Care Of The Perineum

After having your beautiful baby, your bottom is where you might feel painful.  The area between your vagina and rectum is called the perineum and you may be feeling quite tender.  The whole of this area expands to allow for the birth of your baby, and will slowly go back into shape over the coming days and weeks.

What To Expect

It’s normal for this area to be swollen and slightly painful.  Using an icepack after birth can be very beneficial and soothing and helps reduce and swelling.  Some women may have stitches after giving birth if the perineum has been torn or if an episiotomy was cut to allow more room for the baby’s head.  You may have had an instrumental birth with either a vacuum extraction or forceps, and if this has happened to you, of course you will be sore.  Your body needs time to heal and repair.

How Do I Care For This Area?

Make sure that you perineum is clean and dry.  After using the toilet, pour some lukewarm water over this area and pat dry gently.  It’s not normal to have discharge (except for the usually post birth blood loss) from this area, nor should your perineum be smelly as long as you are showering daily.

You can bathe as regularly as you feel like you want to.  You can put a handful of salt into the bath water or some lavendar oil if you want to.

Change your maternity pads as often as is needed.  The amount of vaginal blood loss should not be excessive, gradually reducing in amount to that of a normal period.    The colour should gradually go from bright red to watery pink and then to a brown and then to nothing at all.  This can take up to six weeks and the blood loss can stop and then start again.

Move around as much as you can to aid circulation, decrease swelling and therefore help with the healing process.  Moving around at first may be uncomfortable, but you need to do it.

You may require some basic analgesia such as panadol or panadeine and/or anti inflammatories such as voltaren or ibuprofen may be beneficial.  Always consult with your own health care professional or pharmacist first before taking any medication.





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