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9 Tips for Postpartum Perineal Care

9 Tips for Postpartum Perineal Care

After a vaginal birth, you can expect your body to need time to heal from certain types of trauma. If you have a tear in the perineal area, between the urethra and the anus, or a cut was required for a successful delivery, the wound might hurt for several weeks. The area may also be swollen and tender.

You will also have a discharge called lochia as you shed the membranes that lined your uterus during pregnancy (it’s a lot like having a period). It will be heavy at first and then taper off.

While you are healing, there are many things you can do at home to aid the process and get relief. Remember that as you take care of your baby, it is also important to take care of yourself.

9 Tips for Postpartum Perineal Care

#1 Sit on a pillow or padded ring.

#2 Cool the area with an ice pack or witch hazel pad.

#3 Pour warm water over the perineum as you urinate.

#4 Sit in a shallow warm or cool sitz bath (whichever temperature you find more soothing).

#5 Take an over-the-counter pain reliever. You can also ask your medical provider about numbing sprays or creams.

#6 Use a stool softener or laxative to prevent constipation.

#7 Do Kegels (pelvic floor muscle exercises).

#8 Wear a sanitary pad (no tampons).

#9 Follow your doctor’s instructions concerning sexual intercourse, usually 4-6 weeks after delivery.

When to Call Your Medical Provider

You will have a scheduled postpartum checkup, but call immediately if you experience any red flags, including:

  • Bad-smelling vaginal discharge

  • Heavy vaginal discharge

  • Burning pain when you urinate

  • Frequent urge to urinate but only going a little

  • Severe abdominal or perineal pain

  • High Fever

  • Vomiting

We know that taking care of a baby and yourself can be challenging. That’s why Tennessee Family Doulas offers postpartum support in the form of in-home and overnight care for moms and newborns. Our support is tailored for your family but typically includes feeding support, newborn comfort techniques, birth recovery support, sleep support, meal preparation, sibling care, and light household support! We would love to connect with you!



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