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Episiotomy recovery and infection

(17 Posts)
SoozleQ Tue 16-Oct-12 23:47:11

Hi, I had beautiful DD2 6 days ago via forceps and episiotomy. Sitting is agony, the area is ridiculously sore and the midwife prescribed antibiotics for fear of slight infection this afternoon.

I'm doing the whole tea tree bath thing and changing pads regularly but is there anything else I can do to make this whole nightmare heal more quickly and be less painful?

What is everyone else's experience of how long healing takes?

TeaDr1nker Tue 16-Oct-12 23:53:52

I feel for you, I so do. I had forceps with DD. Take regular painkillers both paracetamol and ibuprofen for 3-4 days, this should help with the bruising/swelling.

You will be ok, be easy on yourself

Congrats on baby

aimingtobeaperfectionist Wed 17-Oct-12 00:06:47

Congrats on baby!
I had a tear so not sure if it'd be the same but it took ages for mine to feel better (sorry!). Sitting especially. Use maternity pads, the really thick ones, as these are much more comfy. Pat dry after going for a wee or a shower. Paracetamol every 4 hours. It'll get better, just go slow and take care of yourself.

cravingcake Wed 17-Oct-12 06:18:20

Congratulations on your baby.

I had a 4th degree tear & episiotomy with forceps delivery. My recommendations would be definitely take paracetamol & ibuprofen by the clock, every 4 hours for paracetamol & every 6 for ibuprofen (double check the lack instructions tho) rather than waiting til you are sore. This was the only pain medication i had and if taken correctly it will help.

Next, use a hairdryer on low setting to dry your bits after shower/bath. And dont use cheap loo roll, this is the time for the posh super duper 3ply (but not scented or aloe vera infused stuff grin).

You can get a donut cushion to sit on but my other half never got round to geting me one so dont know if they help.

Lastly, go to your GP if the antibiotics dont help. I had to have 2 courses of 2 different ones and then also got thrush which can happen with antibiotics.

Oh, and dont over do it with walking or housework. I found if i'd done too much then it did hurt more as the muscles at the top of your legs are still recovering.

Fermin Wed 17-Oct-12 08:54:52

I have also recently had an episiotomy. On day 5, I was in complete agony. Got stitches checked out etc and they couldn't see any signs of infection but I could barely walk let alone sit. Lying on my side was my only way to get comfortable. Then I worked out that I hadn't had my first...ahem...bowel movement yet. I necked gallons of lactulose and orange juice and went and did the deed. The problem
had obviously been intense pressure from my bowel on the stitches as the relief was indescribable and all of a sudden I could move freely again. Just in case that rings any bells with you...
2 weeks on and I'm pretty much fully recovered down there.

Fillybuster Wed 17-Oct-12 09:02:34

Congratulations on your baby smile

But ouch! You have my sympathy - been there, know how it feels!

Some good advice on here, especially wrt painkillers and toilet paper, but also I'd say

a) add a load (and I mean, a load!) of cheap cooking salt to your bath. You (or your dh!) can pick up 2.5kg bags in the supermarket for about 50p, so it shouldn't cost much, but the salt in the water really helps with keeping things clean and the healing process

b) DON'T sit on a donut cushion - try to stick to firm surfaces. I had a donut after my first episiotomy and afterwards my gynae explained that stitches actually need support. So sitting on a donut, which means that the stitched part of you is just hanging in mid air, leaves all your internal organs pressing down on the stitches but nothing helping them to press back up again (if you see what I mean). She said it would be more uncomfortable in the short term to sit on proper seats, but much better for the healing process. And I definitely recovered faster from dc2 and 3 when I ditched the cushion smile

c) Keep an eye on the infection, and watch out for any white gunk etc in your blood. Its hard to know the first time round, but anything that doesn't smell completely clean, or looks at all gunky, is not good news, and infections can travel fast. I ended up with a massive infection in my uterus because my episiotomy stitches got slightly infected and wasn't treated fast enough. If you're at all worried, go to your GP - they won't think you're being silly.

Otherwise, good luck - it does heal faster than you think it will....and enjoy your little one smile

sparklekitty Wed 17-Oct-12 19:47:34

I recently had an episiotomy too, day 5 and 6 were the worst, luckily the mw had warned me of this. Take painkillers regularly, my doc prescribed me volterol (sp?) which worked wonders. I bathed twice a day in lavender and tee tree and used a pad with which hazel. Put the which hazel in the fridge and pop it on one of those wound pads you can get in boots then put it on your pad, really helps cool it.

herethereandeverywhere Thu 18-Oct-12 21:53:09

You have my sympathy - been there done that etc.

Firstly, get better pain relief, I was on diclofenac (same as they prescribed for CS second time round) it's stronger ibuprofen. Get repeat prescriptions until you are no longer in pain. Don't be fobbed off just because it was a VB, IME it was MUCH more painful than CS recovery.

Secondly, keep getting the stitches checked. Mine had burst open and sitting on an open wound for 2 months was horrendous - demand to be referred to an expert in wound healing/episiotomy if your stitches start to come apart (they generally don't restitch and you have to wait for the scar to grow in the gap...)

Thirdly if you are bf, learn to do it some other position than sitting upright with all your weight on the wound for hours on end - that pain makes bleeding nipples seem like a mere tickle.

4. don't do the hairdryer, you're just blowing loads of tiny particles of dirt and bacteria at the wound. Pat dry and wear very loose trousers/a skirt over your knickers

5. double up on maternity pads for the cushioning, just one on top of the other and change them ALL THE TIME (I'd change mine 8-12 times a day) to keep that infection at bay.

6, Tea tree drops in the bath might be soothing but don't overdo it (eg: multiple baths each day) as softening the healing wound and stitches encourages them to come open.

7, don't feel you have to pretend everything is all fine and get on like you've recovered. Take it VERY easily and ask for help doing anything physical.

8. I could never make the jug of water whilst you pee thing work and found anything like an icepack much too severe for the sensitive area. I used to hold a clean mat pad soaked in cold water over my wound whilst I peed/pood which helped.

9. Go and get medical advice if you're not feeling any better after a week DON'T soldier on until your 6 week check.

Looking after yourself is the key to enjoying looking after your lovely new bundle of joy.

griphook Thu 18-Oct-12 22:16:55

I had a 2nd and then a 3rd degree tear, my advice would be...

1) if mw offer to look at stitches let them every time. I wish I had.

2) go really slowly. I lost a stitch which made the whole thing take longer to heal.

3 ) don't end up in a squat position ( I ended up squatting somehow while giving ds a bath) not a good place to be

4) do as little as possible. I know that's really hard it does make a difference

5 I could never get the jug of water over my bit either, try leaning really far forward when you wee. Also drink lots so your wee is week

6) pelvic floor exercises are meant to help a lot by getting blood there.

7) if people offers help, point them in the direction of the sink rather than the baby.

Congrats by the way. It does get better x

OMG this brings back bad memories; DS was born by forceps with an episiotomy which got infected. The infection was missed or hadn't developed the first time I was checked out so yy to getting checked whenever possible to make sure it's healing correctly. DC2 is due any day and this is my worst fear - the pain was much worse than labour and went on for weeks.

I couldn't even bath as the pain became much much worse in a warm bath, I used a plant sprayer filled with water to rinse each time I went to the toilet, also lots of vaseline on the area stopped toilet roll dragging.

It took me ages to get anywhere with doctors/pain relief - I was breastfeeding (f*ing agony) and they kept saying "take paracetamol" - trust me that doesn't even touch a headache, why they thought it would help ease the agony I really don't know! I had codiene in the end which took the edge off at least.

I really hope this eases for you soon, such a horrible thing to go through - please don't try to do too much, just take it easy as much as possible

Oh and any time you can sit naked on a towel do it, it made a world of difference to me

Pastabee Fri 19-Oct-12 11:56:56

Agree with getting air to the stitches. I sat on Pampers change mats. The glamour!

I had bought Waterwipes for DD (can get them at Waitrose if there is one near you) and I snaffled a pack to use instead of toilet paper which was really helpful.

Sympathy for you. It's horrid but it will get better.

sleeplessinderbyshire Fri 19-Oct-12 11:59:58

massive maternity pad/superplus sanitary towel for support on the area. dab on witchazel every time to wee or change pad. bath with 10 drops lavender oil dissolved in a cup of full fat milk mixed into it (all suggested by midwie when I had DD1 and advice followed recently with DD2 although I just had a tear this time and no episiotomy)

crochetcircle Fri 19-Oct-12 19:55:57

Get a plastic water bottle (like Evan) - one with a squirty lid so you can squeeze the bottle to spray it. Fill it with warm water and use it to wash off after going to the toilet. Pat dry with towel.

This really helped.

Waswondering Fri 19-Oct-12 20:02:34

Third the suggestions to get checked - if it doesn't feel right, please, please get it checked. Don't be fobbed off ever with "you've had a baby, of course it will hurt."

Take paracetamol and ibuprofen. but if it's not right or discoloured, please get it checked.

Speaks the voice of bitter experience ....

SoozleQ Sat 20-Oct-12 01:21:35

Thanks all.

Still über sore and I'm getting very fed up at not being able to go out and do stuff with the two DDs and DP while he is off on paternity. Half way through a course of antibiotics but it doesn't seem to be getting much/any better. Feel bad for DP because he's having to do so much. Basically, woe is me tonight sadgrin

Katienana Sat 20-Oct-12 10:33:09

I had one nearly 3 weeks ago and got an infection so I know just how you feel (like shite)!
2 baths per dayto keep wound clean
Lay on towel on bed after to air dry (use hairdryer if in a hurry)
If you have a poo, quick shower off to clean
Try and poo regularly as having it in your bowel bulges against the wound and hurts!
Regular painkillers, also get stronger stuff prescribed
Lie down as much as possible
Clench bum cheeks together when moving, this really helps minimize that bursting sensation
Change pads regularly. I found tesco ones thicker and longer than boots ones
Suitable knickers - big but well fitting to hold everything in.
Rest, rest, and rest some more.
You will feel better every day but don't expect too much too soon. Just focus on cuddles with your baby and getting well.

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