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Your Body & Healing

Your Body & Healing

Vaginal Bleeding/Perineal Care

  • Your vaginal discharge after delivery will be red in color. It will change from red to pink to white, and could last 4 to 6 weeks.
  • Vaginal bleeding may increase with breastfeeding or heavy physical activity.
  • Your menstrual period may not begin for several months, especially if you are breastfeeding. Your first period after delivery may be heavier than your normal flow.
  • Sanitary pads should be used for the first 6 weeks after delivery.
  • DO NOT douche or use tampons for 6 weeks after delivery or as instructed by your doctor.
  • Your uterus will be firm and can be felt in the abdomen (size of grapefruit) for 10 to 14 days after delivery and returns to pre-pregnancy size at 4 – 6 weeks.


Care of your stitches or Episiotomy

  • Your stitches, episiotomy site or hemorrhoids may take several weeks to heal. It is normal to feel soreness for the first few days after delivery.
  • A tugging or pulling sensation is normal 2 to 3 days after delivery.
  • Stitches do not need to be removed. They dissolve on their own.
  • It is normal for a small stitch to be passed in the course of bathing or taking a sitz bath.
  • Rinse off the perineal area after urinating or having a bowel movement. For 1 to 2 weeks, use the “Peri” squirt bottle that was given to you in the hospital. Fill with warm water.
  • Always wipe yourself from front to back.
  • Change your sanitary pad at least every 4 to 6 hours.


Suggested Comfort Measures

  • Take a warm bath 2 to 4 times a day.
  • Use a topical ointment if suggested by your doctor.
  • Use pre-moistened witch hazel-soaked pads.
  • Use stool softeners, as suggested by your doctor.
  • Use a soft cushion.
  • Avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time. This will put a strain on your stitches or episiotomy.
  • Shift your position frequently while nursing or feeding your baby.


Care of your incision after C-section

  • Your incision may take 4 -6 weeks to heal.
  • Sutures or staples may be removed prior to discharge or your doctor may have you return to his/her office for removal during the first week after delivery.
  • You may shower and get your incision wet. Use only warm water and mild soap on your incision.
  • Avoid tub baths, hot tubs or swimming for the first 4 weeks after delivery.
  • Dry your incision gently.
  • It is normal for your incision to feel numb and may itch as the healing process begins.
  • DO NOT apply any lotions or creams to your incision to soften the scar.
  • Your Body & Healing