Congratulations on your new addition!! Birthing a human being is an amazing rite of passage. You have just been initiated into the largest tribe on the planet. The Tribe of Mothers. You are likely experiencing some profound emotions and realizations.
One of those realizations will be your vag is sore!
The perineum is the area between your vagina and anus and it is able to do some amazing stretching as your baby is being born. Regretfully, most women are still forced to give birth while laying on their back. This often results in prolonged pushing and vaginal damage from an episiotomy or tear. Pushing against gravity makes the pushing phase take longer, which also means those muscles and tissues swell and need more time for recovery. Women in this position often suffer a vaginal tear or receive an episiotomy. Vaginal tears can range from first degree, which only involves the skin, to fourth degree which involves tearing of the skin and muscles of the perineum. These tears may require stitches. For strategies to avoid giving birth on your back, check out our post on giving birth in an upright position.
After your baby is born, you should expect some general soreness and discomfort for up to two weeks. More severe trauma may take up to 4 weeks or more. Whether you have general muscle soreness, or added discomfort from an episiotomy or tear, you will feel the most pain one or two days after giving birth.
Here are 3 strategies to make sure everything heals and recovers more quickly.
#1 Stay off your feet as much as possible
You need to rest and recover. Your are already given instructions to refrain from any physical activity, including sex and exercise, for the next six weeks until your next doctor’s appointment. Doing a ton of household chores is only going to make you more uncomfortable and increase the swelling and pressure in your bottom. If family and friends are offering to help, accept it and rest! Sleep on your side to reduce downward pressure on your bottom. Recliners are good for nursing the baby, but don’t stay in it during the night.
#2 Treat your bottom like you would any muscle injury
Ice, Ointment and Keep it Cushioned.
You will be given an ice pack immediately after delivery. It is the most glorious ice pack you will ever use. Your nurse will also give you instructions for using a sitz bath and tell you to do a sitz at least twice a day. This is easy in hospital when the nurse is setting it up for you. Much more challenging when you get home with a newborn. We offer a Postpartum Peri-Healing Kit that includes a proprietary herbal healing blend, ice packs and a peri-bottle for use each time you use the toilet. It’s like you are applying a sitz bath each time you finish peeing. If you are very sore, you can sit on a donut cushion to keep pressure of your bits.
#3 Stay hydrated, eat lots of fiber and use a stool softener
Pooping after delivery is easier if you are avoiding constipation. Staying hydrated will help keep your milk supply strong, aid in healing and keep your colon working. Adding fiber increases nutrition and also keeps your colon working. Taking a stool softener is self-explanatory. Most importantly, don’t bear down to poop. Relax and let nature take it’s course. Check our out Hiney Healer Ointment for soothing and healing hemorrhoid quickly.
We hope these simple tips are helpful. Would you like help setting up your bathroom for postpartum healing? Message us here or call/text 732-754-9551 and we will get you set up for success!