An episiotomy is a surgical incision between the vagina and the anus used to widen the vaginal opening before giving birth and stitches are used to seal the incision and heal any tears after the baby is delivered.
Taking proper care of your episiotomy stitches throughout your postpartum recovery can help manage pain and reduce the chance of infection.
Tips for managing your episiotomy stitches
1 Increase your fiber intake
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Fiber helps relieve constipation which aids smooth bowel movements. You can also talk to your doctor about using laxatives to soften your stool.
2 Use sitz bath
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Purchase a sitz bath, a shallow mini-tub that fits over the toilet seat and allows you to soak the sutures for pain relief and cleansing. Just remember to wait at least 24 hours after giving delivery before beginning warm water soaks.
Photo Credit: CDC
3 Before washing the perineal area, cleanse your hands with an antibacterial sanitizer to avoid infecting the wound with your hand.
4 Avoid using tampons
Photo Credit: Healthline
Avoid tampons for the first 6weeks of your pregnancy. To get relief, try cooling medicated pads sold for hemorrhoids. Look for a hypoallergenic, pH-balanced, and fragrance-free product.
5 If you have a problem drying your wounds, use a blow dryer and set it low. Also, remember to set it 8inches away from your skin.
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