

But here’s a fun and comforting trick many moms love: use a blow dryer on a cool or barely warm and low setting. Give it a shot, and you might find it not only soothing but also get a good giggle in. What a moment to remember and talk about later.

Can You Bathe Instead Of Shower After A Surgical Birth?

Some moms really look forwards to that first, soothing bath after giving birth. It’s true – the entire process of pregnancy and birth is tough on the body and a good soak can feel really great. In fact, if it were perennial recovery we were talking about- it would be high on my list of suggestions for healing stitches faster. However, the general recommendation for taking baths after a c-section is to wait.

It’s important to avoid excessive moisture around your surgical wound, as it can weaken the incision site and affect any adhesives used by the surgeon. A 45 minute bath is different than a 15 minute shower.

If your wound is secured with staples, it’s typically best to wait until your surgeon removes them to bathe. This usually occurs about two weeks after surgery. Additionally, if there are any gaps in your incision, it’s essential to wait until they have fully closed before swimming or taking a bath.

In general, refrain from using pools, lakes, oceans, tubs, or hot tubs until your wound has completely healed. When in doubt about whether it’s safe to shower, bathe, swim, or immerse in water, it’s best to check with your surgeon. Generally, if your incision has fully closed, it’s safe to submerge it in water. In many cases, this is about 3 weeks.

Make A Full Recovery Post C-Section

If you are planning for a c-section or just had a c-section, you probably have a lot of questions. Before you go, check out our other guides on giving birth by surgery and healing from your surgical birth.

What To Do The Night Before A C-Section

What To Expect In Your C-Section Procedure Step By Step

C-Section Recovery: The A-Z Guide

C-Section Recovery The Week By Week Guide

The Ultimate C-Section Recovery Kit

Breastfeeding After A C-Section

When Can I Bend Again After A C-Section?

C-Section Scar Itching

C-Section Pooch

What To Eat After A C-Section For A Fast Recovery