How to Promote Better Healing After a Hard Pregnancy
Giving birth is one of the most amazing experiences a woman can go through. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most painful, especially if there is any tearing. Torn tissue takes longer to heal than a straight incision from an episiotomy. Doctors say it normally takes at least six weeks for a woman to heal from the damage childbirth does to her body, but especially hard pregnancies can make it take a lot longer than that, since there is more trauma inflicted on the body. Luckily, there are a few easy ways to speed up the healing process.
The peritoneal area should be kept as clean as possible to avoid infection. It is essential to wash after each time you urinate or have a bowel movement. The easiest way to do this is with a small squirt bottle filled with warm water. Be sure to squirt the water in a downward motion to avoid bacteria from washing up into the vaginal canal. Use a soft wash cloth or towel to pat the area dry afterwards. Never use any soaps or douches since they can increase the inflammation in the vagina, which slows down the healing process.
Avoid Further Trauma
Don’t put anything inside the vaginal canal for the first six weeks after giving birth. It could cause further damage to the already bruised tissue. Use sanitary pads to absorb any discharge or blood that seeps out instead of tampons and only apply ice to the outside of the vagina if the pain gets to be too bad. Many women think about getting reconstructive surgery after giving birth either for cosmetic or internal damage. Make sure you wait a few years after birth to have these procedures done. You’ll also want to check with your doctor to see if you are eligible.
Women used to be put on bed rest in the hospital for the first week after their baby was born. This helped them to have a chance to heal. But now, insurance companies don’t cover that much time. Women are released just one day after giving birth. Since some mothers don’t have help to do things around the house and care for their new baby, they end up overexerting themselves. This is counter-intuitive to the healing process though. Try to take it easy when you get home.
The swelling and pain from childbirth should dissipate some after the first week but if it seems to get worse, immediately go to the doctor. If a high fever suddenly develops, don’t wait for an appointment. Head straight to the emergency room. There could be a dangerous infection of the peritoneal area.
Eileen O’Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking. Check out her Twitter @eileenoshanassy.