Importance Of Intimate Care Post Delivery
Created by Janaki Srinivasan Updated on Jan 01, 2019
Pregnancy is a period when the body undergoes immense change. While most of you know that during pregnancy you need to take utmost care of yourselves at all times, what many of you forget is, once the baby arrives, you must take care of yourselves even more because that is the time when the body is recovering and is quite vulnerable. You are so excited to hold your little one that you almost ignore your well-being. To bounce back from where you started, you must eat well, get rest and above all, give utmost priority to post-delivery hygiene.
What Happens Post-delivery?
Here are some of the problems most women often face post-delivery.
- Doctors sometimes may make a small cut to expand the vaginal opening so that the baby can be easily delivered. This is called episiotomy. The cut is stitched up and takes time to heal. Sometimes, during this period, perineal infections are quite common
- The hormones that flood the body during pregnancy are no longer produced. The uterus therefore shrinks and the vaginal wall comes out as blood discharge. Sometimes, this discharge is more because of the secretion of oxytocin during lactation. Therefore, this not a cause for worry
- Bladder Infections are quite common during this period
- Sometimes you notice that there is an over production and therefore an over-secretion of milk
If you have been experiencing any or all of the above problems after delivery, don’t fret. You are not alone. What you need to keep in mind is to maintain extra care to stay hygienic during this extremely crucial phase and things will fall into place soon.
Most women are physically and emotionally exhausted and sleep deprivation, which adds to the exhaustion. Don’t worry, this will gradually settle down once you get into the routine. But at this juncture, the last thing women want is any medical complication that may add to the already existing issues.
Here are some ways in which you can take extra care.
Episiotomy: If you have had an episiotomy, you need to be very careful until the wound heals.
- Avoid the use of panties for some days and let the area get some air. While lying down you can keep a towel to take care of the discharge
- Don’t sit on hard surfaces for longer periods
- Try doing Kegel exercises to strengthen your vaginal muscles. Consult your doctor before you start
- Wash the area with soap and water gently when you bath
- Sometimes, doctors suggest Sitz bath. In this you need to sit in warm/cold water for about 15 to 20 minutes depending upon the suggestion of your doctor. This is known to decrease the pain right away
- Vaginal Discharge: You will have vaginal discharge (Lochia) immediately after delivery which slowly decreases by the fourth day but may turn heavier again in the next two weeks. For this you must use a sanitary pad and keep in mind to keep changing it frequently
- Bladder Care: Try not to push during bowel movement. Have a diet rich in fiber and liquids to facilitate easy bowel movement. Exercises can also help ease the movement. Consult with your doctor if you are experiencing any problems. Sometimes pregnancy can cause hemorrhoids (swollen veins around the rectum) to swell and cause pain in the rectum. In such situations, you must speak to your doctor immediately
- Breast Care: Post-delivery, when it is time to feed your baby, you may face initial hiccups. But with time this becomes easy. However, you must be careful to keep your breasts clean. Use cotton bras as they keep the germs away. In case you find your breasts leaking when they are full, use breast pads. These make you comfortable
As you are aware that care during pregnancy is more important but post-delivery care is all the more important. Post-natal hygiene is equally or perhaps more important and cannot be ignored.
If you have fever or your perineal pain gets worse, breasts feel hard/ swollen, skin in your perineal region is swollen/red, don’t resort to self-medication. You must take the prescribed medicines regularly and keep in touch with your doctor to report anything unusual.
Have a healthy diet and keep yourself fresh and clean at all times. Gradually you’ll notice that the healing process is underway and you will be able to resume normal activities in no time. But for that you must be quite careful in the first few weeks after birth.