Postpartum Body Care - Managing Perineum Soreness at Home

So for those of you who don't know, I recently welcomed the birth of my baby boy at the end of January :) While I was very nervous about the delivery/labor portion of the pregnancy, I have to admit the aftercare was equally as worrisome to me. The pain, the possible tearing as a result of delivery, etc were all thoughts that ran through my head constantly in the 9 months of pregnancy. I was also asked quite frequently what products I used after birth to take care of my Perineum tear at home, so I thought that the best way would be to do a blog post and share it with those who are curious! 

Products used: 
These pads were a godsend, I didn't bother buying any other fancy after birth pads as these were more than sufficient. I was told if I filled one of these pads more than once an hour, to go back to the hospital (ER) to be assessed. However, thank god I never did. These are essential as they are obviously thick enough and absorbs what is needed. In addition, the key element of these is that they are long enough. They cover you entirely from front to back so it will not irritate your stitches in any way. By week 3, I thought my bleeding had subsided so I converted to regular pads, which was a big mistake as when I slept the shorter pads did irritate the stitches and made it bleed a bit again. I changed back to these maxi pads and problem solved. Oh and of course, do not even think about wearing any cute or sexy undies - just bring out the granny panties and embrace the comfort of them!

2. Advil - Regular Strength & 3. Tylenol - Regular Strength
This concoction of medicine was recommended to me by the hospital on the aftercare sheet - the way they described it was two was for pain, and the other two was for inflammation, so together - take 4 every 4 hours (as required) could help mediate the pain and manage the swelling while on your path to recovery. In the first two weeks I did find myself having to take it every 4 hours, however by week 3-4 I gradually decreased in frequency and now by almost week 4 I take it about 3 times a day.

4. Squirt Bottle
This was provided to me by the hospital - in addition, they also gave me a sitz bath to use (which I didn't end up having to use at home as I found the Squirt bottle sufficient). You fill the bottle up with preferably warm water as hot water or cold water would be uncomfortable for your lady bits. Squirt the water everywhere after you use the bathroom to clean yourself, and then also focus on the stitches. Then pat dry, and follow with spraying the New Mama Bottom Spray below. 

5. Earth Mama - New Mama Bottom Spray (old formula/packaging) vs the new packaging
The reason I suggest the old packaging is because of the bottle itself - ergonomically it is better to hold, you will be using this a few times a day (basically after you shower, or use the washroom) so having a slimmer bottle to hold to dispense the product is just easier than the chubbier one. In addition, the squirt strength is better on the old bottle than the new one - the older one has a more targeted spray vs. the new one that is in my opinion too fine of a mist. Sometimes you can't even feel whether or not you have actually sprayed it, and with it almost feeling like it's going to slip out of your hands, I couldn't be bothered constantly trying to figure it out. I ended up emptying the contents of the new bottle, to my older original packaging bottle. If you can locate the older formula/packaging I suggest you at least purchase two. I went through two bottles myself. 

TIPS on self-care at home:
1. Limit all squatting activity - I found that even when I had to squat to put the boots on my dog, I really felt the pulling of the stitches which was not pleasant. Instead, I changed to kneeling and it made the world of a difference. 

2. If you feel the need to use it obviously use your sitz bath. I was given one by the hospital but I didn't actually have to use it. I just made sure to always wash my area with the squirt bottle everytime after I used the bathroom. 

3. Wash yourself down there - when I showered, I diluted the soap and then gently washed my area then rinsed it. The reason for the dilution is so that the soap comes off easier but still has its cleansing properties. The last thing you want is to be aggravating it with any harsh soaps or spending longer than needed down there irritating it. 

4. When getting up and down or in and out of your car, just slow down - don't rush, it's not a race. Hold on to something and gently pull yourself up. You never realize it, but rushing = pulling = irritation. Trust me, it only takes you a few more seconds. 

5. Lastly, don't be afraid to look at  yourself down there. You need to see if it's healing okay, see if there are any signs of infection so that you can get it looked after ASAP!

Until next time, XO - M.

*Please note that items mentioned in this post are what I used to recover from my Perineum tear from labor. Your hospital/OB/nurse may recommend other products for you to use :)

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