Hey Mom! We bet you are loving your new bundle(s) of joy and that the coos and sweet baby snuggles trump any of the pain you endured while having your little one – whether via vaginal delivery or c-section.
Either way, your body now is likely still in the recovery stages (and can be for up to one full year post-partum. That said, we wanted to impart some tip tips for healing your pelvic area post-birth.
The days and weeks following your baby’s debut can prompt a very tedious and lengthy healing process that’s imperative to your full recovery.
While the vagina is made for baby-making and delivering, it is still bound to experience pain, soreness, bruising or swelling in the vaginal and perineal areas. This can be felt when you are first seated or after moving around a bit the first few weeks out of the hospital.
Some moms have vaginal tearing as the baby enters the world and others have an episiotomy to assist with the opening of the vaginal canal to allow baby to exit safely. It is not uncommon for there to be slight burning or itching on the incision site when urinating or showering the days following.
Here are our top tips for being gentle to you genitals during this healing process:
- Rest! Then rest some more! Take it easy on your body. Get sleep, get rest (lie when your baby rests) and allow yourself to be taken care of by all those folks who offered to help in any way!
- Use a perineal irrigation bottle (like a squirt water bottle) to help reach and cleanse your vaginal areas and inner thighs. Urinating can bring on a bit of burning so you’ll want to rinse while tinkling and also post-potty to deter infection. After rinsing, pat the area dry versus wiping, as this can lead to more tearing or discomfort.
- Make an ice pad or use a sanitary pad doused in witch hazel to help ease pain below the belt.
- Talk to a healthcare provider about prescriptions or over-the-counter ibuprofen or acetaminophen that can help with pain. You’ll want to make sure it is approved by your physician because if you are breastfeeding, there could be contraindications. They may prescribe a numbing spray depending on the level of pain and appropriate options for your specific needs.
- Capture the extra blood from lochia by wearing everyday mishap panties meant to catch untimely and spotty periods. The bleeding happening post-partum and months after as your period returns to normal (of at all) can help with confidence and comfort.
- Stay hydrated and eat a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables, including a possible fiber supplement to help keep nutrients moving and to deter backing up. Constipation can put undue stress on the bowels and pelvic organs.
- Kegel exercises are the surest way to rebuild strength in the pelvic muscles that control urination. Performance panties with a built-in panty liner offer protection in the meantime.
Be sure to make your scheduled postpartum check-ups and share any insights on your recovery with your doctor! Got tips on your own post-partum process? Do share!