What Should You Not Do After An Episiotomy?
What Should You Not Do After An Episiotomy
Expecting a vaginal birth can be exciting, but you may worry about any possible tears or cuts that could occur. Fortunately, most of these tears are not serious.
But they can become painful if there is excessive bleeding or infection. In such cases, speak to your obstetrician about pain relief options; if breastfeeding, your doctor or midwife can prescribe painkillers to help ease symptoms.
If your birth wound has been torn or cut, it is essential that you take good care of it. Doing so will reduce the risk of infection and make healing much smoother.
Your healthcare provider will provide instructions on how to care for your episiotomy and the time it will take to heal. Depending on the reason for surgery, however, typically at least two weeks is needed for full healing.
After your surgery, apply cold compresses to reduce any swelling that could lead to pain or infected stitches. You can also take a warm bath to relax your skin and promote healing.
Keep Your Wound Clean
It is essential to keep the perineum (the area between vagina and anus) as clean as possible during recovery. You can use a squirt bottle filled with warm water to wash this area each time you need to go to the bathroom, provided that you don’t tug on any stitches.
Infection can develop if your perineum gets dirty or you experience severe pain or bleeding after an episiotomy. If you notice any indications of infection, such as fever, chills and dark urine, contact your GP or midwife immediately.
Swelling after an episiotomy can make it difficult to sit or walk, and coughing or sneezing during recovery. For your own safety, avoid heavy activity for at least a week after surgery, and try your best to rest as much as possible to allow the area to heal fully.
Consult your GP or midwife about whether antibiotics or other treatments are necessary to prevent infections. These could include over-the-counter medicines like ibuprofen and diclofenac, as well as prescription medication.
Your doctor or midwife will ask for your permission before performing this examination. They’ll examine your vagina to detect any tears and use a gloved finger to check for issues in the anus and rectum areas.
If you require stitches after delivery, they usually come during the first few weeks. A mediolateral incision increases your chance of having an extended tear into the anal area; antibiotics will be given to prevent infections and steroid cream or gel will reduce inflammation.
Your doctor or midwife can advise you if an episiotomy is necessary and how long it will take for the incision to heal. They’ll also give you tips on making the procedure more comfortable and speeding up healing time.