Can I take a bath after a c-section?

Updated March 23, 2017

A C-section (caesarean section) is a major abdominal surgery. How you treat yourself after this procedure will determine how quickly you recover and can return to normal life. There are many things to consider when recovering from C-sections, including activity levels, driving, work and even bathing. Here's what you need to know about personal hygiene after a C-section.


It is recommended that you wait at least 2 weeks post-surgery before taking a fully submerged bath. The incision area needs to be kept relatively dry, and the actual movements required to get into and out of a bath can cause undue strain on the abdominal area and the rest of the recovering body.

Getting clean

For the first few days, a sponge bath is sufficient for cleaning up. Use warm, soapy water and wash very delicately around the incision area. You can then proceed to showering in the following days. Do not allow the shower to hit directly upon the incision area, and do not apply soap directly to the area either. Once you are finished showering, very gently pat the area dry, making certain not to rub or apply pressure to the incision.

Incision care

Keep the incision area clean, dry and free from contact with dirt, lint or elastics. Wear very loose, drawstring tracksuit bottoms or even just nightgowns. Undergarments should sit well above the incision mark, so that the elastic does not aggravate the incision. Change dressings regularly, and look for signs of infection or excess bleeding.

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About the Author

Based in Ohio, Deborah Waltenburg has been writing online since 2004, focusing on personal finance, personal and commercial insurance, travel and tourism, home improvement and gardening. Her work has appeared on numerous blogs, industry websites and media websites, including "USA Today."