7 ways to heal your vaginal tear

Now that your vaginal delivery is over, it’s time to give your nether region some tender loving care…

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Congratulations, you just had a baby! Childbirth – whether it’s vaginal or a C-section – is one of the most magical experiences you will ever encounter.

Enjoy the natural high for the next few days as you cuddle your little bundle of joy and smother him or her with kisses. Don’t forget though, that your body has gone through a rather arduous process of birthing a human being, so it also needs some TLC.

Take good care of that C-section scar, mamas. But if you’ve had a vaginal birth, your healing process will be quite different. Since the perineum – the area between your vagina and anus – stretches and thins out as baby is being born, the severity of your vaginal tear depends on how your intensive your labour was.

“Vaginal tears can range from first degree, which only involves the skin, to fourth degree which involves tearing of the skin and muscles from the vagina to the anus,” notes SmartParents expert and obstetrician-gynaecologist Dr Christopher Chong.

Depending in the severity of the tear, you may require stiches and will be given a medicated solution to keep the area clean. You will feel the most pain one or two days after giving birth, but the tears will slowly start healing and may take up to two weeks or more. Expect some soreness, bleeding, swelling and discomfort for a while.

Even as you keep busy with baby, don’t forget to take care of business down there. Here are some home remedies you can try to make sure everything heals nicely.

TIP #1: APPLY AN ICE PACK 

Use an ice pack to keep the area cold every couple of hours. Do it for 10 to 20 minutes each time, but not more than that as it can cause nerve damage. It’s also important to start doing it within the first 24 to 48 hours after giving birth, as it helps to decrease the immediate pain and swelling you’ll feel. This will subsequently help with healing. You can either use a frozen gel pack which is soft and squishy and easy to wrap your legs around, or wrap some ice cubes in a towel and apply the cold compression directly to the perianal area.

TIP #2: TAKE A STOOL SOFTENER

Taking your first poop after a vaginal delivery can be unnerving. What if the stitches come loose? What if it tears even more? All are valid fears, even if the risk of them happening is very low. If you find yourself straining to poop and if it’s exacerbating the pain you’re feeling down there, then a stool softener might help. Speak to your doctor first and ask for a prescription or for an over-the-counter recommendation. Include more fibre into your diet to keep you more regular and drink six to eight glasses of water per day, or more. Remember, a healthy mummy equals a healthy baby!  

“Vaginal tears can range from first degree, which only involves the skin, to fourth degree which involves tearing of the skin and muscles from the vagina to the anus.”

TIP #3: KEEP THE AREA CLEAN AND DRY

 We can’t stress enough the importance of keeping your vajayjay clean and dry at all times. There are many ways to do it. Use the cleansing solution and cotton balls your gynae gave you to gently cleanse the area after every visit to the toilet. Change your pad every four to six hours and use a squirt bottle to spray warm water over the area during and after urinating.

Read on for four more ways to heal your vaginal tears.