In case you didn’t get the memo, women are the reason the world goes round. Without women, the human race would cease to exist. (Ok, we might need guys to kick start things, but us women carry the load…literally). Now all this awesomeness that women bring to the table comes at a price. It’s not an easy thing to bring life into this world. I mean, it is called “labor” for a reason. But if you’re lucky enough to experience giving birth, here are some after birth tips for a safe and speedy vaginal birth recovery as well as some after birth recovery tips for your postpartum care.
Granny Panties and Oversized Pads
A vaginal birth recovery would not be complete without a wad of granny panties and oversized panty liners. It’s true that the hospital grade granny panties and panty liners look absolutely horrid. But if we’re honest, they are easily the most comfortable accessories you can incorporate into your postpartum care. In the first couple of days after your vaginal delivery, you can look forward to swapping out your panties and liners four or five times in a day because of the never-ending postpartum period. Disposable panties from the hospital will make your life a whole lot easier after giving birth because you don’t have to worry about washing your panties. Just chuck them in the trash when it’s time to clean down there. So, before you get discharged from the hospital, be sure to ask for plenty of granny panties and liners to take home with you.
Your Postpartum Period
Think of your postpartum period as your Aunt Flo on steroids. They don’t really warn you about your postpartum period until it arrives, so be forewarned. Unlike your normal period, your postpartum period can last anywhere from a couple of weeks to a month and a half. Also, unlike a C-section where your doctor and OB/GYN will typically clean you out, a vaginal delivery allows your body to naturally go through the cleansing process. So if you’re not stocked up on pads yet, you’re going to want to make sure you have plenty lying around after giving birth.
Maintaining Your Postpartum Period
While its super annoying, the never-ending postpartum period is perfectly normal. If you do however see an increase in blood flow, you might want to slow things down a bit. It’s probably your body’s way of letting you know that you may be overdoing things. Additionally, if you notice that after using the bathroom, you’re passing blood clots, you may want to check in with your doctor. Although passing blood clots is not uncommon after a vaginal delivery, it could be an underlying symptom that should be checked out.
If You Tear, Don’t Freak Out
It’s not uncommon after a vaginal delivery that you may tear down there. The severity of the tear can range from a first-degree tear to third-degree tear. The classification all depends on how deep the tear extends and whether or not it’s gone through the muscle. If your one of the unlucky ones, (which many of us are), then the tear will probably be the most annoying part of your vaginal birth recovery.
Healing Comfortably With Your Tear
Proper postpartum care involving a tear will require stitches. Much like any type of medical stitching, you will need to be super vigilant about maintaining good hygiene down there. This is especially important in the first couple of days to avoid infection. For a more comfortable vaginal birth recovery involving a tear, make use of a long beach towel. Simply coil the towel and shape it into a donut so that there’s a hole in the middle. Now, every time you need to sit, adjust yourself so that your bum is nestled on top of the coiled towel and your stitched up lady bits are hovering unobstructed over the hole in the middle. The feeling of freedom down there will make your postpartum care easier to manage. For starters, you’ll be able to reduce your pain by avoiding sitting directly on your stitches. But more importantly, your stitches won’t be compromised when you move around in your makeshift donut seat.
Dermoplast Will Be Your New BFF
If you go to any pharmacy there’s this wonderful magic in a spray can called Dermoplast that you need to buy. Dermoplast is an anti-itch and anti-burn medicated spray that will help get you through your vagina birth recovery. After a vaginal delivery, regardless of if you have torn down there or not, everything and I mean everything will burn. In short, your vagina will feel like it’s on fire. Think of Dermoplast as the savior that swoops in and puts the fire out. Need I say more? Stock up while supplies last.
Don’t Forget The Hemorrhoid Pads
After giving birth, you might notice pesky little (and not so little) bumps or balls around your rectum area. Hemorrhoids, unfortunately, are one of the less than glamorous trade-offs after giving birth. If you do find yourself battling hemorrhoids, then you may need to give hemorrhoid pads a try. Place a couple on top of your panty liner and soak in the cool relief they offer.
If you are lucky enough to have avoided any hemorrhoids, don’t dismiss the hemorrhoid pads just yet. Line up two or three pads onto your panty liner and use them as cooling relief for the vaginal swelling that you will experience for the next couple of days after giving birth. The soothing witch hazel found in a majority of hemorrhoid pads can act as a cooling agent. You’ll find this especially comforting for any tearing you might have experienced down there.
Ice Packs To The Rescue
After giving birth, there’s going to be a lot of vaginal swelling down there. Disposable perineum ice packs will work wonders for your vaginal birth recovery. Not only will they help make the vaginal swelling go down, but the cooling relief they offer will help sooth any tears you may be recovering from.
You can maximize relief after giving birth by using perineum ice packs, hemorrhoid pads, and Dermoplast spray together. Simply take your oversized panty liner, activate a perineum ice pack and place it in the liner. Then take three or four hemorrhoids pads and line them up in a row overtop the perineum ice pack. Finally, apply the Dermoplast spray directly onto your vaginal area. The cooling relief offered by all three used together is an invaluable after birth tip that will have your vaginal birth recovery go seamlessly.
Stock Up While You Can
Here’s a final after birth tip that every mom needs to take advantage of. Before you leave the hospital, stock up on as many freebies as you can. Trust me; you’re going to need them. In many hospitals, disposable items such as granny panties, liners, and ice packs are available to you at no additional cost. Don’t be shy about asking your nurse to stock you up on these items before you go home. Not only is this a great way to help curb expenses in your postpartum care, but it will save you a trip or two to the pharmacy when you do run out of these items. (Yes, no matter how stocked up you think you are, you will run out).
Plan For The Unexpected
A major component of your vaginal birth recovery is having a support person available to you to help with postpartum care. Besides the typical vaginal swelling and postpartum period that comes with a vaginal delivery, be prepared to deal with the unexpected aches and pains that can sometimes pop up. If you opted for an epidural, then you may notice soreness or aching around the injection site. Having a support person like a spouse or parent available for your postpartum care can help you focus your attention on your newborn.
Whether it’s your first time or third time, experiencing a vaginal delivery is an amazing thing to go through. Following these basic after birth tips, your vaginal birth recovery can be just as amazing. Staying on top of your postpartum care and getting enough rest after your vaginal delivery will make it that much easier to enjoy your little one when they get here.