A peri bottle is a portable bidet-like device used by new parents to cleanse and provide relief to the sore perineum area (the space between the vaginal opening and anus) after childbirth. It is a simple yet effective tool that offers several benefits during the postpartum period:
Personal Cleansing: Peri bottles help with personal hygiene by gently cleaning the perineal area. This is particularly important after childbirth, as the area can be sore and sensitive.
Less Discomfort: Using a peri bottle lessens the need for wiping or touching the sensitive perineal area, which can be uncomfortable and painful, especially if there are stitches.
Cooling and Soothing: The flow of water from the peri bottle provides a naturally cooling and soothing sensation, helping to relieve discomfort and inflammation.
Dilutes Urine: Urinating after childbirth can be painful due to the sensitivity of the perineal area. The peri bottle dilutes the urine, reducing the stinging sensation when it comes into contact with abraded skin.
Prevents Infection: Proper cleansing with a peri bottle helps prevent infection by removing debris and promoting cleanliness in the perineal area.
Reduces Itching and Swelling: Postpartum swelling and itching can be alleviated with the use of a peri bottle.
Time-Saving: Using a peri bottle is quicker and more convenient than taking a full shower or bath for perineal cleansing.
Speeds Recovery: By promoting cleanliness and comfort, a peri bottle can contribute to a faster recovery during the postpartum period.
To use a peri bottle effectively:
Fill the bottle with warm water.
While sitting on the toilet, point the opened tip of the bottle towards the perineal area that needs cleansing.
Squeeze the bottle gently to squirt the water over the area.
Once done, pat the area gently with toilet paper or air dry. Avoid wiping, which can be abrasive.
Some individuals prefer to mix a bit of witch hazel into the water for added relief. Witch hazel is generally safe for use on the perineum but avoid using essential oils, lotions, or powders that can irritate the sensitive area.
The duration of using a peri bottle after childbirth varies from person to person. Most people start using it immediately after giving birth and continue for about a week or until they feel more comfortable. Some may find it helpful for two or more weeks, depending on their individual needs. It’s essential to use the peri bottle as long as it provides relief and promotes healing.
Peri bottles can be especially useful after a vaginal birth but are also beneficial for individuals who have had a C-section. The cooling and cleansing effects can help with discomfort and promote healing in the perineal area, even if the surgery was planned or if labor occurred before the C-section.
You can typically obtain a peri bottle at the hospital or birthing center after delivery, but you can also purchase them at pharmacies, big box stores, or online. There are various models available, with some featuring ergonomic designs for ease of use. Having a peri bottle on hand before childbirth can be helpful, as you may want to start using it immediately after delivery.