Inside: 6 awesome tips to help you feel better fast when you’re recovering from a vaginal birth
After you’ve pushed what felt like a bowling ball out of your vagina, things down there feel very different!
It hurts to pee, your stitches are itchy, you’re afraid to poop cause you don’t want to bust your stitches, everything down there is sore and tender, and there’s SO much blood.
It’s hard work taking care of a newborn, (and possibly other kids) when the lower half of your body is bleeding, in pain, or both.
These tips for recovering from a vaginal birth will help you feel better much quicker.
(But make sure to talk to your healthcare provider if you aren’t sure if your pain or blood loss is normal!)
6 tips for recovering from a vaginal birth
Postpartum sitz bath
These are basically baths for your lady bits.
You can fill up your bathtub with a few inches of warm water, (make sure your tub has been freshly cleaned!) then you’ll step into the tub and squat so your perineum is sitting in the water. If that’s not comfortable you can sit on your knees or dangle your legs out of the tub. The key is to make sure your perineum is soaking.
You can either use only water or you can do an herbal sitz bath with epsom salts, essential oils, or herbs.
You’ll soak for 15-20 minutes and carefully dry yourself off making sure to pat yourself dry, no rubbing as that’ll irritate your already tender area.
These baths keep your perineal area clean, (reducing the risk of infection) and reducing itching and pain.
Even if you didn’t get stitches, this is still a nice way to keep things clean down there and relieve soreness.
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(Don’t forget to grab The Postpartum Handbook so you’re totally prepared for the 4th trimester!)
Stock up on perineal cold packs
Trust me you’ll be so happy you did!
It’s basically a cold pack and pad all in one. So you get the cooling benefits from the cold pack and the absorbency of a pad. They aren’t too cold that it’s uncomfortable, but just enough that it’s very soothing for your extremely tender perineal area.
I like these cold packs because they have an adhesive line to stick to your underwear so they won’t slip out.
I used these after I gave birth to both of my kids and it was my favorite postpartum item! It really did make that area feel better faster!
Use a peri bottle
I also loved this! These are bottles that squirt water on your nether regions while you’re going to the bathroom.
If you have stitches, peeing will burn! Because urine is acidic it burns when it touches any tears or stitches.
Even if you didn’t fully tear, you may have microscopic tears or scrapes that can’t be seen, but you’ll definitely know they’re there when you pee!
Using the peri bottle to squirt water on yourself while you’re peeing helps dilute your urine so it won’t sting as much.
Get chuck pads and overnight pads
After you’re done using the cold pack pads, you’ll still want to make sure you have some good overnight pads to soak up the heavy flow.
You’ll bleed A LOT after you’ve given birth so you’ll be going through pads often. Even with the overnight pads, you’ll probably still leak through, (especially overnight).
To protect against leaks you can stick the chuck pads underneath your sheets on your bed so they absorb any leakage overnight. This way your mattress stays intact, you just throw the chuck pad away in the morning!
In the first few weeks after having a baby, I also used chuck pads to line my floor when I got out of the shower so I wouldn’t bleed all over the floor or on my towels.
While this won’t physically make you feel better faster, it’s definitely nice to not have to worry about waking up to a pool of blood that soaked through to your mattress!
These are some great overnight pad options
Kegels, do ‘em!
Right after I had my kids I started to do Kegel exercises. Pushing a baby out does a number on your pelvic floor muscles.
I couldn’t even laugh or sneeze because it felt like my insides were gonna fall out of my vagina!
Doing Kegels will help you not feel like you’re insides are falling out as you strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.
When your pelvic floor muscles are weak, a common problem is you can end up with incontinence. To prevent incontinence from happening start doing your Kegels!
I’m convinced that I never had any postpartum bladder issues with either of my kids because I did my Kegels!
Get some stool softeners
Your first poop after giving birth is scary! You don’t want to push anything else out of that general region right after having a baby! If you’ve had stitches then you really don’t want to push because you don’t want to bust a stitch or deal with the pain of the stitches stretching!
Even if you didn’t get stitches you probably still don’t want to push because that area is pretty tender and sore.
Stool softeners will make it so you don’t have to push to go to the bathroom.
Yes, there’s lots of discomfort down there after you’ve given birth to your little bowling ball! But there’s ways to make your postpartum recovery a little less sucky. These tips saved me after delivery and they’ll seriously help you feel better faster when you’re recovering from a vaginal birth!