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This post is all about vaginal birth recovery tips so you can feel like yourself sooner rather than later.
Although a vaginal birth is the most natural way of bringing a life into this world, it puts your body through a lot, both physically and emotionally.
After hours of labor, sleep deprivation, and pure exhaustion, you are rewarded with a feeling of contentment like no other when you see the bundle of joy in your hands.
The first six weeks after the birth of the baby is the recovery stage. The recovery phase is the time when your body slooooowly recovers from the stress and strain it has gone through in the past nine months.
The recovery phase will be different for each woman as it depends on the individual. We all heal differently!
In case of vaginal birth, the perineum (the area between the vagina and rectum) has been hard-hit as there may be tears and stretches that hurt (a lot!).
It’s also likely the doctor made a small cut to widen the vagina and help delivery. You can expect pain, soreness, and swelling in the perineum for a few days or weeks postpartum, not to mention how uncomfortable the stitches can be!
Proper care of perineum is essential to ensure that you recover fast.
Vaginal Birth Recovery Tips
Vaginal birth recovery is faster than a C-section as it is the natural way of giving birth. However, because it’s ‘easier’ or more natural, doe not mean it’s a walk in the park. Here are a few tips for recovering from vaginal birth quickly so you can feel like yourself again.
1. Take A Sitz Bath
A sitz bath is a godsend!
If you are wondering how to heal stitches faster after giving birth, a sitz bath is your solution. A sitz bath consists of soaking your perineum in water so that it heals quickly.
For this, first, you should make sure your bathtub is completely clean of any dirt or germs. Seriously. You want operation-room level clean!
Then fill the tub with warm water. This Sitz bath salt is perfect for healing your stitches and treating hemorrhoids. You can also use regular Epsom salt and add essential oils to your room to help you relax even more.
Ideally, you want to sit in the water for 15-20 minutes and pat yourself dry after that. You should never rub the area as you will be irritating the already tender skin.
2. Apply A Cold Pack
These are cold pads that can be applied to your perineum for an easy, quick recovery.
You can either stick it on to your underwear or place it in your perineum for a soothing feel.
Some pads serve the purpose of a cold pack. You will have to wrap it in a towel or cloth and place it in your lady bits.
Others serve the purpose of a proper pad, absorbing the blood and providing a refreshing feeling.
The cold pack helps to reduce the swelling in your perineum and also ease the pain in the area. You definitely want to have these at home waiting for you postpartum.
3. Do Kegel Exercises
Your pelvic floor will be weakened after delivery, so you’ll want to start doing kegel exercises as soon as you feel ready.
This is especially true if you are worried about your sexual health and wonder how to regain strength after delivery.
Kegel exercises are an effective way of bringing your vagina back to shape and also in getting a better bladder control. You can start the exercise whenever you feel comfortable.
To start the exercise first, you should empty your bladder. Then tighten the pelvic floor muscle and hold it for 3-5 seconds. Relax the muscles after that. Repeat these ten times. The main advantage of this exercise is that you can do it any time and in any place.
Go easy on yourself if you can’t do ten. Do as many as you can and you will slowly regain strength.
4. Start Moderate Exercise
Rigorous workouts will be off-limits for at least a few months after delivery. In the meantime, you can start mild-moderate exercise, like walking.
Moderate exercise helps in fighting gas and constipation and also increases blood circulation. Mild exercise also helps in toning and strengthening your muscles.
Not to mention, exercise helps lift your mood and resist stress. A lot of new moms become overwhelmed in the first few months, this is a great way to help combat it.
5. Use A Peri Bottle
These are small bottles that can be used to squirt water on your vaginal area. Whenever you go to the bathroom, the acidic component of urine causes irritation and pain on the tears and scars in your perineum.
(Why does no one tell you peeing hurts soo much postpartum?!)
By squirting water using a peri bottle, you can dilute the urine, thus reducing the irritation. It also helps in cleaning the area and fighting any infection.
Not to mention, toilet paper hurts like hell!! You do not want to touch that area with anything.
You might want to add witch hazel to your peri bottle as it is soothing and helps reduce inflammation.
6. Use A Soothing Spray
You can use the numbing spray after birth to soothe the tender area in the perineum. Various sprays are available over the counter, and you can use any after consulting your doctor.
7. Use Witch Hazel Pads
As mentioned previously, witch hazel is a plant extract that helps heal swelling and bruises faster. Witch hazel pads contain plant-based astringent which helps to soothe the sore skin in the perineum.
You can place the witch hazel pad on top of your maxi pad. It will soothe the skin and give you almost immediate results.
8. Lie Down Properly
Another worry most of the new mothers have is how to lay down after normal delivery. It is best to lie down with a few pillows stacked under your shoulder blades and chest.
This will lift the upper part of the body and help prevent sleep apnea, which is common among new mothers.
If the pain and irritation are bothering you a lot, then you can use pain-relieving medicines like ibuprofen tablets. But always remember to consult your doctor before taking any medication while breastfeeding.
Do’s and Don’t for Fast Recovery.
- Passing bowel movements after delivery is not a pleasant experience. Do not apply force during a bowel movement lest it causes strain on your perineum. Eat fiber-rich food and drink plenty of water to make the stool movement easy. If needed, you can ask your doctor to prescribe a stool softener.
- Do keep up with your doctor’s appointment. This way, the doctor can ensure that your body is recovering the right way after the delivery.
- Use cotton underwear as it helps in better air circulation.
The time needed for a vaginal birth recovery varies from person to person. It depends on how easy or complicated the delivery was, and the general healing power of your body.
The general recovery phase is six weeks or 1 ½ month.
For faster recovery, make sure that you take plenty of rest. It may not be possible to rest whenever you feel like as you have a new person to take care of.
But try to get a helping hand so that recovery can be made easy.
I know us moms love to be superwoman, but there is NO SHAME in asking for help. Motherhood is TOUGH!
There is no place for pride in being a new mom. Do what’s best for you and your baby.
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