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.
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.
[Also read: 7 Signs Your Hospital or Doctor Will Probably Push for a C-Section]
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.
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.
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!
Not the one that you eat, although that would be totally fine. You just had a baby and deserve one of those too. No, I'm really talking about the donut that you sit on -- ones that will keep the pressure off the stitches and make it a little easier to sit down. Try this one from Amazon.
Probably not your sexiest look, but who cares -- you are not here for that right now. Instead, the big underwear will allow you to breathe around your bits area and this will aid in healing. No one will judge if you walk around in those mesh underwear either. So go on -- get yourself some of those, too.
This shit will be your best friend. It's the most soooothing stuff when your bits are sore and especially so when you've got stitches and a large cut down there. You can add some to your spray bottle, the frozen pad you've made for yourself or dab some on after going to the bathroom, or just when it starts to sting. Pick some up and you'll be happy.
Because when it's sore down there, numbing cream is kind of what you're going to want and this stuff is great for that. Don't be shy about spraying it where you need when it stings or if you're about to go to the bathroom. Amazon has a few different ones, but this Dermoplast seems to be one of the favorites.
You have a kid now. Which is awesome and what got you into this situation in the first place. Also means you probably don't have a whole lot of time to soothe your bits in the tub. So that's why this sitz bath comes in handy. It's a lot less involved than a bath with pretty much almost all the benefits. Try this one and feel the comfort.
Do. Not. Try. And. Not. Use. A. Stool. Softner. Just DON'T DO IT. When your doctor tells you that you need to pick some of this up, please... just pick some up and use it.
The peri-bottle is a must for when you are going to the bathroom. Fill it with warm water and spray it on yourself when you are going to the bathroom. It helps make the sting that will happen feel a whole lot less and do a good job at making sure there is a smaller chance for infection. For the love of all your baby bits, don't wipe... pat that stuff dry. You've got stitches and that will catch on your tissue.
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(Image: iStock / AndreyPopov)