5 Tips for Postpartum Stitches Care
What’s a sure way to clear a room at a party? Talk about perineal tearing and stitches. While it’s not the most pleasant thing to think or talk about, it is SO COMMON for women during vaginal delivery. Whether you have a first-degree tear or your fourth-degree tear has you down for the count, we’re hoping you find the following tips for postpartum stitches care both soothing and enlightening.
1. Channel your witchy woman.
To assist with any vaginal/perineal damage, your care provider will supply you with a cold pack, large maxi pads and the sexy mesh undies you keep hearing about in the immediate postpartum period. They might also provide Tucks pads with witch hazel that are designed to be laid gently on maxi pads for maxi-mum (pun intended) comfort. These fun little circles come chock full of witch hazel which is a natural astringent with healing powers to help soothe your poor, poor vagina.
You can make homemade pads with witch hazel, lovingly called “padsicles,” in the weeks leading up to your labor to have on hand when you get home. Simply grab a pack of overnight pads and a bottle of witch hazel and voila! you have everything you need to make these vaginal treats.
Instructions: 1) open the individual pad wrapper but DO NOT remove the pad from the wrapper 2) squirt a healthy dose of witch hazel all over the pad 3) fold the pad back up into the wrapper 4) put several wrapped padsicles into a freezer bag and tuck (pun intended) into the freezer for safe keeping.
2. Conquer the dreaded first poop.
Your first postpartum poop may be causing you anxiety, but here are a few tricks of the trade that will hopefully help loosen things up. Any pain medication you are taking could be constipating (yay!) so you will likely be provided with a laxative to take every few hours.
You can also eat high-fiber foods such as prunes to assist with your bowel movement. Whatever you decide, make sure you set aside some time for your first poop so you don’t rush anything. Try using a warm washcloth to press against your perineum to provide counter pressure to ensure you don’t pop any stitches. You might also want to light a candle, dim the lights and put on some Sade to set the mood. The Mamas may or may not have have done this.
3. Sitz on it.
Your perineal area may be swollen and tender so a soothing soak in a warm tub with some herbal remedies may be just what you need. To avoid the hassle of running a shallow bath, you might want to try a Sitz bath which is a little tub you place on the seat of your toilet. If your care provider did not send you home with one, fear not! Amazon has you covered. Simply fill the bag up with warm water, hang it up and let it trickle into the tub. Tenderly sit on the Sitz bath and let it work its magic. This is also a perfect way to get some much-needed alone time. Alternatively, you can also try the Earth Mama Sitz Bath Spray for on-the-go soothing.
4. Consider a Pelvic Floor Specialist.
Pregnancy and birth (vaginal or cesarean) can wreak havoc on your pelvic floor which can lead to all sorts of unpleasant issues. The vast intricate network of muscles, fibers and connective tissue work hard to keep your insides inside, and when you have a baby to support, it’s a lot of work for them. By having a professional take a peek in the postpartum period, they can ensure you are in tip-top shape for things like peeing, sex and any additional babies you may be considering. Our French sisters make their pelvic floor a priority, and so should we!
5. Never underestimate the donut cushion.
Let’s take the pressure off… your perineum. A donut pillow will cushion your tush, alleviating pressure on your stitches and/or swollen perineum. With any luck, you will be provided with one prior to your hospital discharge, but if you go home empty handed, do yourself a favor and order one ASAP (again, Amazon). You should be spending the better part of your fourth trimester sitting (or better yet, laying!) around bonding with your baby and this sweet cushion will allow you to focus on your sweet babe and not on your hoo-ha.
As always, we strongly suggest you notify your care provider if you are experiencing severe pain, if you have not had a bowel movement within a set amount of time (determined between you and your care provider), and if you notice any excess bleeding or clots. And if you ever feel the need to talk about your vaginal tearing or stitches, hit us up on social media. Any and all stories are encouraged!