Your perineum may need some tender loving care!
Hello, lovely moms and moms-to-be! Sylvia here, from Rock the Cradle. Today we’re talking about how to heal your perineum—yes, you heard me, your perineum—after giving birth.
As you can imagine, your perineum and your vagina go through a massive workout when you deliver your baby, and you may be surprised, or not, by how much pain you feel when you get home. There are some things that you can do, however, to heal quicker, and that’s what we’re talking about today.
The first suggestion is to take sitz baths. Fill your bath up with a bit of water, or you can actually purchase an actual sitz bath. Fill it up with warm water. You can then put some Epsom salts or witch hazel, which is a natural, plant-based product. The two act as astringents, so they help reduce swelling. Some people also like to put natural herbs, such as calendula or lavender—whatever you wish. You take these baths three times a day for ten minutes each time, for a few days, or at least a week. My clients who do them feel better much, much sooner. Now I know people are saying, “But Sylvia, how can I do that when I have a small baby?” Well, it’s a little bit of “me time” that is important for healing. So pass the baby off to Grandma or Dad and just take that time to relax. Sitz baths can also help with hemorrhoids.
What also can help are what we call “padsicles.” Before going to your birth, take one of your maxi pads, put some witch hazel on it, put it in the freezer, and then when you come home, you have some ready-made, cold, frozen padsicles that can help as well. So on one hand, you’re taking some warm sitz baths; on the other, you’re using the cold padsicles. You may prefer one or the other and that’s fine. I remember really enjoying both and feeling better much sooner.
Breastfeeding in side-lying position
What can also really help is learning to breastfeed sideways. This ended up being one of my favorite positions, as I could rest; I would often fall asleep while breastfeeding my babies this way and get a nap in there. And it also helps to not sit while you’re breastfeeding. When you’re lying on your side, baby is snuggled into you, and there is no pressure on your perineum. This position can also help moms who have had cesareans because you’re not sitting and putting pressure on your scar. So if you can learn to breastfeed in the side-lying position, you won’t have any of that extra pressure.
Be Gentle With Yourselves!
Also, moms, be gentle with yourselves. We have so many to-do lists and people to see and things to do, but in reality, your new job is to learn about your baby and to heal yourself after this big ordeal. And hey, get naked—get in bed—spend a few days in there with your partner, your baby. Learn about your new baby and your role as new parents and just enjoy these moments and take the time you need to heal. It won’t last long—a week or two—and then you’ll be back on your feet doing those things that you need to get done. But do enjoy this special time.
I will talk to you guys soon! Have a great day. Bye!
p.s. Join our growing community of parents who birth and parent with confidence! You can find us on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and our private Facebook Group This Motherhood Journey. And please sign up for our newsletter to get tips and tools right in your mailbox! The link is right below. Looking forward to connecting with you!