Being pregnant means enduring some discomfort as you await your little bundle of joy. But discomfort, especially “down there”, is likely to continue into your postpartum days as well. Women all over the world use bidets to lessen the impact of pregnancy on their bodies.
Using a bidet when you are pregnant is a safe and acceptable method of addressing pregnancy and post-partum issues like cleanliness and comfort. It’s important to follow your specific device’s instructions to ensure your safety and that of your unborn baby.
Bidets are not all that common in the United States, so you may not be familiar with them unless you’ve traveled internationally. If you’re considering using a bidet while pregnant, you may have concerns or doubts about the whole idea. Let this guide ease your mind so you can use a bidet with confidence.
Deciding To Use A Bidet While Pregnant (To Bidet Or Not To Bidet?)
When you are pregnant, the result of any decision can impact you and your unborn baby. Of course, you want to do everything you can to ensure you are both as safe and healthy as possible.
Using a bidet during pregnancy and after giving birth is one such decision. Maybe your obstetrician has recommended one, or you’ve heard great things from a friend who used a bidet when she was expecting.
Or you may have been told the opposite, which has left you wondering:
Are Bidets Safe To Use While Pregnant?
Overall, using a bidet correctly poses little risk to a woman with a normally developing pregnancy. However, anytime a female, pregnant or not, routinely uses a bidet, there is a possibility the following can occur:
- Bacterial vaginosis (Link): vaginal inflammation caused by a disturbance of the natural balance of flora that exists in the vagina
- Bacterial contamination (Link): caused by spraying yourself incorrectly or spraying bacteria-infested water with an improperly cleaned bidet
The results of studies focused on the use of bidets by pregnant women have been mixed. Some have shown a very slim chance that the inflammation of the vaginal surfaces caused by bacterial vaginosis (Link) can create a slightly higher risk of pre-term birth (PTB) for an already at-risk pregnancy. Others found no increased risk or connection between the two.
Ultimately, proper bidet use is the key—and will be addressed later in this article. If you do that, there should be no worries for you or your growing baby.
Of course, as with anything that could affect you and your unborn baby’s development, it’s always a good idea to check with your obstetrician first for approval.
Benefits of Bidet Use During Pregnancy And Beyond
Pregnancy and post-childbirth bring about a lot of changes to a woman’s body. Most are temporary, but a few, like hemorrhoids, can linger long after the baby’s born. You want to do what you can to keep those problems to a minimum.
The benefits of using a bidet when you are in a low-risk pregnancy far outweigh any risk associated with possible, but unlikely, bacterial contamination.
Pregnancy-Related Benefits Of Using A Bidet
By using a bidet, you can give some attention and relief to the discomforts that arise during pregnancy. You’ll be able to enjoy the nine months of anticipation even more. Bidets are incredibly helpful in the latter stages of pregnancy when these issues are typically at their worst.
Hemorrhoids are the unpleasant side effect of that little bundle of joy resting all his weight on your pelvic region. There’s not much you can do about that for nine months, but you can try to mitigate the problems that come with it.
Constipation is a given during pregnancy, causing you to strain when you do your business. You may find it painful to wipe that area with toilet paper or wet wipes, given the constipation and resulting hemorrhoids. Dry wiping can aggravate this painful and annoying condition.
That’s where a bidet comes in. A bidet provides a gentle stream of water that cleanses those parts without you having to touch them. No wiping means less irritation and discomfort. Not having to wipe can also assist in preventing hemorrhoids to start with.
Let’s face it. Besides hemorrhoids, a lot is happening “down there” when you’re pregnant. Everyday feminine issues become more pronounced during pregnancy.
It can be hard to stay and feel clean with all that going on. A bidet is a fabulous tool for keeping you refreshed and free of the unpleasantness of:
- Bloody discharge
- Vaginal discharge
As your pregnancy progresses, you’ll find that it gets harder to move around, including the twisting and turning needed to clean yourself on the toilet. With a bidet, you can sit comfortably while the bidet does all the work. All you have to do is reach the controls.
Americans use a lot of toilet paper. Toilet paper is expensive considering what you do with it and how much it sometimes takes to get your soiled parts clean again. Using a bidet cuts down significantly on the amount of toilet paper you need to use in a bathroom visit.
Any pregnant woman can tell you that her unborn baby is always sitting right on her bladder! That means way more bathroom trips when you’re pregnant. By using the cleansing action of a bidet, you can save a lot of money on toilet paper over nine months and use that extra cash to decorate the nursery or start a college fund for your little one.
Easy On The Environment
With more frequent trips to the bathroom, pregnant women use more toilet paper during pregnancy than they ordinarily would. Using a bidet to clean up after a stint on the toilet means you will be sending much less toilet paper down the drain. If you keep a towel handy for the final drying touches, you may not use any toilet paper.
If you use a handheld sprayer bidet, you can rinse out cloth diapers before they go in the wash. Putting your baby in cloth diapers saves the environment from the substantial impact of sending dirty disposable diapers to landfills every day.
Having a baby is hard work and leaves your body with after effects that require close attention and care. Bidets can offer you a hand in dealing with postpartum problems and discomfort.
A bidet is like a massage for your private parts. Using a warm water spray is a gentle way to deal with the soreness that comes with giving birth. The warm water promotes healing, leading to a quicker recovery.
Many bidets have adjustable spray nozzles that allow you to control the size and strength of the water flow. Some offer oscillating and pulsating options that enhance that massage effect.
After your baby’s birth, the discomfort often continues if you’ve had an episiotomy (Link), or any vaginal tears. These can leave you in stitches (and not the laughing kind either) and require vigilant attention. Dry wiping can be rough on such a tender spot, and you run the risk of not getting yourself completely clean.
Using a bidet will help wash away the infection-causing bacterial yuck and keep that area clean. If your bidet has a drying feature, this is definitely the time to use it. Stitches need to be kept free of moisture and bacteria so they can do their job.
When an absent automatic drying mechanism is present, you should pat that tender area gently with an absorbent cloth as paper can sometimes stick to sutures.
Fortunately, you’ll have a sweet newborn to care for after the birth. Unfortunately, you’ll be so busy and sleep-deprived with that little one that you’ll have much less time for a daily shower. But there will still be uncomfortable discharge and bleeding to deal with.
These after effects can be challenging to clean up with just a dry wipe and often leave an unpleasant smell if not dealt with promptly. Bidets are useful to wash away all the blood and vaginal discharge common after childbirth and help you feel fresh even with all that’s happening during the initial postpartum weeks.
Rinsing Dirty Diapers Or A Dirty Baby
If you plan on using cloth diapers and have a handheld bidet sprayer, you have the added bonus of being able to rinse out soiled diapers before throwing them in the washing machine. It’s easy to hold the diaper over your existing toilet and spray away the solid matter.
For the times when your new baby has a poop explosion and is covered by more than diaper wipes can handle, you can also use your handheld bidet to rinse off the baby.
You’ll avoid having to fill up the baby tub or big tub when it’s not bath time.
Using A Bidet When You’re Pregnant
There is a bidet to fit every budget. Not everyone has the option of remodeling their bathroom to install a separate, stand-alone bidet when they find out they’re pregnant.
If you do, great. If you don’t, that’s okay. With the variety of bidet types and styles these days, choosing and using a bidet when you’re expecting is an option that is open to every woman.
According to Toilet-Bidet (Link), there are six basic types of bidets available on the market. If you’re pregnant, any of them will do the job, but some are easier to use than others.
A stand-alone (Affiliate Link) bidet is a separate unit from your regular toilet; this is the Cadillac of bidet options, although most of us don’t have the room or budget to install one just because of a pregnancy.
Stand-alone bidets give you greater flexibility in controlling the temperature, water flow, and water pressure. Its main attraction for a pregnant woman is that you can sit on it facing forward like a toilet, or you can straddle it backward—depending on exactly where you want to direct water flow to clean different parts of your lower region.
Another option is a toilet with a built-in bidet. (Affiliate Link) One of the most expensive choices, it involves replacing your regular toilet with this toilet and bidet combo that is an all one unit.
The toilet-bidet combo unit often comes with options that will benefit your pregnancy cleansing needs:
- Temperature control
- Feminine wash
- Air dryers
- Pulse or oscillating massage
Bidet Toilet Seat Attachment
The bidet seat attachment is a replacement for your existing toilet seat. (Affiliate Link) The best choice for pregnancy is an electric model that plugs into an outlet to give you increased functionality. With access to power, you can enjoy the benefits of a warm water wash, a blow-dry, and a warm seat.
Using it is easy during pregnancy because the controls are typically on the side of the attachment or remotely controlled. No bending or twisting is needed.
A bidet attachment (Affiliate Link) fits underneath your existing toilet seat. Since the majority of this type does not use electricity, they offer very few features other than a cool water spray. You won’t enjoy the benefits of a warm water spray, get to dry your lower parts, or sink onto a warm seat. When you click on the Affiliate Link in the first sentence, it will direct you to a model that is a mechanical, non-electric bidet that has the option for cold and hot water connection.
If you choose a bidet attachment to use while pregnant, you’ll need to be sure to pat dry the parts that get sprayed.
Handheld Bidet Sprayer
Like a kitchen sprayer, the handheld bidet sprayer (Affiliate Link) allows you to direct the water where you need it. It attaches to your existing toilet plumbing and does not use electricity; this means that you will not get the extra features of air drying or temperature control.
Late in pregnancy, it can be a bit awkward to use a bidet sprayer because your line of sight is hindered by a belly full of a whole lot of baby. So it can be challenging to spray exactly where you need cleaning.
On the other hand, once you get the hang of it, you can direct the bidet spray nozzle exactly where you need it or like it. So, this type of bidet offers expectant mothers flexibility of use with a little bit of awkwardness at the same time.
A travel or portable bidet is just a small plastic bottle with a nozzle and tube attached that allows you to spray yourself in any bathroom. Temperature control depends on the water you can get out of the nearest faucet. The simplest version is manual and requires hand pressure (Affiliate Link) to squeeze the water into the tube and onto your bum.
Battery-operated (Affiliate Link) models provide a bit more power, so you don’t have to work quite as hard to feel fresh.
Portable bidets can be a bit cumbersome to use around a pregnant belly that blocks your view of down-under. It can be hit or miss in getting to the spot that needs cleaning. On the plus side, portable bidets are, well, portable, so you can take them wherever you go. They are also one of the least expensive options in bidets.
Which One Is The Best Bidet Option for Pregnant Women?
Out of the six types of bidets discussed here, the one that checks off all the boxes for use during pregnancy and beyond is an electric bidet seat. (Affiliate Link) The bidet seat is a happy medium between expensive stand-alones and a cold water-only handheld sprayer.
You can find electric model bidet seats with all the bells and whistles costing between $150 to $400; most seem to fall in the $250 range. With such a reasonable out-of-pocket amount, you’ll be able to enjoy great features like:
- Adjustable water temperature
- Adjustable water pressure
- Multi-temp air dryer
- Heated seat
These options, plus various spray patterns and washes (feminine, for one), make electric bidet seats the go-to choice for pregnant and postpartum women.
What Are The Best Practices When Using A Bidet While Pregnant?
Every bidet is different; everyone’s bum is different. Once you’ve selected what style bidet you want to use, it’s a good idea to put it through its paces before you actually sit down for the first time. Seeing how hard the water sprays and the direction it goes might save you from cleaning up a wet floor or changing out of damp garments.
Using the Controls
Bidets, except for the portable kind, have controls that allow you to adjust things like temperature, water pressure, and spray direction. Depending on your bidet’s features, there may only be one option for each of these aspects. If you have multiple settings, get accustomed to them so you don’t accidentally hit the wrong button sometimes.
You should always turn on the hot water first and then add cold water as needed. You definitely don’t want to be scalded with water that’s too hot. Adjusting the controls for a nice warm water rinse provides soothing relief for soreness.
For postpartum use, water pressure is especially important. Spraying water too forcefully could damage any stitches you have and, at the very least, will hurt when it hits those sensitive, healing spots. Learn what your particular nozzle does so you can optimize your bidet time.
Most bidets operate by sending a spray of water upward towards your sitting self. You’ll need to try different spray angles to find the one that hits the area you need to clean. You can also adjust your body’s position relative to the spray to provide more or less coverage if required.
Most newer model stand-alone bidets, combo units, bidet seats, and bidet attachments offer a feminine wash option that sends water in the front-to-back direction that women need. This is especially important during pregnancy and post-pregnancy to avoid any unnecessary contact with bacteria.
Sitting On The Bidet
Whether you have a stand-alone or combo unit, or a bidet model that attaches to your existing toilet, you should have two options for sitting on the device (Link). You can face forward in a normal toilet-sitting position, or you can straddle the bowl to face the rear.
With some of the bidet attachment types with fewer features, you may not have that many options to change the spray’s direction; this could impact your ability to straddle the bowl and get the best cleansing.
If you’re pregnant, straddling the bowl in a rear-facing position lets you hold onto the back of the toilet as you lower yourself to sit. Getting up is easier with the toilet to push on for leverage, making your bidet time safer overall.
One downside: you will most likely have to completely remove your pants to use the straddle position.
Another benefit to straddling the bowl on a stand-alone or combo model is the ability to see and reach the controls without having to twist and turn. If you’re pregnant, this is a great advantage. Towards the end of the second trimester and into the third, mobility becomes an issue, making it hard to operate the control panel of these bidets. Facing the rear gives you better access to the controls.
If you’re sitting and using a handheld sprayer, remember that the sprayer goes wherever your hand goes. One of those pregnancy sneeze episodes, adjusting yourself on the seat, or a sudden baby kick could cause you to flinch and send water everywhere in the bathroom.
What Is The Length Of A Cleansing Session?
It generally takes about 30 to 60 seconds to get a thorough cleaning with a bidet. Obviously, this is a matter of personal preference, but “bidet-ing” for less than that may leave you less than clean.
Staying on a bidet routinely for more than a minute can put pressure on your rectal region and lead to hemorrhoids. When you’re pregnant, hemorrhoids are already a fact of life, but you certainly don’t want to encourage their presence if at all possible.
Cleaning Up After Using the Bidet
The main reason to use a bidet while pregnant is to alleviate discomforts “down there,” so cleaning up afterward should have that same goal. Bidets use water, and that means you’re going to be wet when you finish.
Being wet and clean is one thing. Staying wet is quite another. You don’t want to give bacteria a moist breeding ground in that area. If your bidet doesn’t have an air dryer, and you’re pregnant or just had a baby, be sure to pat yourself dry carefully and gently.
If your bidet does have an air-dry feature, it’s best to use that every time so you can get completely dry and not irritate any hemorrhoids or stitches.
Should A Woman Frequently Use A Bidet When Pregnant?
We’ve established that bidets are safe for pregnant women to use. However, it’s important to remember that too much of a good thing can have the opposite effect on the intended outcome.
When a woman overuses a bidet, particularly a warm-water type, she can upset the natural balance of flora in her vagina, causing bacterial vaginosis (BV).
According to recent studies by the CDC (Link), pregnant women who get BV have a slightly greater chance of delivering premature or low-weight babies.
Frequent use with high-powered streams of water can also cause pain and damage to the anal region. With all that going on “down there” during pregnancy, you should be careful not to add to the mix with unnecessary injuries to your bum.
Is It Important To Keep A Bidet Clean During Pregnancy?
Before, during, and after pregnancy, you’ll be putting some nasty stuff in your bidet. This can create problems if you don’t keep your bidet clean. It’s not the glamorous side of using a bidet for sure, but one that should be addressed.
No matter what type of bidet you are using when you’re pregnant, the basic design involves sending water through a tube and nozzle to rinse off urine, feces, blood, and vaginal discharge that can contaminate your device with bacteria-rich gunk.
You don’t want that gunk to stay and fester in your bidet bowl. You especially want to avoid gunk collecting in the nozzle head or tubing. If it does, it can potentially be sprayed back onto your body, which defeats the primary purpose of a bidet—keeping you clean.
No pregnant woman or new mother wants to (or actually can) get down on the bathroom floor to clean a bidet or toilet. So, if your bidet comes with a self-rinsing feature, you should take advantage of that every week.
If you do the cleaning yourself, be sure to:
- Use a mild cleaner on all parts of the bidet, including the spray nozzle and tubing.
- Rinse thoroughly.
- For added measure, wipe down the control panel and outside of the bidet with a disinfectant wipe.
Even though bidets have not (yet) caught on in the United States, don’t let that scare you away. As more and more regular folks are beginning to see the benefits of using a bidet, your choice in styles, features, and price is growing as well. You’re sure to find the right bidet for you.
If you’re considering using some type of bidet while you’re pregnant, go for it. You may be the only one on your street with a bidet, and for sure, you’ll make other expecting moms jealous. In nearly all cases, bidets are a safe and reliable way to keep your private parts clean before, during, and after your baby is born. Just be sure to discuss the use of a bidet with your doctor before you make a final decision.