Episiotomy is a common procedure in childbirth. The area between the vagina and anus (called the perineum) is sometimes used by doctors to support women in labor.
How to Relieve Pain after Episiotomy
After normal delivery, the incision area becomes very sensitive during the first few days or weeks. It can be painful when you sit, walk, cough or sneeze. To reduce swelling, pain or itching in the perineal incision area, you can try some of the following suggestions:
Within the first 24 hours after birth, compresses an ice pack on the perineal area. This may help to reduce swelling and pain.
Cleaning the area with warm water after urinating helps prevent episiotomy pain. Some hospitals may also provide you with a tool that you can use to clean the nozzles perineum.
Cream or ointment anesthesia
There are particular creams and ointments that can temporarily numb the pain in the area
When resting or going to sleep, lie on one side. This is better that lying on your back since it reduces the pressure on the perineum. Also, avoid sitting or standing for too long. Sitting on a soft pillow would also be helpful for you.
Performing Kegel exercises can help to strengthen the muscles in the perineum, and in effect help the area heal. To start, you should tighten the muscles like you would when you’re trying to hold your urine. Tighten the muscles for 10 seconds and then relax. In the beginning, try to repeat the exercise for about 20 times. After a few days or weeks, you can practice tightening the muscles for as long as you are comfortable.
Keep the perineal area clean and dry using a clean paper (or gauze). Also pat, not rub, the areas as gently as possible to make it less vulnerable. If you are using diapers, make sure you change them regularly. Ideally, you should wear one diaper at least 4 hours at a time. Avoid touching the perineal area while changing diapers.
Wear comfortable clothes
Avoid tight clothes and tight underwear as they can cause friction and irritate the wound.
Eat more foods that are rich in fiber and drink enough water to make your intestinal bowel soft.
If you notice any of the following symptoms, you should see a doctor:
– Signs of infection such as fever, chills, pain, swelling, redness; foul or perineal bleeding.
– Loss of control of urine or bowel.
Follow the guide above to avoid pain after episiotomy.