Episiotomy is a medical practice where a doctor cuts the fleshy part between your anus and your vagina called the perineum to either fasten up a slow labour or to help a stuck baby come out by widening the passage. The procedure is necessary for a safe delivery.
Once the delivery is done, the doctor stitches it up. The stitches usually dissolve on their own but sometimes the stitches may need to be removed by the doctor in an outpatient procedure. The healing procedure can be painful for some. The time taken for the healing can vary depending on the amount of tearing that was involved. Other problems that come with the healing of episiotomies are that it can itch intensely. Some women who have received episiotomies have complained of burning sensation during urination and difficulty in passing motion.
While it is true that the healing of episiotomies take time and are hard, there are also some things that you can do to ease the process. Today, we shall talk about a few things that you can do to help episiotomies heal faster. Read on to know more.
- Cold Pads
- Spray For Pain Relief
- Sitz Bath
- Make Sure That Your Nether Regions Are Dry
- Witch Hazel
- Stool Softeners
- Keep Your Butt Cheeks Tight
- Use Water While Urinating
- Use Cushions While Sitting
You will be using maxi pads for quite some time post delivery. You can use them to make your episiotomy wound better. Take a maxi pad and pour some water on them to soak it a little. You can also add healing gels like aloe vera gel (natural) and witch hazel to it too. Now freeze these and use them as a pack that can snugly fit in your panty. You may cover it with a layer of cloth if it is too cold. Wait till it melts to replace it.
Spray For Pain Relief
Ask your doctor to prescribe you some anaesthetic sprays to use down there. You may already have been prescribed creams. But using sprays,you do not have to touch the area and the risk of any infection goes down a lot. These may also have the added benefit of reducing the itchiness of the healing stitches.
Sitz bath is a product that helps you sit in a warm tub of water. This can help with the pain and itchiness and encourages healing. You may buy commercially available Sitz baths or may just use a wide mouth tub that you can comfortably sit in. Either way, make sure that it is clean and sanitized to avoid infection. Use it for 20 minutes at a time. Then, pat the area dry. You may do this twice or thrice a day for the best results.
You are sure to have a lot of diapers at hand when you have just given birth. Diapers tend to be very absorbent and you can use this to your advantage. Cut a small area and stuff the diapers with ice. Place it in your panty for a makeshift cold pack.
Make Sure That Your Nether Regions Are Dry
Each time you use the washroom, take a bath or use the sitz bath, make sure that you pat your nether area dry thoroughly. Do not rub the area. Once you start to bleed less, try to avoid using the underwear for some time and let the area dry in the air. This is done best by first taking a sitz bath, then patting the area dry. Next, lie with your legs apart and let the stitches breath. Stay this way for 10 to 15 minutes before wearing a panty.
Witch hazel is a herbal product that helps heal burns and wounds. It also has astringent qualities. Applying it to the episiotomy wound will help it heal faster and also relieve the itchiness. You may buy cotton pads that come soaked in witch hazel or you may but witch hazel and add it to the panty or pads that you use. If you are using sitz baths, pour some witch hazel into the warm water. You may also apply it to your wound directly. Make sure that the product you choose doesn't have alcohol in it as it may lead to dryness and irritation.
Use stool softeners that are prescribed by your doctor. This will prevent any pressure you may need to apply to have your motions and the risk of tearing your stitches up is reduced very much. You may also use ayurvedic stool softeners like Triphala, flaxseed and dandelion root.
Keep Your Butt Cheeks Tight
When you sit, are standing or are walking, try to keep your butt cheeks tight and taut. This makes sure that sudden movement does not tear your episiotomy stitches. It will also help reduce discomfort and itchiness.
Use Water While Urinating
The urine tends to burn as it touches the wounds caused by the episiotomy. Try to fill a squeeze bottle with a little lukewarm water and squeeze it on to your perineal area as you urinate. This will help in relieving the pain and discomfort of urinating after childbirth.
Use Cushions While Sitting
It is best to take it easy after you have just given birth to a baby. Lying down most of your day is the best option. But you will have to sit for a while, especially when you feed your baby. You could use a cushion to sit or buy a doughnut cushion from the market. This will make sure that your episiotomy region does not touch the hard surface of a chair. This will help in reducing pain and it makes sure that your wounds heal faster too.