Birth is so beautiful and empowering, no matter how it’s done. Whether it is done naturally or with pain relieving drugs, or vaginally or a Cesarean birth, it’s a sacred rite of passage for a women to go through and to enter into motherhood. It’s pure bliss.
That is until you realize that you’ve torn up your vagina and there’s blood everywhere, and you’re semi aware that your doctor is down there stitching you up for a half hour, trying to staunch the murder scene-esque flow of blood coming from your nether-regions. But other than that it’s a magical time in your life. I personally remember being so infatuated with looking at Athena that I didn’t realize all the nonsense occurring down there until everything settled down. My midwife simply said, “Oh, you’re bleeding quite a lot.” So that took awhile to take care of. I actually didn’t even want any pain medication or anything…I’m not sure if this was the endorphin high talking or what, but I really didn’t take any sort of pain medication for the first 24 hours.
So I can’t speak on behalf of someone who had a C-section, but I can speak for those who had a drug-free vaginal birth or are expecting to have one. I had a fairly fast labor, only about four hours, so I had a second degree tear and a lot of bleeding. I didn’t realize how significant all of this was until the nurse told me stand up so I could try going pee. Pee? Do things still work like that down there? The process of attempting to stand up was dizzying…literally. It took a couple of attempts for me to get off the bed and moving the direction of the bathroom. And the blood, oh the blood. How could so much be coming out of me and I’m still alive? Anyway, as the overachiever that I am, I peed on my first try, and my nurse was so proud.
Then she proceeds to tell me about the “self-care” routine that I would need to conduct for the next three or four weeks. I never thought it would be such a process to go pee; like you need at least 10 minutes to get everything cleaned up and ready to go again.
Oh, and your cute little sexy panties? Forget about them. Keep them away, you’ll just ruin them. And frankly, they won’t be comfortable for quite some time. So in this post I’m going to tell you what saved me in the first few weeks after birth; what made me comfortable, what relieved some pain, and what made my life easier in generally in caring for my body.
So here’s what you need to make your life easier postpartum:
Granny panties: Yes really. I bought a 5 pack of cotton undies at target…they’re actually more like board shorts because they’re so big. Not cute, but definitely necessary, especially because the massive pads you’ll be using won’t fit on any pair of thong. Which brings me to my next point…
Maxi pads: Not the little ones that you use when you have a light period. Think along the lines of what would be necessary if you had enough blood coming out of you to fill a kitty pool. Like borderline adult underwear sized pads. The bigger the better. They give you some at the hospital, but not enough to sustain for the next few weeks.
Witch Hazel and Aloe Vera: To make padsicles! This was the best thing that I’ve ever done for my coochie I swear. Take out a pad, spray some witch hazel on it and then smear some aloe vera over it. Wrap the pad back up, and pop it in the freezer. I did this to tons of them and I used every single one. It’s sweet relief on the soreness downstairs.
Peri-bottle: So this is something that’s absolutely necessary and they give you one at the hospital. It’s for spraying your nether-regions with warm water instead of wiping. Wiping after you pee or poo is actually a scary thought after you give birth because you literally don’t want anything to make contact down there. A nice warm spritz cleans you up and dilutes the urine so it doesn’t burn you stitches either. I used my for literally 6 weeks because I was scared to wipe.
I know the hospitals usually give you some Dermaplast spray too, but for some reason that stuff always freaks me out. It smells strongly like chemicals, and you know how I feel about all of that. So let me know what you guys think! What did you use to make your healing process easier and more comfortable?