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

Postnatal health

Episiotomy trauma

18 replies

Angelina88 · 24/08/2019 02:46

Hi there,

I had a beautiful baby girl 7 weeks ago after a prolonged 36 hr labour and 3 epidurals by forceps. After having an episiotomy, i was told that i would heal up in 6 weeks. Unfortunately I had an infection 1 week after so I was on antibiotics for a week but it seemed like it was getting worse because I had a lot of pain and discomfort and when i went back for a a check up inwas told that my stitches have come out but they’re not able to do anything until the wound heals so i was put on another set of antibiotics which were the exact same as the first ones. 7 weeks later I have another infection and I’m on another set of antibiotics but this time for 10 days. The doctors keep telling me they don’t restitch and that the wound will heal by itself.. I feel like I’ve been fobbed off by every doctor and midwife which has becomes so stressful that it’s affected my breast milk production that I’m no longer able to breastfeed properly, I feel so sad and upset and I never thought having a child would make me feel like that. I really look forward to hearing any advice you lovely mums have for me x

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Emily312 · 24/08/2019 09:05

Bumping for you in hopes someone will be along soon.
I haven't had that experience (c sections ) but my friend had similar to you, she basically had a 1.5cm open wound, they didn't intervene, it took months but she's all healed up now.

Sorry if that's not what you wanted to hear , maybe pay for someone to examine you privately and see if they are of the same opinion ?

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NeatFreakMama · 24/08/2019 09:10

I had exactly this and it really affected me, I felt so down in the weeks after birth because of it and was so frustrated that I couldn't just enjoy my son. I truly felt it would never heal but it did. It did take much longer than they said but honestly it will get better. I took salt baths (warm) and cleaned regularly. Honestly it will get better, I know it feels like it won't. Hang in there, it will be a memory soon xx

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Babdoc · 24/08/2019 09:10

Re-stitching an infected wound is doomed to failure, and simply traps the pus inside, hindering its drainage. Leaving it to heal by second intention is standard practice. It is time consuming, but you will get there.
Keep the area clean and avoid harsh chemicals. Simple soap and water, or salt water washes are fine.
Have you been screened for diabetes, as that can be a cause of poor wound healing and increased infection risk?

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Angelina88 · 24/08/2019 15:05

Thank you for your msgs! I have been screened for diabetes and it's negative, I'm washing it with dermol and luke warm water and trying to air it out as much as I can! I guess I need to be more patient, I'm just scared that the wound might get worse, I have a feeling that I'm probably immune to those antibiotics now Sad

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Novia · 24/08/2019 15:27

Hi - I had exactly this, internal and external stitches got infected and split and I had weeks of unsuccessful antibiotics. I also had to go to A&E to have the wound cleaned. It was agony, worse than the birth. The ONLY thing that really cleared up the infection was salt baths. Do it little and often. Buy mega bags from the supermarket and use a fistful in a few inches of water. It was a horrendous, upsetting and stressful time. Don't let the doctors and midwives sign you off until 100% infection free. Chase for help as much as you need.

It's true that you can't be restitched as it's not a fresh/raw wound. You need to heal then get it looked at. There are a number of options at that point, one of which is an operation where they surgically reopen and restitch the damaged area: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perineoplasty

I was surprised, but I actually healed well, despite the total stitch breakdown, however when pregnant with my 2nd I realised that the stitches breaking down internally had thinned the wall between my vagina and rectum and I had a prolapse (at 36!) There wasn't anything to be done while pregnant, but about 9 months post birth I had a fabulous repair surgery, where as well as internal repairs the surgeon also repaired and restored my perineum. He did a marvellous job - like having a new vagina! Grin The surgeon was the aptly named Dr Slack based in the South East if you wanted to look into it in the future!

Anyway - this has become an essay, but basically I'm saying, this will pass. Salt baths all the way and take care of yourself. If it first feel right, don't take no for an answer. Good luck and congratulations on your baby.

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Novia · 24/08/2019 15:30

First = doesn't!

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Angelina88 · 24/08/2019 16:49

@Novia thank you so much for taking the time to reply Smile after finishing those antibiotics if I don't see any difference I'll go back to the hospital and I'll definitely try bath salts..is there any brand in particular that you suggest?

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Novia · 24/08/2019 16:50

Hi - definitely not bath salts. You need actual salt, table salt, which you can buy in a big bag in the seasoning section! Grin

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Novia · 24/08/2019 16:53

Put 2-3 inches of warm water in the bath (enough to cover your bits) and dilute salt in it. Then sit in for 5-10 mins. The alternative is sit in a large basin of salted water if you don't want to use so much water!

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Angelina88 · 24/08/2019 16:58

Ahhh got it!!! Thank you Smile

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Mummoomoocow · 24/08/2019 17:02

I bought a portable bidet online for my stitches to soak them after the toilet everyday. Best purchase I ever made

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Novia · 27/08/2019 22:00

Angelina - how are you feeling now, any better?

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Angelina88 · 28/08/2019 14:34

@Novia I'm doing better thank you! I have been putting a few drops of tea tree on my pads and my goodness I feel like I've healed much faster than i had in the past weeks. I have another check up in 2 weeks so I'm hoping I'm fully healed by then so I can restitched because I still have that gaping hole Sad

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Novia · 28/08/2019 17:39

Oh fab - I'm glad you're feeling a bit better. Don't worry too much about the gap atm, it's amazing how your body will granulate and repair. Mine was horrendous, but after 2-3 months it did look fine and had knitted together. Let us know later down the line how it's going...

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Angelina88 · 29/08/2019 04:19

@Novia thank you Smile I definitely will update you in the next couple of weeks x

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greystar30 · 23/09/2019 23:25

I'm in the same boat @Novia @Angelina88 I'm currently 3 weeks postpartum and on my third lot of antibiotics and also suffering with a bladder infection. It's making me so miserable 😞 the wound hurts when I walk so I can't get out and about which is making me a bit depressed. How are you doing now? Any improvement? 🤞🏻

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samz89 · 24/09/2019 00:38

Ahh @greystar30 I sympathise with you! At 3 weeks i was exactly the same way! I'm now two months and half pp and I still have pain! The wound has healed from the outside but i feel pain from the inside. The gp said that it's granulation tissue and in due time it'll heal. It's so frustrating that they won't do any more to help. What has been helpful is that I put a few drops of tea tree on my pad and that helps with the inflammation. Just make sure you rest, eat plenty of fibre and push for an urgent referral to see a gyno.

Good luck x

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Novia · 24/09/2019 07:55

I'm so sorry guys - honestly, the neglect of women from the medical profession post-birth is a travesty. Can you imagine men being left in pain for weeks on end, even without a new small human to look after?! Just because they expect you to go away and get over it definitely doesn't mean you should. Fight, scream and make a fuss until you are 100% infection and pain free, then fight, scream and make a fuss some more until you have been referred to a pelvic floor specialist. No amount of pelvic floor exercises could fix the damage I had, it required a surgeon. Make sure you push and push until you are 100% satisfied. In the meantime, take care of yourself, take painkillers and salt baths and eat well. Have company, join groups (even remote or virtual ones). You're not alone. X

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