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Keeping stitches clean(16 Posts)
Post birth. Had episiotomy yesterday am, narrowly avoiding emcs. Surgeon states to keep stitches clean, very clean.
How on earth do you do this? I am bleeding heavily. Still in hospital atm but don't have a shower at home, although a shower attachment on the bath so could stand and rinse. But there'll be blood again within minutes.
What's the best way to clean the area and avoid infection?
Use a sports cap water bottle and fill with warm water and douse yourself very time you go to the toilet. Then paper or a soft towel to dry.
Sensitive moist toilet wipes, for wee and poo, keeps the area cleaner than dry tissue.
Rinsing with boiled, cooled water after every time you go the toilet will be sufficient.
When my DS was born I had a lot of stitches. He was taken back to hospital at a few days old and kept in for over a week. I showered once in that time (he was very ill and I wouldn't leave him) though I did clean the stitches after every toilet visit. I managed to avoid infection even after all that.
Squeezey water bottle or plastic jug near the loo.
Waterwipes or similar when they've healed enough to touch.
Shower attachment in bath would be good.
Swoosh water around with your hand if you are actually in the bath. You can kind of swoosh the water with enough force to sweep the area but without making contact with the stitches.
Use a hairdryer on cool to dry as it's important not to leave them too wet after washing.
Change maternity pad v regularly.
Wash hands before (and after) handling the pads.
I used to put lavender oil in my bath water too. Apparently it helps keep antiseptic. I think tea tree does too but do a bit of googling to find out the "rules". I can't remember now but there were certain types you shouldn't use and particular ways you were meant to dissolve the oil.
Change your pads lots and lots and lots. Clean wound carefully after every toilet trip. It cost me an absolute fortune but despite my episiotomy breaking down (the stitches coming open leaving a gaping wound) I did not get an infection.
I was warned against drying with a hairdryer as it blows bacteria and detritus at the wound.
Oh and don't be bashful about asking for pain relief. I was far too meek and suffered in silence - if paracetamol is not cutting it then say so.
Order yourself a toilet bidet from amazon. Use warm water and salt a few times a day. Pay dry with clean face cloth each time. This really helped my healing and was soothing. Congratulations. X
Thanks all. Really paranoid about it. Have got precautionary anti biotics and haven't yet been spoken to about the wound so don't really know how bad it is etc.
Had major tear and also episiotomy over course of two births. No problems with stitches by doing this...
Add 5-6 drops into a shallow warm (not hot) bath and sit in it for 5-10 mins every evening for about 10 days. Then lie on a towel on your bed for 10 mins and air dry. The tea tree is brilliant at keeping infection etc at bay and is very soothing with any pain.
Sorry should read 5-6 drops of tea tree oil. Seems like only a little but it's very strong.
Also a daily bath with warm (not hot) water and salt helps.
I was anxious about getting into water with a wound but it didn't feel as bad as I thought, and salt helps to heal quicker!
My midwife suggested rinsing the area (during a wee) with water and a drop or two of tea tree oil. Plus a small drop on my sanitary towel. This worked really well for me after a third degree tear
my midwife said to shower/rinse twice a day.
change pad regularly, no longer than 2 hours.
good luck and congrats to squishy baby!
My midwife told me to shower it twice a day and use kitchen roll to pat gently dry. Change pad regularly.
Soak for 5-10 minutes to soothe with lavender oil in the bath water. Don't soak for longer as it may make stitches dissolve faster
Witch hazel on your pads (put some in the freezer if your swollen and bruised) will help, and swishing with water. And if you can get those large square pads that look like puppy pads to sit without underwear on to let a bit of air in I found that helped a lot.
I would definitely use your shower attachment to rinse after a no. 2! I found it very sore to wipe properly due to the stiches so this allowed me to ensure the already was thoroughly clean. My midwife also advised holding a pad over my stiches when doing no.2 if I was worried, this was tricky...
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