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