Tearing anything sounds scary when it comes to your body, but even more so when it is due to giving birth. Perineal tearing, also known as vaginal tearing, is actually pretty common, but it tends to scare women when they are getting closer to childbirth. So, if you are getting nervous about vaginal birth and perineal tearing just know that you are not alone.
Not having a vaginal birth? Check out what you should know about a C-section.
What you should know about Perineal Tearing
What is Perineal Tearing?
Perineal Tearing is when the structure that separates the vagina and anus is torn due to childbirth. The tears can be very minor to a deep laceration. It is actually very common for a woman to tear during her first vaginal birth. Which results in having sutures to make sure it heals correctly.
There are some doctors that will cut the perineum a bit when they notice it is starting to tear. The reason for this is in hopes that a clean cut will heal easier and better than just a tear.
Should I be worried about tearing?
Honestly, the answer should be no. Though realistically we will still worry about everything when it comes to childbirth, being pregnant, and even taking care of the newborn.
The thing with tearing though is that it is common and the female body was built to give birth. And with that, we were built to heal back up after childbirth as well. So, trust your body and breathe a bit easier knowing that it is common and natural.
What should you know about Postpartum Sutures
When do they sew you up?
So after you have given birth to your adorable newborn baby you have to continue to push to get the placenta out. Sometimes the doctor will push on your stomach to help get the placenta off your uterine wall. But, once you finish birthing the placenta they will sew up the perineal tear if one did occur.
Do the sutures hurt?
As with any form of stitches the area will tend to hurt. There will be a new way of being uncomfortable that you will experience. It may hurt to some more than others depending on their pain threshold.
Now the uncomfortable part is that you won’t like sitting for a while due to the suture site. You may notice that you sit or move a bit differently than before just to avoid putting pressure there. Don’t worry though because it will go back to normal later.
Do you have to have the sutures taken out?
For the most part, the sutures are dissolvable or they end up just falling out as the perineal tear heals. It may feel weird when they fall out because you will think that you accidentally tore the sutures out, but you most likely didn’t.
There are some sutures that need to be taken out, but they aren’t usually done these days because they use the dissolvable material due to where the tear is located.
How long does it take to heal?
It usually takes two to three weeks for you to heal and your stitches to fall out. Though you may feel pain for just one week or even the whole month. Discomfort even if you don’t feel pain should be expected during that first month.
How to care for postpartum sutures
Caring for your stitches can be a bit of a pain, but the sooner it heals the happier you will be. Make sure you are very gently wiping front to back after using the bathroom. After you wipe use a perineal bottle to spray warm water on the site. Pat dry do not rub.
And make sure that you are changing your pads every two to four hours to make sure that you keep the site clean. That way it can heal properly. You are not allowed to use a tampon! Whether you like it or not tampons or anything that goes into your vagina are not really allowed because they can harm you and your healing process.
No tampons. No sex. Doesn’t matter if they try to pressure you way too early into having sex because doing so will truly hurt you with your new sutures and it can harm your healing as well.
What do they give you for your sutures at the hospital?
From my experience, they give you some really large overnight pads to help with the huge flow you will have after delivery and for a few days. You may want to take some extra home with you if there are any left or go ahead and buy some of your favorite brand at the store. Even if your flow becomes lighter, sometimes the bigger pads are more comfortable because they don’t touch the sutures as easily as the thinner smaller ones do.
While you are at the hospital they will also give you some hospital underwear which are disposable. It can actually be pretty comfy for a few days to wear those instead of your normal underwear. If there are a few extra you can take them home with you.
There is a spray that they should give you as well called Dermoplast. If they don’t give you any don’t worry because you can get some for about $7 on Amazon. It is a pain reliever spray that helps with burning and itching. You would spray this on your sutures after you went to the bathroom, used the perineal bottle and dried off. This way it calms your pain and leaves you feeling better.
Will I ever feel the same after it heals?
After enough time has gone past and you are fully healed all the pain and tenderness should go away. It may take more time until you start feeling more and more like yourself. You will feel different when it comes to having sex for a little while, but that should go away as well.
So yes you will feel more like yourself after enough time has gone past to heal the perineal tear.
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- What You Should Know About a C-Section
- How to Soothe Your PostPartum Sutures
- And more under our Pregnancy or Motherhood tabs!