Episiotomy is a procedure where a surgical cut is made in the perineum to enlarge the vaginal opening for the delivery of the baby. This cut is sutured after the delivery. Episiotomy gives more room for the baby to descend out and thus it aid in easier vaginal delivery. As the perineum is a sensitive area, it is very important to take care of the incision post delivery. I had episiotomy during the birth of Ayu and it took a lot of time to heal because my skin had separated. It was worse than getting a c-section. So I am enlisting a few things to take care of post partum so that the incision heals faster.
Precautions to be taken
- Do not stretch the affected area : When we sit cross legged, the perineum stretches and this can cause severe pain to the cut or even open the stitches. Make sure you keep your legs close and avoid sitting cross legged at least till the stitches dissolve. Try to lie down on your side to keep the stitches intact.
- Avoid constipation : Constipation increases the pressure on the perineum and stretches the incision line. To avoid constipation try to drink lots of water and include fibre rich foods in your diet. If you still have constipation consult your doctor to get a prescribed stool softener.
- Keep vagina uninfected : If you have any kind of bacterial infection before delivery, it might cause the sutures to dissolve before the incision heals. If you experience any kind of itching in vagina before pregnancy, let your doctor know.
- Keep your nails short : You carry a lot of dirt in your nails and that can infect your incision. Make sure you keep you nails short and clean at all times.
Steps for a quicker healing of episiotomy incision
- Sitz bath : My doctor advised me to take sit bath twice a day. For a while I could not figure out what am I supposed to do. Finally I found the site bath tub on Amazon and started using it. And believe me, it helped me a lot. Even if your don’t have episiotomy, the bath helps to heal the vulnerable basinal tissues. Put the tub on the toilet seat, and add warm water to it. Add a few drops of betadine(Antiseptic lotion) and sit with your perineum immersed for at least five minutes. It increases the blood circulation in the area and promotes healing.
- Keep the area dry and clean : This will ensure faster healing of the sutures. Try to keep your bottom uncovered for sometime after shower. The more it stays dry, the faster it will heal. Also keep changing your sanitary pad every two to three hours to keep the wound dry.
- Kegel exercises : Kegels must be started right from pregnancy. These exercises strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and help in easier delivery.
- Painkillers : The pain and discomfort can be bad during the initial days. Ask your doctor to prescribe painkillers so that you can have some rest.