Even if you didn’t tear or have an episiotomy, and especially if you did, you can expect some (or lots) of pain down there after delivery. I personally had a vaginal delivery that involved the use of the vacuum, a 3rd degree tear and episiotomy, wrapped up with a “cosmetic” surgery to reconstruct everything (sorry for the details but also – knowledge is power). So on a very personal note, I highly recommend all of these products I used to survive and recover. I used most of these at every bathroom break (which did make it quite a process , but so worth it). I go over a step by step of that process at the end of this post.
These are the 10 things you can use to find some relief:
1. Peri Bottle
The hospital gives you one but this one has an angled spout which allows you to reach tricky places and wash and soothe all of down there. It’s also helpful to use this while you pee to avoid the pee burning the area/stitches.
2. Healing Perineal Spray
Cooling herbal perineal mist with witch hazel, lavender and peppermint that helps ease and cool discomfort. I sprayed this directly onto my skin or onto the pad and found that it really soothed soreness, itchiness and all the discomfort going on.
3. Disposable Underwear
People online swear by the disposable underwear provided at the hospital. My hospital didn’t have these so I bought them this time around. They’re so soft, stretchy, and easy to just throw out and change when you need. The boyshort cut is also great to hold those massive pads you’ll need at first.
4. Mega Pads
I used these exact pads and felt comfortable with them. You want pads that won’t stick to your skin in a painful way and these didn’t do that for me. You’re probably not going to need mega massive pads for too long so don’t overbuy. I got one pack and had tons leftover.
5. Adult Diapers
If you’re not down for a combo of an underwear + a pad, you also have the option of going with an adult diaper which is basically a two-in-one padded disposable underwear. I used these at the hospital (I was there for 2 nights/3 days) to make things easier and faster and was happy I did. I moved on to pads when I got home.
6. Medicated Cooling Pads
These were heavenly. I brought them to the hospital, but then kept them in the fridge when we got home for that extra cooling factor. I used Tucks with my first delivery and they provided relief from burning, itchiness and soreness in the whole area, and specifically the stitches and hemorrhoids. These pad liners do the same, the only difference is that these are the length of the pad, whereas the Tucks are smaller round pads so you have to line up a few on your pad if you want full coverage. I’d suggest getting both. The full-coverage ones will be convenient at first and ease general soreness, and the Tucks are easier to target smaller areas or to use specifically on hemorrhoids for relief (by “Tuck”ing them between the cheeks directly onto the hemorrhoids).
7. Hemorrhoids Cream
Talking about hemorrhoids… unpleasant topic and graphics but when you’re pushing a baby out of your body, chances are you might get them. This cream works to shrink them and provide relief of symptoms. I reapplied this at every bathroom break.
8. Numbing Cream
This numbing cream is essential for mamas who tear during delivery. It minimizes the pain by numbing the area – which is really helpful when you’re constantly sitting for feedings and putting pressure on your pain. The hospital will give you some, but when you run out this is what you can ask for at the pharmacy.
9. Laxative Powder
People freak out over that first post delivery poop. The thought is scary af. The reality is usually better! Laxative powder and eating foods rich in fiber will help everything go smoothly.
10. Sitz Bath
Last but not least, doing sitz baths as often as you can in the days following delivery is unreal. These are basically tea bags to add to your sitz bath and add some soothing ingredients to the water you soak in. Check out this short blog post on sitz baths for more info on what a sitz bath is, what the benefits are, and how to use it.
I also wanted to mention that many moms found it helpful to buy dog pee pads to sit on and let things air out. I didn’t do that but I’m still mentioning it in case it’s something that could be beneficial to you. Lastly, ice is also recommended in the first 24-48 hours to reduce swelling and discomfort. Just make sure not to put the ice directly on the skin.
FYI – I like this Youtube video which quickly goes over postpartum healing and care, including the use of the sitz bath and what it looks like.
BREAKDOWN OF POSTPARTUM BATHROOM BREAKS
I listed many products and thinking about when and how to use everything can seem overwhelming. This is a step by step guide to using these products to your benefit.
- At every bathroom break/every few hours:
- refill your peri bottle with warm or cold water
- squeeze the peri bottle aimed onto the vag while you pee
- squeeze some more afterwards to clean the area
- lightly pat dry
- change your pad or disposable underwear
- line it with cooling pads or Tucks
- spray the pad or cooling pads with herbal perineal spray, or spray directly onto skin
- add a layer of numbing cream onto the pad if needed/recommended for you, or apply directly to skin
- if you have hemorrhoids, apply Preparation H cream onto the hemorrhoids and tuck 2-3 Tucks medicated cooling pads over them
- 1-3 times a day: soak in sitz bath for 5-15 min
Following these steps helped me by making my whole down there situation feel like a general soreness and discomfort dulled by all these products, rather than sharp or consistent pain.
Best of luck to you and your hooha during this difficult time <3 Remember that everything heals over time and it will get better and feel better day after day. If it doesn’t or if something feels wrong, it might be worth mentioning to your doctor.
Was there anything you did or used during your postpartum recovery? Share in the comments below!