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Salt water after episiotomy


25 replies to this topic

#1 Pocket79

Posted 15 February 2013 - 02:39 PM

Hi all

This is quite a random question I think... I had an episiotomy during my first labour and struggled badly with the recovery, I found it very painful. I used salt water and lavender oil to clean it regularly afterwards as well as some other remedies and it eventually healed ok. Anyway, I'm 32wks PG with #2 now and petrified of having another episiotomy but prepared that it might happen again. I want to be ready with the salt water again but I just can't seem to find a decent squeezy water bottle to use. Can people let me know where they bought any good ones? Or do you think I could use a Pump water bottle? And here is the most random part of my question - what about using a pre-prepared saline solution of the kind you get to clean contact lenses? I have a big bottle of that for my contacts and it has a pretty good squeezy action.... too weird??

Thanks in advance!

#2 qak

Posted 15 February 2013 - 02:47 PM

I just used a laundry type dish - add water and table salt - and sat my fat bum in it! ph34r.gif

Mine was agony after DS, after DD it was fine, so it is not a given that you will suffer again, anyway.

#3 TheVerticalPronoun

Posted 15 February 2013 - 02:50 PM

I was told not to use salt water at all, as it can cause the sutures to dissolve too quickly, before you're adequately healed - but perhaps different hospitals use a different kind of suture?      

That said, mine took ages to dissolve and caused me a lot of pain - ended up seeing three different people about getting them removed before they dissolved.



#4 TwiceThe Woman

Posted 15 February 2013 - 03:01 PM

2nd time round is usually not so bad - you may even get away without an episi' this time...woohoo original.gif(fingers crossed!)
Take a squeezer bottle with you and a small tub of salt.  The staff will mix water and the salt for you.

Can also help to:
1. Ice helps prevent swelling and bruising, so go prepared......glad wrap some frozen peas -(about 30) 2 to 3 fingers wide and 10cms long. Take them with you to hospital i.n a cooler bag and get the staff to put them in the freezer during labour - all ready for application after delivery.
(Post a reminder on the back of your exit door or hospital bag to take them with you)
2. Keep up regular pad changes as much as possible
3. Gently pat any stitches dry then use a hairdryer to dry the area as much as possible - take care to put on low heat and no closer than 30 cms from your skin.

If stitches hurting considerably when in bed - ask the staff to elevate the foot of the bed a tad - this simple measure can provide remarkable relief.

Take heart OP - it is most commonly MUCH easier on the tail 2nd time round.
Good luck with it all - I'm feeling for you!


#5 Peppery

Posted 15 February 2013 - 03:02 PM

I was told salt water would help. I used a pump water bottle like you mentioned in your post. I was able to use it with the desired affect.

I wish i had of know about the laundry dish and sitting in it, that would have been awesome.

Goodluck OP!!!

#6 Alacritous~Andy

Posted 15 February 2013 - 03:08 PM

QUOTE (TwiceThe Woman @ 15/02/2013, 03:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
2nd time round is usually not so bad - you may even get away without an episi' this time...woohoo original.gif(fingers crossed!)
Take a squeezer bottle with you and a small tub of salt.  The staff will mix water and the salt for you.

Can also help to:
1. Ice helps prevent swelling and bruising, so go prepared......glad wrap some frozen peas -(about 30) 2 to 3 fingers wide and 10cms long. Take them with you to hospital i.n a cooler bag and get the staff to put them in the freezer during labour - all ready for application after delivery.
(Post a reminder on the back of your exit door or hospital bag to take them with you)

2. Keep up regular pad changes as much as possible
3. Gently pat any stitches dry then use a hairdryer to dry the area as much as possible - take care to put on low heat and no closer than 30 cms from your skin.

If stitches hurting considerably when in bed - ask the staff to elevate the foot of the bed a tad - this simple measure can provide remarkable relief.

Take heart OP - it is most commonly MUCH easier on the tail 2nd time round.
Good luck with it all - I'm feeling for you!


Condoms full of water and frozen also make excellent vag-sicles. Don't put them up your clacker, wrap in a non-pilling cloth (eg medi-wipe or chux) and use like a frozen pad.  


#7 Paddlepop

Posted 15 February 2013 - 03:08 PM

I didn't have an episiotomy but I did have a 4th degree tear. I was told to just gently wash the area with warm water twice a day, preferably using a hand held shower attachment. No soap, no salt, just warm water. I was also told to very gently pat dry, and if necessary use a hair dryer on a cool setting to thoroughly dry the area.

I healed up quite quickly and didn't have any infections, but I was pumped full of IV antibiotics and antifungals while in hospital. I was supposed to continue with oral antibiotics and antifungals but I had an allergic reaction to them and so I didn't have any antibiotics apart from the IV medications.

Also, if it stung when weeing I was told that I could gently pour a jug of warm water over my pubic area while on the toilet to dilute the wee and reduce the stinging.

#8 happygurl06

Posted 15 February 2013 - 03:14 PM

Big epi first time, two small tears second time but still required stitches.  I just filled the bath a few cm added salt and sat in it a couple of times a day.  

I also mixed warm water and salt in a bowl and dabbed with toilet paper after using the loo.

#9 Paddlepop

Posted 15 February 2013 - 03:15 PM

Another thing: don't use a doughnut cushion!! I was told that they actually make the healing harder because they actually put pressure on the wound and cause more inflammation. Instead I was told to lie down and take the pressure off the whole area as much as possible. That, combined with large maternity pads to cushion everything, and sitting slightly off-centre (ie so you are sitting on mainly only bumcheek) really helped to make recovery less painful.

#10 cat5245

Posted 15 February 2013 - 03:32 PM

I bought a hand held shower attachment from Bunnings for a few dollars and a couple of times a day would stand in the bath, attach it to the bath tap and use warm water to clean the area. Then I would pat dry with a clean towel and then dry with a hair dryer on cool. Seemed to work well for me. Also found frozen condoms of water excellent for numbing the area.

#11 saxa

Posted 15 February 2013 - 03:39 PM

QUOTE
Condoms full of water and frozen also make excellent vag-sicles. Don't put them up your clacker


I just spat my Diet Coke on my keyboard.

Not sure what was funnier vag-sicles or up your clacker.

My sides hurt  roll2.gif

Now for the other thing - I bought bags and bags of cooing salt and part filled the bath to just cover my bits and sat in it for ages - it was the only relief I got from the pain!

#12 Peppery

Posted 15 February 2013 - 03:44 PM

QUOTE (Alacritous~Andy @ 15/02/2013, 04:08 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Condoms full of water and frozen also make excellent vag-sicles. Don't put them up your clacker, wrap in a non-pilling cloth (eg medi-wipe or chux) and use like a frozen pad.


roll2.gif

thank you, i needed a good laugh.

#13 greenthumbs

Posted 15 February 2013 - 03:54 PM

Thanks for asking this OP!

I'm not even trying for our second and the idea of recovery horrifies me! It's awesome to hear that it's more common to have less problems second time around original.gif

Good luck! Hopefully you'll be one of those who has a great second delivery with no tears or cuts!!

#14 Soontobegrinch

Posted 15 February 2013 - 06:48 PM

Salt baths don't need specially prepared sterile salt. You just need a container of normal table salt and throw a cup into a bath.
Some women just like to dip their behind into a small tub of salty water but please don't waste your money on containers of the sterile stuff.

Generally after a few days of healing you will be fine sitting in a salt bath, some will say that too early dunking may dissolve the suture material and I think the first few days are best to be iced and then bring in the salt baths a little later.
Ensure that the sutures are kept dry and clean so frequent changing of pads and if you have a spray hose on your shower a nice spray accompanied with a good pat dry after each visit to the toilet is good.

Episiotomies and tears are generally never quite as bad with subsequent babies as they are first time around.

#15 redmum77

Posted 16 February 2013 - 06:26 AM

What a helpful thread, thanks guys original.gif


#16 YeahbutNah

Posted 16 February 2013 - 10:20 AM

I used a pump-type bottle (different brand but with the sports-top thing), worked fine with a good squeeze.

I also used tea tree oil - just a few drops mixed with a little milk in the bath [4-5 drops for a whole bath] or in the wash water (mixing it with milk means it disolves in the water rather than staying in a slick on top).

Edited by Joey11, 16 February 2013 - 10:21 AM.


#17 spando

Posted 16 February 2013 - 10:42 AM

First time round I had a 4.9kg baby with shoulder dystocia, cue more stitches than you can ever imagine tool months and months to feel normal. 2nd time round 4.5 kg (2 weeks early) no tear no stitches, a completely different experience. Had Dd on Thursday walked to the coffee shop on the Saturday, it was weeks before I could walk any distance first time round. So take heart it may not be so bad.

Also a nurse told me that if you bend right over while weeing (literally touch your toes) while not quite sitting down it stops the sting. Best information I was ever given.

#18 Flaxen

Posted 16 February 2013 - 11:05 AM

I didnt use the salt bath as i was told it would dissolve stitches faster, and i had lots.
I took voltarin, and used those bulky non stickable "pads" they had in the drawers of the hospital room, and actually put them on top of the regular Libra maternity pad on my underware (so i doubled up) Doing this, it was extra padding for my sore bits and very easy to change the top "pad" every hour or  and have the one underneath for back up. Also, this kept wound dry as possible, and it actually hurt less when it was dry and clean.
After a shower i dried with a hairdryer.
External stiches fell out on day 4, i was concerned but was told they were healed well enough, however internal ones were still coming out at the 12 week mark. ohmy.gif

#19 Jingleflea

Posted 16 February 2013 - 11:10 AM

i was told in my birth classes they don't recommend salt baths anymore as they are too drying. That was nearly 3 years ago.

#20 Pocket79

Posted 17 February 2013 - 12:52 PM

Thanks for the good advice ladies! I especially like the part about it not generally being so bad second time around - fingers crossed!! Also, re vag-sicles (lol) at my hospital the midwives used those fruit iceblocks in tubes and inserted them into maternity pads! They were pretty damn good (not to eat!!!) haha!

I'll get myself a bottle with a sports top for rinsing after the loo and as with last time will have lots of baths.

One other thing that I found really good was to lie with my bits in the sun for a few mins a day (well out of sight of the neighbours!). It made it feel like it was healing much faster. At one stage I also tried using antiseptic powder which felt like it helped as it kept the area dry but then I read that it can be bad for you because it can go up inside you and is bad for your lady parts!

Anyway thats probably TMI for now! Thanks again!!

#21 2puzzled

Posted 17 February 2013 - 01:03 PM

don't know anything about epis, but do know something about squeezy bottles! there are bottles you can get for nasal rinses (neilmed or fess) which can be filled with warm salty (or non salty) water and squirted... a decent volume of water without having to use a spray bottle... good luck OP - hopefully you won't need it at all!

#22 spear_maiden

Posted 17 February 2013 - 01:13 PM

QUOTE (Paddlepop @ 15/02/2013, 03:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Another thing: don't use a doughnut cushion!! I was told that they actually make the healing harder because they actually put pressure on the wound and cause more inflammation.


WEll, that may explain how on my week after check-up I was completely healed on the outside and had no inflammation, pain, etc but add a week or so of sitting in SCN chairs (with a doughnut cushion as recommended) my wound somehow re-opened (from the inside out).  I'm throwing mine out now and will go back to pillows under my butt when sitting and lying down.

Thanks for the tip.

#23 pinkcupcakes

Posted 17 February 2013 - 01:14 PM

what about a salt bath? i didnt have episiotomy but 4th degree tearing and salt baths really helped and at my 6wk checkup dr said it looked like i hadnt even had a baby!

i found it really soothing and would sometimes have more than one a day...
eta sorry i did the whole jump-to-the-end-and reply-without-reading-first....
(i'm sorry! just wsnted to be helpful as quick as possible coz bubs is waking up!)
but oh snap its already mentioned. but consider it recommended from me too. biggrin.gif

Edited by pinkcupcakes, 17 February 2013 - 01:17 PM.


#24 Mousky

Posted 17 February 2013 - 01:16 PM

QUOTE (Paddlepop @ 15/02/2013, 04:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Another thing: don't use a doughnut cushion!! I was told that they actually make the healing harder because they actually put pressure on the wound and cause more inflammation. Instead I was told to lie down and take the pressure off the whole area as much as possible. That, combined with large maternity pads to cushion everything, and sitting slightly off-centre (ie so you are sitting on mainly only bumcheek) really helped to make recovery less painful.



Was told this too. The cushions cause gravity to push on the episiotomy. It is also terrible for recovering pelvic floor muscles.

I found arnica cream around the area- but not on cut, was brilliant. It helped clear up the bruising, and I had a lot of it.

#25 sophiasmum

Posted 18 February 2013 - 11:37 AM

I didn't have the procedure, but I did tear with DD1. I didn't use salt water though, I used an arnica spray provided to me by a naturopath.



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