3rd degree tear... Questions and reassurance please

(11 Posts)

I gave birth to DD1 on Friday and unforetunately suffered a 3rd degree tear which required stitching under GA. I'm feeling a bit weepy and emotional today about this amongst other things and was looking for some experiences and reassurance.

Did you heal ok? How long did it take? When did stitches dissolve? Etc
What did you find that helped? Lavender, witch hazel, tea tree?
When was you first poo and was it ok?
When did you stop feeling like you'd been hit by a bus?

Thanks in advance

fourbears Mon 26-Nov-12 16:24:33

Hi Fatima! Congratulations on your baby! Sorry you had such a hard time though.

I too had a 3rd degree tear following the birth of my daughter four years ago.
Mine was stitched under a spinal.

What were you given drug-wise afterwards? I had antibiotics because of where it was, lots of strong painkillers, and a stool softener powders to mix with water. If you haven't got those I advise going to the gp to get them. I took them all religiously, not just when it got bad. That's key to keeping on top of the pain.

My first poo was fine, the painkillers and stool softeners are good.

I didn't use any oils or anything, just the tablets.

Something I wish I had got hold of is a Valley cushion which is a special cushion shaped to make it more comfortable to sit after birth injuries. The NCT sell and hire them out. They will have a representative locally if you look online.

My stitches dissolved with no problem and I healed really well, but had some residual pain for a while, especially when tired. I also couldn't wear jeans for a good while, too rough on the poor bits. I much prefer jammies anyway!

Take good care and you probably will have to take it a lot easier than if this hadn't happened, but you'll get there! Hugs xx

fourbears Mon 26-Nov-12 16:28:34

Just to say don't be scared to ask for reassurance from your midwife and GP. It's nice to know everything is healing ok.

25sunshine Mon 26-Nov-12 17:21:15

Hi Fatima! I had a 3rd degree tear as well after DS almost three years ago. As long as you are religious about taking the fibre sachets, making sure that there is no chance that you can get constipated, then number 2s are nothing to worry about as it'll all come out liquid anyway. Are you taking iron tablets? If so, one of the side effectc can be constipation - however, that will be counter-acted by the fibre sachets. Do not lower your iron dosage (as I was advised by health visitor), because then you might end up aneamic and totally devoid of energy. Actually, is there are chance you might be aneamic - your description of being hit by a bus sounds like that total exhaustion feeling that comes with lack of iron.

I wouldn't advise any witch hazel etc in the bath as that can sting, and it's completely unnecessary pain after what you've been through, because down there everything heals super fast because of the high level of circulation.

It's important to take it very very easy so as not to put pressure on your stitches (by walking around, lifting, bending over etc), and that should include lying around on the sofa in a position that's comfortable (not rushing around doing anything household related, etc - that should be done by other people). That way you give yourself the best chance of recovery. Don't forget what a massive trauma your body has just been through!

I was mobile from the day after birth, but refused to sit on chairs for about 10 days. I kept myself 'runny' (using the fibre sachets) for about 10 days or so (ask your midwife for more if you run out) and then I wasn't worried about anymore and had also much more feeling/sensation down there.

With me everything improved on a daily basis, so each day was easier than the one before. I was, however, extremely 'lazy' and got everyone else to do everything other than feeding the baby, meaning that my body could use all energy for healing. If you feel that things are not improving then tell your health visitor.

Well done on delivering your baby, it's a massive feat and please allow yourself some time to recover from the experience. Listen to your body and take it as easy as you possibly can as that will shorten your overall recovery. I'm a big fan of painkillers so take what you can - simply alternatinv ibuprofen and paracetamol can take the edge off, and you can do that for quite a few days and without prescription to get you over the worst.

Congratulations on your baby - they are simply great!

cravingcake Mon 26-Nov-12 21:31:26

Congratulations on your baby. The added emotions will be because its day 3 & your milk will be coming in. Relax, cry, rest. All very normal.

Try taking arnica to help with bruising as well.

Pinotgrigioplease Mon 26-Nov-12 22:21:08

Hi Fatima,

Congratulations! thanks

I just wanted to add another reassuring story. I had a 3rd degree tear 8months ago which was repaired in theatre and all has healed well with no issues.

I was pretty shaky for about a week but also lost a lot of blood so being very anaemic didn't help. By week 2 I was starting to feel better and I started to feel "normal" again after week 3 although I continued to take things easy and followed the rule of lifting nothing heavier than my DS for 6 weeks (most of the time anyway!). I got back on a horse at 6 weeks which should give you an idea of how much I felt things had healed by then! Although you are probably not even considering this yet I also had sex around then too. This was slightly uncomfortable for a few weeks but no issues now.

I had my first poo on the post natal ward and it was honestly ok. I had been dreading it! I second the advice about fibogel and lactulose. They will be your best friends for the next few weeks! Also keep on top of your painkillers, I was taking diclofenac and paracetemol and never really felt uncomfortable. Just nervous for the first week or so every time I had to get up or down off the couch or bend down to get anything. Getting in and out the car was also a slow process at first and I was paranoid about keeping my legs together!

I was very worried about continence issues but as I said thankfully I have been ok. As soon as you feel able start your pelvic floor exercises, they will help stimulate blood flow which will help the healing. A good tip is to do them everytime you feed your baby to help you to remember to do them regularly.

Sorry this ended up so long. Hope this helps and you start to feel better soon.

Congratulations and so sorry to hear about your tear!

I think I'll be mainly repeating what's , but all this worked for me after my 4 th degree tear. Keep up the fybogel and lactulose. Have the hosp sent you home with some? Arnica tablets will help with the bruising. What pain relief are you taking? If not already covered, take an anti-inflammatory - it really helped reduce the sting of my tear (i presume by reducing inflammation in that area). I also added lavender oil to baths rather than trea-tree as it doesn't have the same sting! Also, when you go to the toilet, press gently on the area between your front and bottom- it eases the pain a little and helps you to panic less about the world faking out of your bum!! Drink lots of water to ensure soft bowel movements. Tip from my auntie who works with women who treat during delivery is to eat 2 kiwi fruits a day as they also help to soften your poo. Sunflower seeds ash great for boosting your iron levels if you're not on iron tablets already.

didireallysaythat Mon 26-Nov-12 22:43:46

Congratulations ! I can assure you that the bus will eventually move on, but don't be surprised if it comes back a couple of times - fatigue is a big thing when you've just had a baby.

I had a third degree after a forceps delivery. I can second (or third) the fibrogel - it's not a bad idea to take it for a while. Oh and I had two baths a day with lots of lavender oil. I'm not sure it was the solution to everything but time off from the breastfeeding monster was nice. I think I was lucky as I didn't really have any pain (I took all the tablets they offered me though!), don't remember not sitting on regular chairs from the day after and I guess I repaired ok as I was reviewed at 6 months and discharged at that stage.

However if you don't feel that everything is as it should be in a month or two, don't be shy about seeing your GP and getting a referral. I'm currently going to pilates classes taught by hospital physios specialising in post birth strengthening (they don't tell you about this in the 3 hour nhs antenatal classes) and there's a lot you can do to help yourself. But they won't come knocking on your door and ask if they can help (if you get what I mean).

golemmings Mon 26-Nov-12 22:57:38

Congratulations on your baby!
I second everything that's been said already. The only other thing I used was guiness. I had a pph and was anaemic but too scared to take iron tablets incase they made me constipated. I found half a pint of guiness worked really well.

Mind you, I had iron tablets after dc2 and they didn't cause me any problems. When the initial prescription ran out after a couple of weeks I went back to the docs for a blood test and found my blood count was still low and got more. It's worth following up.

I remember wandering around town when dc1 was around about a week old and feeling as though my insides were about to fall out. I don't remember feeling like that when I went to some friends' wedding and danced the night away; dc1 was 2 weeks old. I was also back racing kayaks when she was 10 weeks old.

It feels like forever in the early days but your body will heal and it will do so remarkably quickly.

AmIGoingMad Tue 27-Nov-12 16:15:48

I also had third degree tear with DS- now 22 months.
I found the lactulose and diclofenac brilliant. Couldn't stomached fybogel so HV recommended benefiber from boots- it was brilliant stuff on not at all gag inducing like the fybogel! I sprinkled it on bran flakes every morning and washed down with orange juice.
I also bathed everyday with warm water and alternated between a small amount of salt and tiny bit of tea tree in the water.
I took arnica tablets and occasionally put witch hazel on a pad in my knickers- it didn't sting me- I just found it nice and cooling!
I probably overdid it on the amount if things I did but I think it was a mind thing and helped me have a bit more confidence.
All healed well and I'm now in early stages of pregnancy with dc2
Congratulations on your new family and know that it will all be fine. Allow yourself to get emotional and take some time for you even if its a 10 min bath a day smile

Thank you all so much for you stories and congratulations!
I've managed to read them but didn't have chance to reply in amongst all the feeding smile

My milk was coming in on Monday so that definitely affected my emotions, by Tuesday I was already feeling a lot better.
Managed to have my first poo on Tuesday (and my 2nd, 3rd and 4th) blush and I felt a lot better after that.

I'm going to try put some stretch jeans on today after a week in pjs and trackie bottoms, we're supposed to be going out for tea so I want to be slightly more presentable. May have to turn to the pregnancy leggings.

I also had a look down there the other day, wasn't sure it was a good idea but it didn't look as bad as I imagined.

It's still uncomfortable but I'm feeling a lot more positive so thank you for helping. It's amazing what difference a couple of days makes smile

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