I don’t know about you, but with my first daughter I was nervous about healing after delivery. Even as a labor and delivery nurse, there is no way to know exactly how your delivery will go and how much healing you will have after delivery. Even if you have had a baby before, every delivery is different, but there are things you can do to help the healing process and make things easier.
If you have an epidural, or you had to have a tear or episiotomy repaired, you will not feel anything down there for a little while, up to two hours. One of the first things you should get is an ice pack. If you have a really good nurse, she will put an ice pack there right after they get you cleaned up. If you have a lot of swelling I suggest taking advantage of these ice packs for the first 24 hours after delivery. This is when they will be the most effective.
There are a few other things that you should either get or ask for after delivery to make it easier to go to the bathroom because it may burn a little. For the first week or so, there will be a process to going to the bathroom, so get used to it.
If the hospital offers sitz baths, take advantage of them. This will help you get clean after using the bathroom. If they don’t offer sitz baths, they should offer a peri bottle with some liquid soap. I would fill this up right before going to the bathroom with warm water and a little bit of soap so I could use it to clean off.
Once you have those set up and ready to go, you may think you are ready to pop a squat, but not just yet. Dermoplast spray is amazing and for at least a few days you should spray some down there to numb up before going to the bathroom. Once you have done that you are ready to go to the bathroom. Once you are done you can clean yourself with the peri bottle or sitz bath.
Now, in this situation, toilet paper just sucks! It falls apart and just doesn’t do the job very well. That is why I bought feminine hygiene wipes at Walmart. They worked wonderfully and kept me clean so I didn’t fell like I needed a shower every time I went to the bathroom.
Then, you have to change your pad, but this too is a process. You should get some nice big pads at least for the first week or so. The hospital should have also given you some tucks (witch hazel) pads and cortisone cream. If you have hemorrhoids the tucks pads are great. If not, they are still a great place to put the cortisone cream. I would put a strip of the cortisone cream on the tucks pad and put that right where my episiotomy was. This will help with the itching that comes with healing.
Now you are done! Yay, you have went pee. Wait, that wasn’t for going poop? Nope, that’s a whole different ball game, but not as bad as you may think. I was worried about my first bowel movement but it wasn’t bad. Just make sure you eat enough fiber and drink plenty of water.
There are a few other things that you should do to make sure you heal properly. You should get a shower every day because even though you are cleaning yourself every time you use the bathroom, it’s still not as good as getting a shower. You need to make sure you change your pad every time you use the bathroom and maybe even more frequently, at least every 4 hours. Make sure you call your obstetricians office once you get home to make an appointment in 5-6 weeks to make sure you are healing correctly. Until you get the OK from your doctor, no tampons or sexual intercourse. This will help keep you from getting and infection. Lastly, make sure you are taking pain medication as needed. This will help control your pain so it is easier for you to stay clean.
There are many things you have to do after having a baby. You will be sleep deprived and forget things, but make sure you don’t forget to take care of your nether regions, your body will thank you!
What did you do to help the healing process after having a baby?