How to Go to the Bathroom After an Episiotomy
How to Go to the Bathroom After an Episiotomy: Authored by Sara Skiles
When you're pregnant, the thought of a vagina wound on top of the effort of pushing out a baby might sound a little scary. Although many doctors no longer routinely perform episiotomies and try to help you avoid tearing during childbirth, the possibility of winding up with stitched nether regions is still there.
But once your bouncing bundle is here and the birth is done and over with, the real hurdle pops up: “now how do I handle going to the bathroom?”
If you received an episiotomy or tearing when pushing during birth, your vagina and perineum may be very sore for a while and you are likely to have stitches that must heal. Here is our step-by-step guide to making going to the bathroom after an episiotomy a little easier.
1. Tell That Postpartum Poop Who's Boss
You can prepare for the inevitable by drinking lots of water and eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and other healthy/high-fiber foods. This will help ensure that when the time comes, your stool is soft and won't require any straining. You can also ask your doctor or midwife about taking a gentle magnesium supplement such as Natural Calm to aid in achieving a soft stool.
2. Doula Your Perineum Through the Act
You can support your perineum while sitting on the toilet in a couple of ways. First, you can use a pad or some folded toilet paper, with a Tucks pad on top, and gently press it up against your perineum until you are finished. Try to avoid straining if possible. You can also use a peri bottle, filled with warm water, to clean the area and spray yourself with during urination to avoid burning.
3. Get Clean and Dry
After using the peri bottle, you can also very gently pat yourself with some folded toilet paper. You want to keep the stitches clean and dry to avoid infection, so you could also use a hair dryer on the cool setting to dry the area or lie on the bed to expose your stitches to air for a little while each day. Staying clean by soaking in a warm, healing epsom salt bath every day is a soothing option as well.
4. Get Back in Bed
Resting is the best thing for your stitches, and taking care not to overdo it will help them finish healing faster. Carry around a soft cushion to sit down on, and hold your legs together when getting up or down to avoid stressing the stitched area.
So don't fear the postpartum poop. Even if you have stitches and soreness, you can follow these steps to soothe the pain and make the experience a little less scary. And your postpartum doula can run your bath, organize your bathroom supplies, and hold your baby while you're in there.