Pretty much everything in my nether regions HURT for weeks post-partum, which is perfectly normal considering what they went through. But that’s also at least partially avoidable. Some things I prepared for, and some I had to figure out the hard way. Here are some no-holds-barred, extra-descriptive tips:
1. I don’t know if it’s like this for those who didn’t get perineal stitches, but peeing HURTS if you did. Like battery acid. And later while you heal, there will be intense crotch itching that will make you feel like scratching like a shameless ball player in the dugout. Ask your OB/GYN doc about a numbing ointment called Nupercainal (it’s so good, it even deserves to be in bold). It might cost several dollars, but it is worth every penny. Do yourself a favor, get the ointment.
2. Lean as far forward as possible when you go, gravity will help here to keep stitches dry. You may also get some flushable personal wipes with aloe (probably available at your local grocery supercenter or pharmacy store) to cover the area behind while you lean forward. It helps, trust me.
3. Stock up on more than one kind of pad. Your post-par “flow” (called “lochia”) is like a HEAVY period that lasts 4-6 weeks. It may vary from day to day after a couple weeks, and you probably won’t want to feel like you’re wearing a diaper all the time when you’re already changing enough diapers as it is. Thin pads with wings and non-plasticky surfaces feel more comfortable and catch everything later on after the flow has lightened up a bit. Oh, and just when you think you’re done, it might come back with a vengance, so be prepared for the possibility of going from paper-thin-origami-folded singles back to industrial diaper pads in one day (and maybe several times).
4. Painful constipation is common post-partum, ask the hospital if it’s safe for you to take a stool softener and to use it when you go home. Very worth it.
5. When I was still in the post-partum ward and had that awful first bowel movement after delivery, it helped me to pull up the small bathroom wastebin, put it on its wider flat side and set my feet up on it so they were raised off the floor a few inches–so that it felt like I was almost squatting over the toilet (but still sitting my butt on the seat). You will feel silly but it will help align your colon and make things go smoother…no pun intended. I later purchased a stool which mimics that same squatting position and have used it ever since with no regrets.
How about you, moms? Have any tips for dealing with post-delivery discomfort? Let us know with a comment below!
Image by Melodi2 on Morguefile.com.