The process of natural birth involves pushing out a baby from a narrow birth canal. While this is the best way of giving birth, it is usually associated with some last minute complications. In several cases, the doctors may need to either speed up labour or to widen the birth canal. This calls for an episiotomy which is the process of making a surgical incision at the opening of the vagina, to aid a difficult delivery. While this may sound scary, it is sometimes necessary to make way for the baby naturally and prevent the rupturing of tissues. After the delivery, the area where the cut was made is stitched up which dissolve with time.
The time taken for the stitches to heal will depend on how big the cut is. A small cut requires fewer stitches as compared to a larger cut that may extend into the rectum. The discomfort and pain associated with episiotomy also vary across women. While some may go through mild pain, others may experience itchiness or a burning sensation while urinating.
Here are some episiotomy healing tips to help you recover better:
Perineal Cold Pack
Use a perineal cold pack to soothe the area. You can also use a cold pack over your underwear if you are unable to tolerate very cold temperature.
An episiotomy is likely to leave you really sore. An anaesthetic spray will be come in handy to numb your perineal area and keep the pain at bay.
A sitz bath is the best way to get rid of pain and itching. A sitz bath is a warm hip bath that soothes pain in the perineum. You can do it in a shallow tub or buy a sitz bath kit to fit the toilet. Soaking your rear for 15-20 minutes in the sitz bath is the perfect spa therapy for your bum and has no side effects associated with it. Doing this 2-3 times a day will help soothe the episiotomy soreness. Remember to just gently pat it dry and not rub the area after you are done.
Keep the Area Dry
This is one of the most important episiotomy healing tips. Keep the area clean and dry. Since you will be bleeding, you will need to change sanitary pads frequently. They may be inconvenient but will go a great way in helping you heal. Pat your nether regions dry, even after urinating.
You might get thoroughly dehydrated after birth which can lead to constipation. However, straining for bowel movements can be extremely painful for the stitches. Using a stool softener is extremely helpful to reduce the pain and accelerate healing of the wound.
Pour Water on the Wound While Urinating
The tingling sensation when you pass water and the acid in the urine contribute greatly to the pain you feel around your stitches. You must pour or spray water on the stitches as you urinate in order to relieve you of discomfort. And of course, remember to pat it dry afterwards.
Do Not Use Tampons
Well, this episiotomy healing tip is a no-brainer. Using tampons will be extremely painful for you. It is better to stick to pads during menstruation.
A Little Care Will go a Long Way in Helping You Heal
Recovery after a vaginal delivery can be accelerated if you take precautions and ample rest. Sit on a cushion at all times to spare yourself the pain and avoid strenuous movement to heal faster.