Episiotomy & Tearing, Let’s Talk Care

Episiotomy & Tearing, Let’s Talk Care

By Dr Nim

Dr Nim is on our team to provide medical related guidance and signpost our members to helpful information.

Hello ladies! This week I saw a lovely patient who had a just had her first baby. She needed an episiotomy during labour and was asking me for advice about looking it and how to care for herself. I wanted to share the advice with you all:

Sitting: roll up two towels and place them on a chair or sofa under your thighs so your perineum isn’t in contact with the chair. This will take pressure off any areas of stitches, grazes or swelling, and be more comfortable for you. You can even use a nursing pillow if you have one!

Ice: this can really help reduce swelling. Get a clean sanitary pad, wet with water and freeze it. Wrap in a flannel and pop over perineum for 5-10 mins at a time. Try this every few hours to help with any discomfort.

Pelvic Floor: gentle contractions can help manage swelling but also start reconnection and strengthening

Pain Killers: please don’t hesitate to take pain relief regularly! This will help you feel more comfortable, which is so important when looking after your new little one.

Movement: It’s important not to stiffen up, so keep moving. Light, gentle movements can help manage swelling. Remember to move slow and steadily. Listen to your body and rest when you need to

Bowels: make sure you don’t strain to open your bowels as this will put additional pressure on the stitches. You may need a laxative to help soften your stool. You can support the area with a clean maternity pad if needed

Hydration: the more water you drink the less concentrated your urine will be, so it won’t sting as much against the wound when you pass urine. In addition, staying hydrated will keep your stools soft, and reduce the risk of urine infections.

Cleaning: Just use water for washing, taking care to avoid perfumed soaps. Make sure you change your pad regularly and allow lots of air to the area when you can.

Massage: After 6 weeks you can begin to gently massage the scar. This stretches the scar tissue, helping the skin and muscle to heal.

Remember 6 weeks is a long time whilst your body is healing…it can feel like forever!! But be patient – its better to take longer to heal fully, than push yourself before your ready and risk causing more damage. In some women it can take longer than 6 weeks to feel completely better so don’t panic. The early days and weeks can feel really strange but you won’t feel like that forever.

Remember – if you notice any severe pain or unusual foul smelling discharge then please see your GP to rule out an infection. Please don’t hesitate if you have any more questions.