There really is no cute way to say it because an episiotomy is not fun. Thankfully, this isn’t done all that often anymore but it does still happen. An episiotomy is what happens when the doctor cuts you during labor to help widen the birth canal. Yes, a slice in the muscles between those two regions is just as painful as it sounds. It used to be a routine procedure, happening because doctors believed that it was safer and quicker to heal than a natural tear.
But it’s not. Nope. Not at all. Episiotomies don’t generally heal better than a tear.
Still, sometimes an episiotomy is deemed necessary, even still a doctor should make sure you give consent first. Sometimes it’s done to help speed labor because baby is in disctress. Other times it’s seen as needed to prevent an even bigger tear that could super mess things up longer term.
They do hurt and healing with more stitches in those bits and technically a surgical wound takes some extra precaution than an uncomplicated birth. If you anticipate you might need an episiotomy or you had one and you’re now Googling how to make it not hurt so bad, don’t worry — we got you.
There are some products that will help to have on hand that will help aid in healing. Of course, you really do need to chat about this with your doctor — they will know what’s best for you and your specific situations. But here are some suggestions.
1. Frozen Pads
Before you have a baby, even if you don’t end up having an episiotomy, you’re going to want to do this. Either using feminine pads or newborn diapers. Fill the areas that would absorb stuff with a mix of water and maybe some witch hazel. Freeze them and then you’ve got a perfectly sized ice pack for your lady bits. This will help sooth any stinging, pain, and will do a great job at keeping the swelling down. It’s amazing. Do it and you’ll be so happy. Well, as happy as a tired, healing new mama can be.
2. Epsom Salt
If you are cleared for being able to soak in the bath, doing so with some epsom salt is a dream. OK, exaggerating, doing anything while healing from an episiotomy is painful, but the salt will help ease the discomfort. Also, it will help do the best you can to keep any infection away.
Be sure to choose an Epsom salt that’s gentle, avoiding any scents just for more comfortable sake. Try this one from Amazon!