After your childbirth, you think your world is hunky-dory once again with your baby by your side, however, with a vaginal birth through episiotomy, your healing process might take some time. Wondering what is an Episiotomy? Episiotomy is the cut that the doctor makes between the vagina and anus to help facilitate easy and speedy birthing and prevents rupture of tissues. It’s a wide cut and requires many stitches and thus recovering from an episiotomy can be an extremely painful process.
Just imagine the stitches and the pain down there at your special place. I couldn’t sit but had to while breastfeeding. And I couldn’t wait for it to get over. Even lying down was not simple, so had to lie down on the sides to avoid hurting. And God only save you if you have constipation! I remember begging to God a couple of times to kill me.
8 ways to heal from a painful episiotomyHere are 8 ways to heal quickly from a painful episiotomy:
- Avoid sitting cross legged. Do not sit cross legged for a week/10 days. It may lead to rupture of the stitches. Breastfeed while lying down on the sides to avoid pain.
- Salt water douche. Sit in a tub of hot water to which salt is added. Salt water is excellent for healing the stitches. Subsequently, you may also add Betadine solution to the water.
- Sit on pillows or rings. If it pains a lot, sit on soft pillows or inflatable rings.
- Apply episiotomy cream. Twice daily; apply ointment for episiotomy like soframycin/dipgenta cream on your stitches.
- Keep stitches clean and dry. How to heal episiotomy stitches faster? Keep the area clean and dry by exposing it to air (give yourself some napkin free time), changing sanitary napkins frequently. After peeing, pat with toilet paper instead of wiping.
- Use thick cotton pads. Whisper and other sanitary napkins might lead to rash because of frequent use. And menstrual cups are out of question. Use a thick cotton pad that absorbs. Take a few cotton pads (you will find them easily at the chemists in maternity hospitals) and wrap them with soft muslin cloth. I had bought a big bundle of muslin cloth and cut them for ready use).
- Avoid constipation. To avoid constipation, drink lots of water, eat fibre and fruits like papaya, prunes, pears, etc. And if it still persists, talk to your doctor to recommend you a fiber rich laxative like psyllium husk.
- Exercise. After 3-4 weeks, a light stroll, a few body weight exercises and stretches are enough. Also, your pelvic floor becomes stretched after 9 months of pregnancy. Do kegel and other exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Believe me, loss of bladder control is not funny post childbirth and it only worsens with age.
These are the 8 ways to heal quickly from a painful episiotomy. The dissoluble episiotomy stitches may come off in 15-20 days but the skin still takes time to heal. The pain usually lasts for 3-4 weeks but sometimes more, it depends on your body’s healing process. However, if there are episiotomy healing complications or if you don’t see signs of healing even after 4 weeks, you might need to consult your doctor.