Episiotomy Care: Hygiene Tips for New Mommies

Childbirth can take a large toll on your body. While the pain is all worth it when you're cuddling your newborn, there are a few things you should know about episiotomy care.

If you had an episiotomy, it's crucially important that you're taking time for good hygiene habits--even when you're exhausted and busy.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about caring for yourself post-episiotomy. 

What is an Episiotomy?

For many women, they don't know what an episiotomy or vaginal tearing is until it happens to them. 

An episiotomy is when you have an incision between your rectum and vagina. This helps make the opening larger, and it's common during a vacuum or forcep delivery. If the doctor needs to deliver your baby in a hurry, they'll often need to do an episiotomy.

A vaginal tear is when you tear in the same place while delivering, however, you're not cut by the doctor. This is also very common, especially for first-time moms. In both cases, you'll usually need stitches, and you'll need to pay special attention to your hygiene post-birth.

Hygiene Tips for Your Episiotomy Care

You can expect your episiotomy to take at least two weeks to heal, but the healing process is different for everyone. You'll need to take care not to walk very far over the first few days, and avoid lifting heavy objects or picking things up from the floor- you don't want to pull out those stitches! 

Here are some key hygiene tips for your episiotomy care: 

Wash Regularly

When you have a newborn, those first few weeks can be a blur. Before you know it, you realize you haven't showered for a few days.

It's important that you take time for yourself. Shower once a day, and gently apply a wet, soapy cloth to the area, without rubbing. 

Be sure to wash your hands regularly as well, and scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds each time.

Use Smart Products

Before you give birth, be sure to order some super absorbent heavy flow pads. Look for ones that have been designed without any harmful substances like chlorine, lotion, and fragrances. 

This will prevent you from having any skin irritation, and will also control odor and bacteria- reducing the chances of an infection.

Grab a Squirt Bottle

You may be given a squirt bottle in the hospital, but if you're not, you should go ahead and grab one. Each time you go to the bathroom, use your squirt bottle to clean yourself.

You may also find that urinating is much less painful if you use the squirt bottle at the same time. 

Don't Touch

It's natural to want to see what's going on down there, particularly if you've had a traumatic childbirth. Avoid touching your perineum, as this can cause you to develop an infection.

You may also accidentally remove one of your stitches. Let the incision heal naturally, and see a doctor if you notice any extreme pain, heat, or itchiness.

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