7 NATURAL CARE TIPS TO HEALING EPISIOTOMY STITCHES FAST
Written by Katie:
Because I didn’t go into labour expecting to get an episiotomy, I did zero research into the healing process. The doctors and nurses essentially told me to keep the area dry and to take sitz baths (what is a sitz bath?!).
So after a couple of very uncomfortable days and bleeding stitches (is this normal?!) I started to do my research and finally began to take care of myself. I know it can seem impossible to take care of yourself when you have a newborn, but it’s so important.
Here are my 7 natural / home tips to living with and healing episiotomy stitches as quick as possible!
1. Take daily sitz baths
I didn’t think that sitting in a this toilet-type-tub could actually bring relief to such a sensitive area after a birth and surgery… but it does! The hospital should give you one of these for free before you go, so do yourself a favour and take it! If your hospital doesn’t give them out, buy one for sure. This quickly became my favourite household item! Simply fill the tub with warm water and take a bath 1-2 times a day for at least 5-15 minutes at a time.
2. Don’t “wipe” with toilet paper
Seriously, don’t. It hurts and it’s rough!I used a DRY wash cloth and dabbed the area after I went number one. You can use toilet paper for number two… just keep it away from your stitches!
3. Lean forward when you pee!
Your pee is extremely acidic, so it will burn when you use the bathroom when it trickles down to your stitches. If you lean forward when going number one, it shouldn’t touch the stitches or area which can prevent that burning feeling which can be very uncomfortable!
4. Take daily warm baths withepson salts and/or showers
It only takes 5-10 minutes and it’s so worth your physical and mental sanity! At least once a day, typically at night while my husband is getting our daughter ready for bed, I take the time to get a warm bath or shower to clean up myself and my episiotomy stitches + area. During this time, ensure you clean the area with all-natural soap.
5. Use re-usable pads
There is a lot of bleeding for the first week (and longer for most woman) post-birth. I started using regular, jumbo, disposable pads which were so rough on my stitches and causes a lot of extra bleeding and irritation to the area. As soon as I switched to soft, cotton reusable pads, the bleeding stopped immediately!
6. Make and use homemade “padsicles”
For the first few days post-surgery/birth, use homemade or store bought “padsicles” – which are essentially frozen menstrual pads. The ones I made had aloe and witch hazel oil spread on them, and really did help sooth the area!
7. Take pain medication (optional / non-natural)
I took tylenol and IB profin for the first 10 days, as recommended by the doctor, and started to lower my dose after about 8 days thanks to the above pain relievable and healing tips listed above.
Follow these steps and your episiotomy stitches shouldn’t bother you AND they should heal quicker!