Last time I shared with you my third degree perineal tear story (click here to read it) the physical and emotional aspects about it, now the question is how to survive it if it happens to you or someone you know.
It’s been a little over a year since my repair surgery and even though it was a hard time, having a vaginal birth in the future is not off the table, I really enjoyed going through labor and holding my baby since the moment she was born. I’m willing to take the risk now that I know how to take proper care of a perineal tear, and thought it would be nice to share my knowledge with you guys.
Rest: Please, please, please don’t try to be supermom and start cooking, cleaning and taking care of your newborn right away. Take it easy, believe or not just being up or sitting for a couple of minutes will hurt like hell after a serious tear because you are putting a lot of weight and pressure on the stitches. I’ll recommend not getting out of bed for at least a couple of days, only to take a shower or go to the bathroom. Ask for help from friends and family if possible, you can also breastfeed (or bottle feed) your baby while lying down.
Peri-bottle: This is your new friend, I used it for 6 months, if not more. The idea of using toilet paper was terrifying. Just wash down there with lukewarm water every time you go to the bathroom, EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. They usually give you one at the hospital but you could also get this one from Amazon, they’re very cheap.
Donut seat cushion: My little piece of heaven. It helps so much with distributing your weight while sitting (once you can actually seat). For the first month I wouldn’t spend more than 5-10 minutes sitting. It’s important to take breaks and learn to listen to your body. This is the one I bought from Amazon, the hospital could give you a plastic one but mine deflated after a month.
Lots of water and Miralax: Constipation and stitches don’t go hand in hand. You want your poop to be as soft and easy to pass as possible, especially the first one after giving birth. TMI?
Sitz baths: The first time I heard about a sitz bath was after my repair surgery. It felt amazing! A sitz bath is a warm, shallow bath that cleanses the perineum. I got this one from Amazon, I placed it over my toilet with lukewarm water and sat comfortably on it. It made my girlie parts feel more clean since washing with soap was a BIG NO for the first couple of months.
Motherlove Organic Sitz Bath Spray: I’m not sure this speeded up the healing process but it felt fresh and smelled so nice, and those days are all about getting as much comfort as you can. I sprayed some on my sitz bath water, on my maternity pads or just directly on my girlie parts. I got this one from Amazon.
Premarin vaginal cream: Last but not least, this prescription estrogen cream was the only thing that helped with that red tissue scar I kept getting after my surgery, the one that wouldn’t let my stitches heal properly. You could ask your OB/GYN about it.
Also don’t use that pain reliever spray they give you at the hospital, I think it’s called Dermoplast. Maybe it’s okay to use it if you didn’t tear but if you did even a little, please try to avoid it, I’m not a doctor but I believe that spray irritated me more than it helped.
No matter if you’re going through a perineal tear, perineal repair surgery, or just a future mom educating herself and preparing for every possible scenario, know that even though going through this experience was hard, I came out of it stronger, with more appreciation for my body and the amazing things it does, and I’ll do it all over again just to hold that beautiful little girl that calls me MAMA.