Bathing can present problems if you have PGP but, with some planning, there are ways of minimising the pain and risk of further stress to the pelvis.
Bathing – yourself
- Try using a shower to avoid climbing into the bath. You can get a shower seat fitted (provided by an occupational therapist (OT)) to allow you to sit down while showering. This can be fixed or portable. Washing your feet can be impossible without somewhere to sit, as it is difficult to stand on one leg! There are long-handled sponges (provided by an OT) which can also help.
- If you do use the bath, sit on the edge and swing your legs over together if you possibly can, or step over carefully holding on to something to avoid putting weight onto one leg. Grab rails (provided by an OT) can also help.
- A bath-board helps you to get in and out of the bath. It fits across the top of the bath and you sit on it so you can swing both legs in together. A slatted one is best so that if it is too difficult to sit in the bottom of the bath, you can have a sitting up shower on it. You can also get a slatted chair to put in your shower cubicle (provided by an OT or the Red Cross).
- Try kneeling in the bath rather than lying down in it.
- Use your arms to take a lot of your body weight when coming out of the bath.
- Use a terry nappy to put over the plastic stool or chair (especially after labour and birth when you might be sore).
- Use a basin, bidet or foot-spa to wash your feet while sitting down.
Bathing – your baby
- Prepare everything you will need beforehand so that you have towels, nappies, clean clothes, etc ready next to you.
- While the baby is tiny, you can often use the sink or put the baby bath on the kitchen counter or table (a waist-high surface). Ask someone else to lift the baby in and out of the bath. (Ideally, put the plug end of the bath over the sink area so if the baby does unplug it you do not have the water going all over the kitchen floor!) Ask someone else to fill/empty the bath for you.
- You can use a washing-up bowl instead of a baby bath. It is smaller and so lighter when full.
- As the baby grows, you could use a baby bath seat in the bath that will help to stop you making sudden movements to try to catch a slippery baby. There are also support seats for new-borns.
- If you can get in and out of the bath, bathe with your baby with your partner’s help; it is something you can do yourself and share with your partner.