Many first time parents wonder what a peri bottle is used for and if they should buy one in preparation for the postpartum period. In this blog post I hope to answer these questions and much more about what happens after birth. Let’s begin!
What is a peri bottle used for?
A peri bottle is used to clean the vulva after a new mom uses the toilet to eliminate waste and/or when she changes her postpartum pad. It’s kinda like a portable bidet for the postpartum vulva.
Often times, after birth a woman’s vulva is swollen, bruised, has torn and may even have stitches. On top of all that, she’s also bleeding. As a result, a peri bottle is helpful to gently clean the area with a liquid, instead of what is typically used – toilet paper.
Toilet paper on a vulva right after giving birth does not feel good at all! A soothing liquid feels so much better. Believe it or not, it’s actually quite pleasant!
TIP: If you are ever out of toilet paper because of a weird supply and demand issue caused by an even more bizarre world health crisis, get you a peri bottle. Again, it’s like a portable bidet. You’re welcome. 😉
How does a peri bottle work?
A full peri bottle should kept by the toilet so that when a new mom pees or changes her pad it’s right there ready to go. After she finishes using the toilet and changes her pad, a woman may spray any area that needs cleaning instead of using toilet paper to wipe. Toilet paper can still be helpful to dab around and catch any drips, but during that first week wiping those tender areas should be kept to a minimum.
A peri bottle can be a little tricky to use, because to use it, it’s held upside down. At first, you may even accidentally get some water on yourself or the toilet seat! This is totally normal. However, these postpartum bottles are pretty easy to get the hang of after trying it only once.
Apparently, most women have this dripping problem because Frida Baby created a product that eliminates the mess. Enter the Mom Washer! Yes, they’ve officially thought of everything. 😉
How long after birth do I use a peri bottle?
Right after birth, care providers will help a woman get clean with either a mini sponge bath right there in the bed, or a legit shower. (I highly recommend the shower. It’s the best shower you’ll ever take.)
After a shower and everyone is all cleaned up, the best place for mom to be is in bed breastfeeding her baby or getting some skin-to-skin time with her newborn.
The first time a new mom should use her peri bottle is any time she visits the restroom after she takes her first postpartum shower.
What can I put in a peri bottle after birth?
- The simplest thing to put in a peri bottle after birth is water. Water works really well.
- Warm water in a peri bottle is better than cold.
- A small amount of witch hazel in water can be used in a peri bottle. It has a soothing effect, just like witch hazel pads.
- Some women put a small amount of iodine in their water-filled peri bottle to reduce the risk of infection.
- Other women go all out and use an herbal tea or a postpartum herbal bath in their peri bottle. There are many benefits to this sort of thing, but at the same time it’s not totally necessary. If using herbs in a peri bottle is overwhelming to you, just use water. Water works great.
Which bottle should I buy?
Unfortunately, it’s difficult to buy a peri bottle in a brick and mortar store. You probably won’t find one at Walmart, Target, or your local drugstore. But you know what? The empty plastic ketchup and mustard bottles that a restaurant would use or someone would buy for a picnic, would totally work in a pinch. Seriously! You can definitely find these bottles at Walmart.
If using a ketchup bottle doesn’t sound appealing to you, you can buy a pack of three from amazon. Go ahead and share the extras with your new mom friends. Sharing is caring!
If you want a fancy one, check out Frida Baby’s Mom Washer. The Mom Washer is made to be held upside down, but squirt water up. It’s really neat!
What else should I buy for postpartum?
If you’re curious about what other moms find to be helpful for the postpartum period, check out my post about my postpartum survival kit. There’s some good stuff in that kit!