1. Do pelvic floor exercise as soon as possible to improve circulation and promote healing.
2. Walking prevents stiffness and helps reduce swelling.
3. Sit on an inflatable rubber cushion (NOT a rubber ring), or on two pillows under each thigh. (The VALLEY CUSHION is comfortable and can be hired directly from local NCT.)
4. Hot compresses (hot flannel wrung out in hot water) help circulation and speed healing. Alternatively, sitting on an ice-pack (e.g. pack of peas) reduces swelling.
5. Bath in warm, clear water. DO NOT USE SALT – as this will cause drying and itching. Mix a couple of drops of lavender oil with a couple of drops of tea-tree oil in a small amount of Olive Oil and add to your bath – this is far kinder and aids healing.
6. Do not soak for too long as this may soften the stitches.
7. Taken as soon as possible, Arnica tablets reduce swelling and bruising.
8. When opening bowls, press a clean sanitary towel against the stitches to prevent straining.
9. Sit well back on the toilet. After urinating, pour a jugful of warm water over the vulva (or use a bidet) to stop stinging.
10. Drink plenty of fluids to dilute urine and prevent constipation. Eat plenty of roughage – bran, wholemeal bread, dried fruit and fresh fruit and vegetables.
11. Use a mirror to look at your stitches – they may not look as bad as you think!
12. Use soft sanitary towels. Looped ones may be more comfortable or wear stretch pants (available from the NCT) or incontinence knickers are excellent! A little KY Jelly prevents the towel sticking to the stitches and is good when starting intercourse again.
13. Raise any continued problems at your postnatal check. Do not accept that ‘you will never be the same again’. Your pelvic floor and capacity of your bladder should be as good as before you had your baby within 3 months. If you have problems with your pelvic floor or your back, you can self-refer to your obstetric physio up to 8 weeks postnatally. After that you need a GP referral.
STITCHES SHOULD NORMALLY HEAL WITHIN 3 WEEKS
PELVIC FLOOR EXERCISES ARE VERY IMPORTANT.
DO THEM FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE!
Thanks to North Surrey Midwives for sharing this post.