Vaginal Episiotomy Repair - The episiotomy procedure is used more and more in the world of obstetrics. Some think it an unnecessary procedure, while others hail its benefits. An episiotomy involves cutting the perineum, which is the skin in between the vagina and rectum, in order to minimize tearing during labor. Sutures are then applied to repair the vaginal tear after an episiotomy.
Many women experience no problems in healing from an episiotomy. Others experience a long vaginal episiotomy repair process rivaling a cesarean, if the incision or tearing was unintentionally extended into the rectum. The average vaginal episiotomy repair process takes about 4-6 weeks. Whatever your experience, here are some ways to soothe the pain and promote the vaginal episiotomy repair process.
- Try to take the pressure off your perineum by sitting on a “donut pillow”, made for hemorrhoids OR sit on one side of your butt, rather than fully centered.
- 24 hours after labor, you can begin taking warm “sitz baths” or soaks in a warm tub.
- Expose the vaginal wound to air as much as possible and try keeping it dry when not in the bath. With postpartum bleeding, this may be difficult. Wear pads that wick moisture away from your vagina. Also wear cotton underwear; and as soon as your postpartum bleeding stops, try going to bed with no underpants for a while.
- After showering or bathing, keep the vaginal wound dry by setting your blow dryer on the cool setting and gently blow drying your perineum area until dry.
- Apply compresses to the wound. Cotton with Witch Hazel works well. Ice packs are another option.
- Apply numbing anesthetic sprays, which you can obtain at the hospital.
- If Motrin isn’t helping, ask for pain medication to be prescribed, such as codeine.
- Take stool softeners and drink plenty of water to limit constipation, which can aggravate the wound.
- Keep a squeeze bottle with warm water near the toilet. After using the toilet, squeeze the water on the perineum and pat dry. Be sure to wipe from front to back.
Follow these tips to ensure a speedy vaginal episiotomy repair, so that you can get back to your old self quickly and focus on your baby.
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