As with all health-related issues, please seek advice from a RL health professional if you're worried about anything.

Episiotomy - advice and help

(40 Posts)
TheLuckDragon Tue 02-Aug-16 06:17:16

Hi all, I had my son last Thursday (so 5 days ago) and ended up with an episiotomy and forceps after pushing for 2.5 hours and him being in distress.

I am on paracetamol and ibuprofen every 6 hours but today and yesterday have been horrible in terms of pain from my episiotomy.

It feels constantly burny/stingy and when I sit down/stand up/roll over in bed/move in general it causes a pinching pain that makes me gasp.

Is this normal? Is it just the stitches tightening as they heal?

Also I haven't had a poo since Saturday because it hurts to push, even when holding a pad to my stitches.

Can anyone help reassure me?

PenguinPoser Tue 02-Aug-16 06:27:38

I had similar - it was so uncomfortable for ages. Maybe ask the midwife to have a look to make sure it looks ok? Mine apparently did but didn't feel it! Took a few weeks to heal. Keep trying for the poo - plenty of water, fruit and veg.
Congratulations on your baby flowers

starsinyourpies Tue 02-Aug-16 06:28:33

You poor thing, it hurt me for ages to sit down too. Have you been checked over by a midwife since you left hospital?

I was on iron tablets (blood loss) which actually seem to soften poo which made it easier to go. I do hope you are taking painkillers and not suffering through this!

starsinyourpies Tue 02-Aug-16 06:29:37

Just seen you are taking paracetamol and ibuprofen, if it is still really painful
go to the doctor for something stronger. It will get better!

FirstTimeMummy25 Tue 02-Aug-16 06:33:54

Maybe take your pain killers every 4 hours instead of every 6 hours? I found if I missed a dose I was in agony but if I kept on top of them it was much more manageable.
If your worried get it checked out, hope it gets better soon for you and congratulations on your new arrival smile

Izzy24 Tue 02-Aug-16 06:41:52

Hope you can see your GP today - pain like this can be caused by infection.

Strawclutching Tue 02-Aug-16 06:45:21

I did pain killers every 4 hours too. I also found having a shower every time I weed helped ( I had about 15 showers a day!)

It was so painful and I have a lot of sympathy for you. When I had dd2 I had a small tear and it was nothing in comparison. Good luck and congratulations.

cheeseandcrackers Tue 02-Aug-16 06:47:54

Congratulations! Are you alternating paracetamol and ibuprofen (rather than taking them at the same time) so that one doesn't wear off before you take the other? I couldn't sit or move comfortably after 5 days either but by 10 days I was fine but walking slowly. Try having a bath with a few drops of tea tree oil. Take Fibrogel sachets daily as a stool softener to help you when you do poo (I think it was about a week before I did, but it wasn't as bad as I feared).

For what it's worth, I was worried that when I had dc2 the pain after would be the same/worse but although I did tear all along the episiotomy scar, I was in no pain at all afterwards, I didn't even need paracetamol in hospital once I was stitched up and could poo straight away.

TheLuckDragon Tue 02-Aug-16 06:53:23

Thank you for all your replies smile

Midwife came on Sunday and said everything looked fine but she is due to come today so I will get her to have a look to make sure there is no signs of infection.

Good idea re alternating the painkillers. I might try and alternate them every 2 or 3 hours to keep on top of it.

The obstetrician prescribed me something called docusate for constipation but I am a big wimp about taking new medication so haven't tried it yet. Getting desperate though so think I will try them today.

I really hope this is all just normal and will pass but I actually preferred labour because, although it was painful it was over in a matter of hours whereas this part takes weeks.

goodbyeyellowbrickroad Tue 02-Aug-16 07:08:13

Agree with what others have said about pain relief. The thing that really helped me after my ouchy episiotomy earlier this year was renting a valley cushion through my local NCT. Meant that sitting down was more comfortable as it keeps pressure off your stiches.

www.valleycushions.co.uk

TheLuckDragon Tue 02-Aug-16 11:23:14

So I braved a look and saw that my stitches have all split. Went back up to labour ward and was seen by the obstetrician who said it was only the skin layer and the muscle layer is still intact.

They haven't stitched it back up but they have given me antibiotics and have basically just told me to keep it clean and that it will just take time to heal.

This sucks sad

Seeline Tue 02-Aug-16 11:27:18

Do take the stuff for constipation. I had bad tears as well as the episiotomy and the doctors were adamant I shouldn't get constipated and gave me lactulose. It really helped and that didn't hurt at all.
Make sure you drink lots too - especially if you are bfing - as that will help too.

MadeForThis Tue 02-Aug-16 11:43:36

My midwife recommended arnica tablets for the bruising.

TheLuckDragon Tue 02-Aug-16 11:52:59

Have just taken the laxatives so hopefully I will get some relief soon.

Good job our little bundles of joy are worth it!

KittyandTeal Tue 02-Aug-16 12:21:17

Exactly the same thing happened to me after dd1. Huge episiotomy with stitches that split (dramatically with gushing blood!) on day 5 after a hematoma. They didn't re-stitch me either.

2 things that worked wonders for me (as well as keeping up with painkillers) was a shallow bath morning and night with a couple of drops of tee tree and lavender in it. I took dd1 in with me too.

Also those gauze things for wounds, with witch hazel on it shoved on my pad so it sat right over the wound (advised by the midwife so I promise it's safe) also helped keep it cool and helped with the pain.

I tried getting those special cushions too but didn't have any luck with that. You have my sympathies, it is really sore.

TheLuckDragon Tue 02-Aug-16 12:31:24

I'm sorry to hear it happened to you Kitty - it's really horrible.

Did the tea tree and lavender sting? It seems like it would!

Wonder if airing it out a bit would be helpful?

Sitting on a feeding pillow at the moment which is better than nothing but dreading having to move!

It's so sore.

Seeline Tue 02-Aug-16 12:33:06

My MW stressed that the area should be kept as dry as possible, and definitely encouraged airing wink

ninenicknames Tue 02-Aug-16 12:39:38

Dead serious. Squirt some breast milk on a sanitary towel / maternity pad.

My midwife taught me this trick & you'll heal quicker. It's wonderful healing powers. I shit you not!

KittyandTeal Tue 02-Aug-16 14:01:30

It sounds like it should but it's just a couple of drops in a bath full of water so it didn't at all.

Airing it is a good plan too. I used witch hazel pads most of the day and occasionally 'aired' while feeding dd laying down (learning how to do that saved me so much hassle)

UsernameTaken2 Tue 02-Aug-16 14:19:37

I had my little boy on Friday and have also had an episiotomy. Last night It was hurting so much it was killing me to stand or sit to breastfeed. I'm taking 2 paracetamol every four hours whether I feel I need them or not. (The other day I felt like I didn't need them and the became unbearable, I'm not doing that again).

Last night I decided it needed airing so I laid a soft (dark coloured) towel on the bed and slept on my side commando, no pad or knickers and felt much better this morning

brucebogtrotter Tue 02-Aug-16 21:17:39

You poor thing, episiotomies are painful. Mine was uncomfortable for a good 9 weeks. In terms of the poo, lactulose is your friend here. Available over the counter at Boots and makes poos nice and easy to pass.

TheLuckDragon Tue 02-Aug-16 22:26:33

I have started taking the prescription laxatives so hopefully they will work soon. I'm really scared of getting poo in the wound so will probably shower myself down there afterwards to make sure.

LostAtTheFair Tue 02-Aug-16 22:33:11

You poor thing. It's very unpleasant. HCPs don't (IME) give you the credit and sympathy you deserve with an episiotomy compared say with a CS and recovery from an episiotomy can be worse than a CS.

I second the twice daily baths. I used table salt in mine. I was also on diphene (diclac) (a stronger anti inflammatory). I found these very effective if taken in suppository form. Also it might help to know that things do heal down there and you will get back to normal. Best of luck

Rachie1986 Tue 02-Aug-16 22:34:56

Def alternate painkillers - paracetamol then 3 hours later ibuprofen and 3 hours later paracetamol etc, can carry that on without going over or having a long gap with nothing.

Not much other advice, but really hope it improves soon. I think it was a week before mine felt much better x

milpool Tue 02-Aug-16 22:39:15

Exactly the same thing happened to me. Stitches came apart and I had an infection. I was so angry about it, nobody tells you ahead of birth just how hard recovering from an episiotomy can be.

It feels like the worst thing in the world but it will heal. I got into a little routine of shallow bath, lie on a towel to let it air, another shallow bath at night. I got a little obsessed with checking it with a compact mirror and had to restrict myself just to once a week. Then I gradually stopped checking and it did get better.

Did they take a swab of the infection? The first antibiotics I had didn't quite do the trick so I had a second lot. But they did sort it.

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