The first few days after delivery can be rough. Recovering from a vaginal birth is not often talked about when you are expecting. We all know that it something that’s not pretty (hello mesh panties)and some pads and other random stuff. There are some things you can do to help with the healing recovering from a vaginal birth.
Vaginal Birth Recovery
How Long Does It Take to Recover
Every mama is different when it comes to recovery. However, generally it takes about 6 weeks to recover from a vaginal birth.
If you have an episiotomy or any stitching you are definitely going to take 6 weeks to heal if not a little bit more. But either way, give your body time to heal. There is no rushing this process.
Take a sitz bath
A sitz bath is a warm, shallow bath that cleanses the perineum, which is the space between the rectum and the vulva. Soaking in water at a mild temperature can help speed up the healing process by boosting blood flow. A sitz bath can offer relief from soreness, burning, and inflammation. So, if you have hemorrhoids and an episiotomy a sitz bath will help with this. You can do this two different ways.
1. Clean your vaginal and bottom. You will most likely be using a squirt bottle to do this (you may have received a squirt bottle from the hospital as one of the freebies to take along with mesh panties and pads). Place the sitz basin on the toilet and soak for 10 minutes.
2. Fill the tub with 3 to 4 inches (7.6 to 10.2 cm) of hot water (about 110 °F (43 °C), and sat in for 15–20 minutes or until the water cools down.
You can do a sitz bath 3 times a day. After a sitz bath, make sure you are keeping genital area and your perineum (the tissue between the vagina and rectum) clean. Change sanitary pads every four to six hours, or whenever you go to the bathroom. Use the squirt bottle each time to make sure you are getting the best clean possible. You can also try sprays such as the Earth Mama Angel Baby New Mama Bottom Spray or Motherlove Sitz Bath Spray
Hoping you heard about doing Kegels during pregnancy, but you should also be doing them afterwards. If you are experiencing incontinence after childbirth this is normal. Doing Kegels will help you build this muscles in your pelvic floor. Make Kegels part of your daily routine. Be patient, it may take 3 – 6 weeks of regular Kegels before you notice an improvement. You should continue to do Kegels as well after you have healed as it can lessening your chances of pelvic organ prolapse as you get older (common condition among older women) pelvic heaviness, low back pain, and discomfort during sex.
Use Witch Hazel
Witch hazel naturally tightens skin and promotes faster healing. It is great for easing the pain, itching, swelling, and bleeding of hemorrhoids. Witch hazel contains properties that can help reduce swelling and fight bacteria, which decreases pain and helps prevent infections. Witch hazel pads maybe a freebie you get in the hospital. Use at least once a day.
This is essential. Take an ibuprofen if needed. Don’t be in a rush to recover so quickly. Your body has been through a lot. Make sure you have a plan for the first six weeks. Some women it takes 6 weeks to heal, some 9 weeks, some 6 months. Like I mentioned before, there is no rushing the process.
Download your Recovering from Vaginal Birth checklist.
Recovery from a Vaginal Birth Checklist
Grab the Recovery from a Vaginal Birth Checklist
Wife and mother of twins. Founder of Pride & Joy Baby Planners and The Expecting Mamas Network.