Stay Comfortable After A Vaginal Birth

Natural childbirth doesn't mean healing always comes naturally. Here are ways to stay comfortable immediately after a vaginal birth and during the first few weeks postpartum.

Tired new mom

New moms need lots of rest and relaxation during the postpartum period whether they have a vaginal or Caesarean childbirth. While it usually takes longer to recover from a surgical delivery, moms who have vaginal births need to recover down there. Let's face it, mamas -- even having a natural birth, without medication, intervention, tearing or an episiotomy may make your vajayjays say, "No way." Or, maybe just, "Ouch." Whatever the case may be, we have tips to make things more comfortable down South.

Meet your new best friend, the Peri Bottle

This small plastic bottle can do wonders for your perineum. Fill it with warm water and gently squeeze the water on your perineal area throughout the day. An easy way to remember to use a Peri Bottle is to keep it in the bathroom. If you have a hospital or birth center birth, you'll probably be sent home with one. If you have a home birth, your midwife will likely have one included in the birth supply kit she recommends for you.

Sitz baths

Your doctor or midwife will probably suggest you don’t take long, deep soak in a tub until you’re fully healed -- which usually takes 4 to 6 weeks -- but they will likely recommend a sitz bath. It works much like the peri bottle. The difference is you sit in the warm water. You can purchase plastic sitz baths at the drugstore that can be placed on a toilet seat. You can also add herbs that may assist with healing.

Read how witch hazel is safe and natural for postpartum care >>

Sitz baths can be particularly comforting if you had tearing and/or an episiotomy.

Learn how to avoid an episiotomy and/or tearing during birth >>

Jacque Shannon-McNulty, CPM, suggests using an herbal sitz bath to facilitate healing. She says, "Use an herbal blend that is filled with plenty of calendula flowers and comfrey leaves with other herbs like uva ursi, plantain leaf, rosemary or lavender, and add a fresh garlic clove."

Be sure to talk with your midwife or doctor before using any herbs during pregnancy, birth or postpartum.

Cold packs

You know that bag of frozen veggies that’s been in the freezer for what seems like forever? Don’t cook them -- put them in your underwear. No need to buy an ice pack!


"As soon as you can, gently resume your kegels," Shannon-McNulty says. "It helps bring circulation to the area and helps heal and rebuild your pelvic floor muscles."
Try these methods to find what helps you the most. And if you have any questions or feel it's taking longer to heal than usual, talk to your midwife or doctor.

More on postpartum

Postpartum pampering: Avoid new mommy burnout
Effects of postpartum depression
Your postpartum life

Tags: natural childbirth vaginal birth

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