Giving birth is a beautiful thing. Bringing a new life into the world is something that should be celebrated and seen with so much positivity.
However, you can’t sugarcoat the fact that giving birth can also be a very painful experience for the mother. It is also common for vaginal pain and discomfort to continue after the birthing, especially in situations where stitches are necessary.
This can be something that’s extremely difficult to deal with, especially for first-time moms who most of the time don’t know what they should expect. However, do not worry as there are tons of things you can do to help speed up postpartum healing, and this article will tell you some great tips on how to care for ‘down there’ and how to handle the pain after birth.
1 Healing Ointment
A great way to not just help relieve pain, but to also fix the root of the discomfort to really help promote healing, is to get yourself a healing ointment.
There are tons of different OTC creams and gels you can buy especially for postpartum healing. The best ones are those that work by killing bacteria and viruses to prevent infection, especially in the area surrounding the stitches.
It’s important to make sure you get an ointment that’s completely natural, as you don’t need to expose your body to any unnecessary chemicals, especially if you’re breastfeeding.
2 Stool Softeners
Whilst it might sound silly to people that haven’t yet gone through this unwanted situation, it can be a scary idea of using the toilet right after giving birth. With the changes your pelvis has gone through and the sensitive vaginal stitches, it can cause a bit of stress when thinking about if things will all be okay when you need to go to the toilet.
A good idea is to get some stool softeners. These will make things easy going to the toilet, reducing the need to strain, which is something that can put you at risk of tearing your stitches. You should only need to take these for about a week!
3 Position When on the Toilet
Whilst on the subject of pooping (yes, I know, this is not the most pleasant of topics), another thing to do is to make sure you are in the correct position when using the toilet.
You should use the toilet in a squatting position, as this makes it easier for everything to pass through and reduces the need for straining.
4 Drink Lots of Water
Drinking water is a tip used in almost any health or medical related list you will see, and that’s because it does such wonders to our body.
It is included in this list of tips too, because drinking water helps to nourish and hydrate the cells in your body that are responsible for everything from healing your stitches, to producing breast milk for your baby.
5 Big, Cheap Pads
You need to be wearing pads after giving birth because you will still get a bit of bleeding from your womb after your baby is born.
You don’t need to spend an arm and a leg on premium, expensive pads. Instead, you just need to get a large pack of some big, cheap ones. These types are usually much more comfortable, and you can change them as many times as you like without feeling worried about using up expensive products.
It’s also important that the pads are very absorbent as this minimizes the risk of infection.
6 Painkillers and Ice Packs
Inflammation is very common when you have stitches. This is a natural response of the body and is actually a very important part of the healing process.
However, sometimes the body’s inflammatory response can be too much and can go on for too long, causing you a lot of discomfort and pain. So, some people take painkillers to help make the recovery process a bit more comfortable and to prevent any damage that can be caused by too much inflammation. However, I would advise trying to avoid taking painkillers where you can as there have been studies that show that taking painkillers too often can lead to kidney damage.
Instead, you can try making an ice pack out of your pads and use them to gently cool and ease the pain ‘down there’. All you need to do is soak the pads in water and pop them in the freezer.
7 Loose Clothing
It’s important that you wear loose and baggy clothing for about 3 weeks after giving birth. This helps to make sure blood flow isn’t restricted, and that your stitches are free to breathe and heal how they need to.
Who doesn’t want an excuse to wear their pajamas all day, right?!
8 Don’t touch
When you have a wound, you have probably been told by different people a number of times not to touch it. This is also the case after giving birth.
You need to make sure not to touch, itch or really go anywhere near your stitches. Furthermore, whilst this might make you feel a bit smelly, you also can’t bathe the area for a certain amount of time after giving birth. Instead, you need to just splash water on it and pat the area.
9 Sitz Baths
For those who don’t know, a sitz bath is a warm and shallow bath where the water goes up to about hip level.
They are a lovely way to help you on your road to recovery, but you do need to make sure that your midwife or doctor says that it is okay and safe before you start having them.
This isn’t the most pleasant or comfortable thing to use, however it is possibly one of the most important parts of postpartum healing.
A peri-bottle is used to rinse ‘down there’ after going to the toilet. This means you can avoid having to wipe the area, which can be painful on the sensitive stitches, and also helps to prevent infections.
11 Keep Taking Vitamins
It’s important that you keep taking prenatal vitamins. This includes vitamins A, B, C, E and copper and iron. These nutrients help in the healing process and even though they are mainly recommended for during pregnancy, you should try and keep taking them after giving birth too!
12 Get Stitches Taken Out ASAP
Some people get stitches that dissolve naturally. However, others have stitches that need to be removed by a doctor.
As soon as your doctor or midwife says that it is safe and okay to do so, you should ask to have your stitches removed. This helps to greatly speed up the recovery process, as well as making things a lot more comfortable for you!
13 Rest, Rest, Rest!
Then one of the most important things you need to do to help speed up postpartum healing is rest!
You want to be avoiding putting any unneeded pressure on your stitches, as this can hinder the healing process and also be very painful for you! So, kick your feet up, relax, and why not even grab yourself a glass of wine!
14 Eat Well and Don’t Overdo it
When you’re on the mend and able to go about your daily routine again, it’s important not to just jump straight back into a busy, active regime.
Yes, your body will have gone through a lot of changes and you might feel like you want to hit the gym to try and shed some of that baby weight. However, it is so important that you get back into things slowly to prevent any sort of damage or injury.
It’s also vital that you eat well so that your body is getting all the nutrients it needs, which is especially important if you are breastfeeding!
So, there you have some great tips for helping to speed up the postpartum healing process. It can be a difficult journey, but it is so worth it for the new bundle of joy you will have in your life!