After a vaginal delivery your perineum will be sore for 2- 4 weeks depending on how extensive your vagina tearing was during delivery. Here are some simple tips for improving healing and helping discomfort:
- Soak in a sitz bath or get into a shower 4-5 x/day to allow water to run over the perineum then pat dry. Sitz bath are shallow warm water soaks for the perineum in your bathtub, (not a full body soak, that is, no hot water should be high enough to over your abdomen) or with a special plastic basin purchased at the pharmacy that is filled with warm water.
- Use your peribottle (received at the hospital) during and after each void and after each bowel movement for easy cleaning.
- Take your ibuprofen or pain medications regularly for the first 1-2 weeks.
- Avoid putting anything into the vagina for the first 6 weeks after childbirth or your postpartum visit with us (whichever happens last).
- Hemorrhoids are very common- they are dilated veins that can persist after delivery. Warm soaks, as desribed above in the shower or bathtub can help soothe them. Helpful over the counter products include Tucs for wiping or as a witch hazel compress on your peripad, or topical anusol hc that is a cream that can be rubbed on the affected area 3-4 x/day. Trying to avoid constipation is helpful. This can be accomplished with adequate fluid hydration, good fiber intake, and stool softeners, such as Colace, as needed.