Welcome to the new realm of life, Motherhood. Your baby is finally brought to life and you are definitely on cloud nine. You just can’t stop touching its tiny fingers and feet. It is such a wonderful feeling that all the pain that you went through feels nothing. But mind you, just as the newborn baby needs extra care, mother’s body has also gone through many changes that may lead to discomfort to your body.
Episiotomy is a common issue that may be the cause of pain in your body, however, you need not worry as it can be handled well by following few measures and making everything easier for you.
What is Episiotomy?
During the process of natural birth of a baby, the doctor sometimes tends to make a small incision in the mother’s perineum for the smooth exit of the baby, without damaging the vagina of the mother; this process is known as Episiotomy.
Episiotomy is essential during the second stage of labor as the baby needs to come out and there are contractions occurring so, the vaginal opening is made wider that allows the baby to make a safe exit.
Why is Episiotomy done?
Episiotomy is a crucial process mainly done to allow a larger opening of the vagina that helps the baby to come out of the mother’s body without any problem. However, there are other situations as well, when episiotomy becomes a vital thing to do:
- During pregnancy, the baby is of larger size and the doctor needs to use forceps or ventouse suction to mainly aid in the birth of the baby. In such an instance, episiotomy will be performed.
- Also, if the baby’s heart rate changes abnormally like it keeps increasing and decreasing as the baby feels difficulty in breathing, the doctor does episiotomy for easily taking out the baby out of the mother’s body.
- If the vaginal opening has not stretched sufficiently during labor
- If the baby is in breech position
- The prolonged pushing phase during labor
What Is The Healing Period Of Episiotomy?
How fast you get rid of the pain, discomfort, and swelling from an episiotomy entirely depends on the degree of the cut made. More the stitches longer will be the healing period.
Top 5 Effective Methods for Episiotomy Care
The Episiotomy is done by the doctors in such a way that the incision made just looks like a tear rather than a tear, which heals faster if proper care is taken.
Given below are some simple ways that can help in speedy recovery from Episiotomy:
1. Perineal Massage
A regular massage on the perineal region is important to be started from the time of pregnancy so that there is no pain experienced by the mother after the baby’s delivery. It should be started from the third to fourth month of the pregnancy. It is also helpful for the mother to stop the occurrence of episiotomy during the time the baby takes birth.
2. Maintain Proper cleanliness and Hygiene
After the incision has been made, it is necessary to keep it protected from infections. As a mother, you must follow simple tips during the time you go for urinating. Firstly, you should save your sensitive episiotomy wound from swelling by keeping it clean every time you use a washroom. After you are done with your urinating, you need to keep your perineal area clean with warm water and then, complete the process by making the wound dry.
3. Sitz Bath
This is the perfect way to end the pain that occurs in the mothers due to the episiotomy. It heals the wound and makes the swelling alleviated. Start by putting a small tub on the top of toilet seat. Warm water is added to the tub that aids in boosting the vaginal blood flow which makes the recovery process faster. Not only this, but a few ice cubes are also put into the tub is also beneficial for soothing the sore perineum. This will help to bring down the swelling of the wound area.
4. Medicines and Ointments
Although there are several remedies to cure episiotomy naturally, one such remedy includes using witch hazel pads that will be kept on a sanitary napkin that is then, placed in contact with the wounds. Other than this, different ointments should be taken as per doctor’s prescription and you must avoid taking any random medicine without consulting the doctor.
5. Intake of Fiber-rich Diet
Besides taking special care of the wound, it is mandatory to keep the mother’s diet full of all the vital nutrients, especially fiber. It will help in getting proper supplements that your body needs to recover from the after-effects of pregnancy as a whole. Moreover, it is recommended taking plenty of water so that all the wounds get healed naturally.
Tips For Episiotomy Care
Follow these tips for the fast recovery from episiotomy:
- It is highly beneficial if ice packs are applied right after the delivery. Applying ice packs in the first 24 hours following the delivery brings down the swelling and pain considerably.
- Change the pad in 2 to four hours. This will bring down the chances of infection. You can also try “freezing pad”. For this, take a disposable maxi pad and pour water on them without completely soaking the pad. Put it in the freezer. It can be easily fit into the underwear. Remember to remove it once it starts to melt.
- Always keep the area dry
- Take rest
Don’ts After An Episiotomy:
Before six weeks after an episiotomy, never ever
- Try intercourse
- Have strenuous movements
- Use tampons
- Use toilet paper to clean the area
- Sit on a hard chair
- Harsh wiping the stitch, always pat dry.
- Perform an action that may break the stitches
When To Seek Medical Attention After An Episiotomy?
Whenever the sign of infection appears, you should seek immediate medical attention. Watch out for these signs
- Worsening pain
- Passing blood clots
- Experiencing constipation
- Bad odor discharge
- Stitches break
Following these simple tips will provide relief from swelling and pain persisting on the episiotomy wound. Post-delivery care must be ensured so that the mother’s body recovers from all the damage that has occurred due to delivery. The mother, as well as the child both, require attention, and it is the responsibility of the whole family to take good care of both of them in the right manner.