How to help your stitches heal after birth

If you’ve just had your baby and have stitches that need healing, follow these reassuring steps to soothe and help them heal post-birth.

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Stitches post-birth

There are a few reason you might have stitches to care for post-birth. You might have had a caesarean, you could have experienced tearing during labour, or perhaps you needed an episiotomy.

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Tears vary from woman to woman, but if you have had stitches after birth, it’s really important to care for them properly to reduce the risk of infection. Follow our 10 easy steps on how to help your stitches heal, so you can enjoy your newborn without any prolonged discomfort.

When to see you GP about stitches:

  • Your stitches suddenly become painful
  • You suffer from increased swelling in the area
  • They start to smell much more than your normal vaginal odour

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Peeing with stitches

When you go for a wee, the urine may irritate your stitches and sting. To stop this becoming a problem each time you head to the toilet, try pouring warm water down between your legs to dilute your urine. You can also try adding a drop a lavender essential oil into the warm water as it can keep you calm.

Another good trick (if you’re about to be this flexible post-birth) is to lean over and touch your toes whilst going to the toilet to direct your wee away from the stitches. It’s recommended that you try this for the first 24-48 hours after labour.

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Maternity pads

Bleeding after birth is quite common, so it’ll be recommended that you wear maternity pads during the daytime and evening. Your stitches will be vulnerable at this time, so it’s important to keep your vaginal area clean and as infection-free as possible.

Make sure you change your pad every four hours and opt for paper or cotton pads for extra comfort.

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Comfy underwear

Having a caesarean is the perfect excuse to dig out your big pants. Choose a pair which have a waistband that sit beneath the healing wound for extra comfort. Plus, big knickers have a larger gusset, which will accommodate your maternity pads perfectly.

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Salty bath

Salt is a great source for healing, so go back to basics and run yourself a nice, warm bath and add a sprinkling of salt. Sit in the bath for a few minutes ensuring the area is nicely rinsed. Avoid using too much salt so that you don’t dry your body out.

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