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(21 Posts)
Emma367 Fri 29-Jan-16 20:37:55

Hi there

Just looking for some advice/words of comfort if possible!

I had an episiotomy just over a week ago and whilst the stitches in the muscle layer have remained intact, unfortunately the stitches in the skin layer have come away leaving a 2cm gaping wound. My GP has confirmed that the wound is not infected but they won't restitch the skin, so I will have to allow it to heal naturally. I feel very traumatised about the whole thing and not knowing how long it will take to heal is very upsetting, especially as this affecting my mobility of looking after my baby/getting out and about (I'm struggling to climb the stairs or sit in the car). I've read on similar threads that for some people it's taken a few weeks to heal and for others over a year. I've also read that it will heal quicker by using remedies such as lavender oil/tee tree oil/salt baths but my GP has said just to bathe in plain water so I'm confused about what the best thing to do is. I just want to be back to normal sad

Does anyone have any similar experience that they wouldn't mind sharing or any advice on what I can do?

Thanks in advance

OP’s posts: |
eleanoralice1 Fri 29-Jan-16 20:44:03


Congrats on your little one!
This is exactly what I had, I feel your pain. It's really awful, it got me so down. I bathed in salt water baths, had a spray bottle by the loo with tea tree and lavender in, so after I wiped, I would spray some on and try and then let it air dry. I also had a bottle of salt water by the loo to use whilst I was weeing!
I also got some cotton wool and boiled water with lavender and tea tree and dabbed it on it once a day, mine got a little infected so helped clear up the gunk. Also, the mixture was quite concentrated.
I healed within 4-6 weeks. I swear by tea tree and lavender oil, my doctors didn't recommend it, but I had my aunt who was a wound specialist with me who recommend it. They did recommend salt water bathes which is all I used for the first week or so, but it didn't help as much as the essential oils.

Hope this helps! And it does get better, but I know how you feel, I couldn't walk, sit, stand, do anything, it was awful!

Emma367 Fri 29-Jan-16 21:27:33

Thanks so much for your reply, it is a comfort to know that someone else has gone through the same thing. I did try a salt bath and a tea tree oil bath but found it really stang, was it the same for you? The lavender oil is fine. It's also great to hear you healed within 4-6 weeks, I think I can manage that - the thought of a year terrifies me! Did you just rest while you were healing?

OP’s posts: |
ClaretAndBlue30 Fri 29-Jan-16 21:40:07

Congratulations on your new arrival!!

I had to respond to you as I was in your exact position after the birth of my dd. Episiotomy with a gaping wound (which gave me an almighty shock when I saw it!) and I felt I'd never heal. However, your body really is an incredible thing and I was 100% back to normal after 9 weeks maximum. Had approx 6 weeks of discomfort, but I was off the painkillers within 3 weeks.

I sat on a pillow wherever I went for the first 3 weeks; I grew quite attached to it. Lavender on my maternity pads was also incredibly soothing.

Take good care of yourself and don't try to do too much....having said that I was a bridesmaid 3 weeks after having my dd (call me crazy) and it sticks in my mind that I was significantly better than I had been at 1 week post partum.

Emma367 Fri 29-Jan-16 22:16:14

Claret thank you so much for responding, I'm glad I posted on here as it helps immensely to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel - at the moment it just doesn't seem possible for such a big wound to heal on its own (I also had a nasty shock when I looked in the mirror!). Go you for being able to be a bridesmaid after 3 weeks!!

OP’s posts: |
eleanoralice1 Fri 29-Jan-16 22:45:51

I think it stung, but I can't quite remember, some bits are still very blurry! And yes, it's of rest, although I'm a huge busy body and really struggled at first, but once I realised the severity of it all, I say my ass down! I also surround myself with pillows, a doughnutty one helped. It took away a bit of the pressure! It will get better. I feel for you, it's not nice! Oh, I also had a lot of pain killers, my mother was here and she was in charge of keeping me dosed up! Paracetamol, ibuprofen and some the doctor prescribed. Just rest and enjoy this time with bubba! X

eleanoralice1 Fri 29-Jan-16 22:46:48

If it is stinging, maybe pop in a little less? It may be a bit too concentrated.

Melmam Fri 29-Jan-16 22:49:54

I was in your exact position my son is now 10 weeks old and I'm completely healed I had forceps and epi horrible wound I found quite shocking the pain feels unbearable I thought it was never going to heal but after 2 weeks I was up and about off painkillers week three I felt completely fine.. Hope you heal soon just rest and look after your baby others can do everything else. Congratulations x

stairway Fri 29-Jan-16 23:29:08

Happened to me too. Mine healed after about six weeks so not too bad.. But psychologicaly traumatising.
You need to look out for infection as an open wound down there is very vulnerable make sure you change the pads constantly and treat them like sterile dressings.
Don't look too often as looking will pull apart the wound and you need to keep the sides as close together as possible.
Eat well with lots of protein, vitamins and zinc.. If you do get an infection take b vitamins to stop thrush.
If you do take baths don't spend too long in them as this softens the area too much. Quick showers IMO are better.. Either pat dry after with a very clean cloth or let the area dry by not wearing clothes.
Once healed put a scar reduction cream on like contractubex.
Mine has healed with barely a scar tbh.
Oh and do your pelvic floors as this will help blood get to the area and the muscle will heal stronger.

Emma367 Fri 29-Jan-16 23:46:22

Thanks for all the brilliant advice - definitely feeling more positive now! smile

OP’s posts: |
TelephoneIgnoringMachine Fri 29-Jan-16 23:49:02

In a bath you would ideally put no more than 4-5 drops of essential oil. Less if you've a sensitive wound - maybe 2-3 drops at most.

My aromatherapy book recommends a specific blend for postnatal wounds & infections. I've taken a picture it as it's annoyingly absent from the online book review.

N.B. I'm not a doctor. Just offering a possible option re the aromatherapy route.

Frecklesfrecklesfreckles4 Fri 29-Jan-16 23:55:49

I had this with DC1, I feel your pain OP!
I had a Keelans rotation,forceps delivery and an episiotomy which broke down a few days later and was then left to heal by secondary intention rather than resutured.
It did heal but took 4-6 weeks.
I was concerned that the scar tissue would mean that I'd be more likely to have problems with a vaginal delivery with subsequent children but went on to have three more babies (over the next 20 years!) with no problems and minimal tearing,requiring none/ one suture.

KindOfABigDeal Sat 30-Jan-16 00:14:20

Lean forward from the waist when sitting on toilet to wee, stops it stinging as much.
Keep it clean! I used to shower myself down there morning night and after every toilet trip. Plain water or mild wash (I used johnsons top to toe wash)
Keep it dry. After washing I would pat with a towel then dry down there with a hairdryer on lowest setting (sounds mad but was told would promote healing!)
Keep changing pads.
Take arnica tablets to help reduce swelling bruising and to aid in the healing process.
I could barely walk for the first week but was fully healed after 4 weeks

Junosmum Sat 30-Jan-16 03:38:34

Yup, me. Gave birth 4 weeks ago, large episiotomy. Internal and muscular stitches fine, external ones none-existent. This last week I've started to feel much more normal, before this week I felt a tugging every time I moved, like I was going to rip open. My scar looks horrid but I'm hoping it'll fade. My internal stitches haven't fully healed yet.

I just bathed twice weekly in plain water, showered daily avoiding getting shower gel in that area and ensured it was thoroughly dry by using my hairdryer! I feel almost normal now.

Wardy1993 Sat 30-Jan-16 05:57:10

Hi Emma a big WELL DONE on giving birth and congratulations on your new arrival!!! I'm sorry to hear you are going through this, haven't read all posts but I heard that to soothe pain like this people put a bit of lavender oil on their sanitary pads then put the pads in the freezer before you use them. The human body is an amazing thing Emma- be proud of what you have been through and what you have produced- you are amazing!!!!

Nosenosebounds Sat 30-Jan-16 06:51:35

Same thing happened to me (although the wound got infected and all the stitches had to be removed). It took 6 months to heal completely but it was worse than yours from the sound of it.

I was seen by a consultant who specialises in perineal wounds and she said best thing is to wash it twice a day with shower head (give it a good blast but not too hard) and lie down to let it air as much as possible. Don't use a hairdryer as they can harbour germs which you are blasting onto your wound. Don't use oils etc as you don't know if they will irritate it- I inow others swear by them though so I'm just repeating what I was told.

You will heal. It is miserable and I massively sympathise with you. It is only really sore for about 3 weeks and even if not healed completely you can still go about your normal life without any pain, just avoid yoga, tight jeans or long walks! Most important thing is to rest though as that will promote healing quicker. Hang in there, it's horrible but it does get better. I felt very traumatised too, it's perfectly normal xxx

icklekid Sat 30-Jan-16 07:12:52

Just to add I had very similar gaping sized hole from episiotomy and took 6-8 weeks to heal. I went to the nurse once a fortnight just for reassurance that it was healing. She occasionally put something around edges to encourage healing which stung a lot but as I couldn't bring myself to look knowing someone was keeping an eye on it helped. Was originally referred to nurse to have it packed but she basically said that advise from gp wasn't correct!

MrsUnderwood Sat 30-Jan-16 07:15:15

You could drizzle some maxi pads with a bit of salt water, some essential oils and then freeze them. Then when you need them take them out and let them defrost for a few mins. It might help soothe.

ClaretAndBlue30 Sat 30-Jan-16 19:35:44

No problem emma glad to see lots of people have posted after me and said similar, I hope its eased your mind. Take care flowers

Ps. at 1 week post partum being a bridesmaid seemed WAY off, but that just shows how quickly the body heals that i was so much better by 3 weeks smile

whatsoever Sun 31-Jan-16 23:22:46

My stitches did get infected but I think similar advice stands. I put a couple of drops of tea tree and lavender oils in a very shallow bath daily and swooshed the water round to rinse my foof, then had a quick shower afterwards. On my midwife's advice, didn't dry down there with a towel at all - instead lay legs akimbo on a towel on my bed for 15 minutes after washing to let the air get at the wound.

Wound all healed after 4 weeks for me but uncomfy scar tissue for around 4 months.

blondieblonde Mon 01-Feb-16 22:45:48

Oh gosh, poor you, it is horrible. I had exactly the same and felt completely mutilated and despairing. It does take a while to heal but it will heal. I think mine was sort of tenderly back together within about 6 weeks. When people say a year they mean no trace of it remaining. Mine was a bit lumpy and sore up to a year, but now I don't perceive any difference to pre-babies.

Poor you - just try to get through it best you can, it will heal.

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