Can You Use the Sauna After a C-Section? (Risks & Benefits)

Saunas are a wonderful way to detoxify, release tension, and clear out the skin’s pores. So, it seems like an excellent idea to do after giving birth, especially when the doctors perform a C-section. Indeed, it will do much to center your body’s physical components like hormones and toxins.

As inviting as a sauna is after giving birth, do not go into a sauna after C-section surgery. You must wait until your sutures completely heal before going into one. This can be as little as three months or as much as eight months or more. It really depends on how quickly you heal.

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For you to be any good to yourself or the new little angel in the family, you must take care of yourself. This means allowing proper healing to take place and taking the necessary steps to ensure it. While it isn’t difficult, there is a strict limit to what you can and can’t do.

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Is It Safe to Sauna Postpartum?

As long as you don’t undergo a C-section or some other birth-related surgery, you can definitely use a sauna. Of course, you won’t be able to use it immediately after giving birth. But, after a few weeks and your body returns to some sort of normalcy, it’s very safe to use.

However, it’s imperative you wait until the Lochia period is over. This is the discharge that occurs for the first couple of weeks after giving birth. You want to ensure your body has cleaned itself from this completely.

Benefits & Tips

But, using a sauna is an ideal treatment for postpartum healing, including for mothers experiencing the depression that often comes with it. It will help purify toxins and assist with hormone balancing. You just want to make sure you hydrate well before and after going into the sauna.

Also, pay attention to your body. If you feel faint, experience a racing heart, or are unwell in any way, exit the sauna and give yourself some additional healing time. In a few weeks, you can attempt the sauna again. Even if you’re okay to be in the sauna, only stay in it for 15 minutes or less.

Once you’ve fully recovered and are back to yourself, then you can go longer.

Is It OK to Sauna While Breastfeeding?

woman breastfeeding an infant
It’s fine to use the sauna while breastfeeding (image source)

Using a sauna while breastfeeding is definitely okay but you do want to wait for lochia to end. However, expect some of your milk to leak while in the sauna. Unless, of course, you’re using an infrared type of sauna. These will reduce instances of leakage but not remove them altogether.

Make sure you hydrate well after using the sauna too. Drink aloe juice, coconut water, or prickly pear extracts, and avoid commercial electrolyte beverages. Not only will your body appreciate you for it but your baby will too.

How Long After C-Section Can You Use the Sauna?

The time you’ll have to wait before you can use a sauna will depend on how quickly you heal from a C-section. For some mothers, this will be only a month or two while for others it can take as long as eight months or more. You must wait for the surgery to heal completely before entering a sauna.

The only way around this is to do a light steam bath in the comfort of your bathroom. Even then, you’ll still have to wait until you’re no longer experiencing pain, soreness, bleeding, or lochia. Mitigating infections, complications and increased problems should be your top priority.

Do’s & Don’ts After C-Section

women c-section stomach
Be sure to follow your doctor’s advice post c-section (image source)

Because a C-section guarantees soreness, pain, discomfort, and bleeding, there are things you can and cannot do while healing. It is imperative you stick to this regimen until you’re back in full swing so that you can be the best mom you can be. The table below is a quick reference for these do’s and don’ts, but you should first follow the doctor’s advice.

 DoDon’t
Physical ActivityRegularly shower Get plenty of rest Bond with your baby Take short walks every dayNo heavy lifting No tampons or douches No baths, hot tubs, saunas or spa visits No sex No rigorous activity of any kind Avoid repetitive use of stairs
DietDrink plenty of water and other hydrating beverages/foods Eat only organic, nourishing foods Take fiber supplements or eat things high in fiberAvoid processed, prepackaged foods Avoid junk food Do NOT go on a diet yet
Surgery AftercareAvoid fragrances, commercial lotions, and other products with uncertain ingredients  If symptoms of sadness, hopelessness, or depression begin Signs of infection begin to emerge (redness, puss, swelling, fever, swollen lymph nodes and etc) Difficulty breathing Bad odors emanating from discharge Severe or worsening pain Severe bleeding that soaks a pad in two hours or less Incision opens after sutures come out Signs of blood clot, indicated by pain in the groin, back of knees, calf or vaginal bleeding Nausea or vomiting Trouble going to the bathroom
Calling the DoctorIf symptoms of sadness, hopelessness, or depression begin Signs of infection begin to emerge (redness, puss, swelling, fever, swollen lymph nodes and etc) Difficulty breathing Bad odors emanating from discharge Severe or worsening pain Severe bleeding that soaks a pad in two hours or less Incision opens after sutures come out signs of a blood clot, indicated by pain in the groin, back of knees, calf or vaginal bleeding Nausea or vomiting Trouble going to the bathroomDon’t call for every little pain or cramp; evaluate situations for severity beforehand Don’t lie or omit information about what you’ve been doing if something serious does happen

Conclusion

So, as much as you may want to hop into a sauna after a C-section, don’t do it. You have to keep the area clean and dry; a sauna will not do that. It may actually increase complications if you’re not careful. You are at a very vulnerable stage and you don’t want to take any chances.

In the event you have questions or concerns about using a sauna after having a C-section, contact your doctor or other healthcare professionals.

(Featured image by freestocks.org from Pexels)

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