If you have recently given birth, chances are, you have stitches that need special care. Maybe from a caesarean, or tearing during labour or maybe you needed an episiotomy- the stitches vary woman to woman. However, one thing that are common in all scenarios is the need to care for these sensitive stitches to avoid infection and promote fast healing.
Follow our 7 easy tips to help your stitches heal, so you can enjoy your newborn without any prolonged discomfort.
1. When nature calls
When it’s time for a wee, the urine may irritate your stitches and sting. To deal with this issue each time you head to the toilet, you need to dilute your urine so it does not have a strong effect on your stitches. This may sound weird, but it is pretty effective. Try pouring warm water down between your legs to dilute your urine.
2. Maternity Pads
Bleeding after birth is quite common, we recommend that you wear maternity pads throughout the day. Since your stitches will be particularly vulnerable at this time, it is important to keep your vaginal area clean and as infection free as possible. To ensure this, change pads every four hours and opt for paper or cotton pads for extra comfort.
3. Salty Bath
Salts help in accelerating healing. Here is an excuse to indulge in some self pampering by running yourself a nice, warm bath and a sprinkling of salt. Sit in the bath for a few minutes ensuring the area is nicely rinsed. Avoid using too much salt so that you don’t dry your body out.
4. Moist, no more!
Moist or damp areas can have a higher risk of infection so ensure that your sore areas are clean and dry at all times. You cannot help your stitches getting wet during a bathroom break or a shower, but make sure you pat them dry after. Make sure you gently pat the area and do not rub at all.
5. Expose stitches to air
New mom might not be thrilled at the idea of an outdoor visit but their stitches could really do with a breath of fresh air. Like any other wound, stitches too need to be exposed to some amount of fresh air. Also, try sitting with a pillow under your lower back and between your legs to increase air circulation – you’ll be surprised how well this helps.
6. Avoid constipation
Applying any type of excess pressure in that area could be bad for your stitches. Since emptying your bowels fall in that category, avoiding constipation is very important. Make sure your diet has plenty of fiber rich elements and drink plenty of water through the day. Bending forward while defecating also helps.
7. Pelvic floor/ Kegel Exercises
These exercises will not only help during labour but will help in the healing process as well. Gentle pelvic floor exercises after birth will help heal vaginal and caesarean stitches and bruising because they increases the blood flow to the area. They'll also help prevent incontinence.
We hope our tips help you in your perineal healing process so you can step into motherhood with ease and confidence.