Perineal Care After Vaginal Birth

Perineal Care After Vaginal BirthStretching to the skin, tears?  Are these some of the symptoms that you are having after giving birth?  Chances are you were checked for injuries upon giving birth by your nurse.  There are some things that we are going to go over in regards to this:

Natural Tears
These are very common as your newborn baby passes through your vagina.  Let’s go over some of the specifics:

  • Vagina to rectum tears
  • Connective tissue tears
  • Nicked Surfaces
  • Anal tears

These are just some of the painful side effects of having a baby.  What’s the good news?  You might not need stitches or a repair.  The repairs that are necessary are usually done while you are in the delivery room; and of course you will be offered anesthesia in this specific instance.

Stitching
This is a process that is also uncomfortable.  After giving birth to a baby, you now have to go through stitches?  Yes it’s something that’s common, however you will be offered anesthesia.  Following the local anesthesia, the process only taking about an average of fifteen minutes, the stitches will be left in there.

You may be wondering, do I have to return them?

No they either fall out or absorb into your body on an average of 4-5 weeks.  There are rare cases where it could be significantly shorter or longer; however, this is about the average.

What About Hygiene and Stiches?
Yes, you must stay clean, however, when it comes to stitches you may be prohibited from taking showers as the hard blast of water can actually disrupt the functionality of the stitches.  At the same time, it could be fine.  It is always best to consult with a medical professional concerning this situation.

You also want to make sure during this time that you are eating a high fiber diet.  Constipation can run prevalent in your system. This is never a good thing.  Make sure that you avoid this, and limit climbing as that could hurt the stitches.

Preventing Infection:
You want to make sure that you are preventing infection at all costs.  Infection is very easy to get during this phase; so proper perineal care is of the upmost importance.  Whether it is preventing the infection of bladder, uterus, or anything else, you want to keep the area completely free of dried up blood.  Change pads and avoid tampon use at all costs, until your physician says that it is already good to go.

Proper Perineal Care:
Washing Hands – This is a critical step in terms of prevent infection of the perineal area.  For example, when it comes to germs – the anal area is where the infection is, you want to avoid dragging that area to the vaginal area.  Dicard used pads in the trash can, not in the toilet.

Ointment – You will want to consult your doctor as you may need some type of ointment.  This will help with any type of infection, helps with the discomfort and it will promote the healing of your skin.  It’s something that is very common that you should definitely consider going to your doctor for.

Stand Up to Flush – There is a ton of potential bacteria in toilet water, obviously, so you want to make sure you stand up so the water will not splash onto the perineum.  This is critical because the water can splash into the natural tears and cause infections.

Bowel Movement Wiping – Yes, you have to wipe different, the goal is to avoid infection.  In order to do this, you want to pat or wipe, gently, from back to front with witchhazel pads.

Speed Healing
Our goal is to speed up this healing process. We want to live life normally, correct?  Here are some things that you can do in order to speed up the healing process dramatically.

Let Your Pad Down While Resting – You want to expose your perineum to the air while napping.  You may also want to place an absorbant towel or lining under you.

Try not to Stand or Sit – During this time, it is important to avoid any type of movement or stance that will place pressure on the lower regions.  This will reduce the healing speed as you can potential increase the size of the tears.

Sit on a Donut or Pillow – If you do have to sit, make sure you sit where there is an opening in the middle.

Strengthen Your Perineum Muscles
This is something that is absolutely crucial to success.  You want to make sure that you are strengthening these muscles.  Something that women do in order to do this is Kegel exercises.  Nobody can tell that you are currently doing this.

Something like this is absolutely necessary because you have lost strength in these muscles during the stretched perineum months of having the baby.

In the end, your problem will be overcome.  It will take time and patience, but it can most definitely be done!

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