After your baby’s birth, you may experience soreness or swelling of your perineum or vulva. Many clients ask what can be done to help with pain and healing once home from the hospital.
In the first 24 hours, cold typically helps with pain relief, swelling and inflammation. Consult with your care provider before applying cold or heat or for any questions or concerns relating to your postpartum recovery. These at-home comfort measures are intended as and should not be considered as medical advice.
Here are two of our favorite make at home peri care cold packs. Some clients choose to prepare these cold packs ahead of time so that they are on hand as needed after the baby is born.
Postpartum Perineal Ice Packs:
- Take a condom and add 1 inch of rubbing alcohol and then add 3 or 4 inches of water and tie it off.
- Then using the second condom, put the filled condom in the 2nd one and tie off.
- Freeze in a toilet paper roll to maintain shape. By adding the alcohol the condoms will not freeze solid but will stay slushy/mold-able.
- Wrap condom in a baby washcloth, paper towel or other lightweight cover and apply to bottom by laying it on a dry pad in panties. Remove after 15-20 minutes.
Peri Cool Pads
- Pour witch hazel onto an overnight pad.
- Take a plastic or metal bowl and turn it upside down and place it in the freezer.
- Place pad, absorbent side down over bowl and freeze. This will allow the pad to freeze into a shape that cups your bottom.
- Store frozen pads in freezer in ziploc bag.
- As needed take individually frozen pads and apply to your sore bottom.
- Remove pad once thawed (15-20) minutes and replace with a clean, dry pad.
- Alternate between frozen and dry pads as necessary.
Other options to help to soothe a sore bottom include:
- Change pads frequently to avoid chafing and irritation.
- If you have stitches, keep the area clean and dry.
- Using a warm blow dryer to dry the area after bathing/showering can serve to keep the area dry and many new parents find the warm air soothing.
- After going to the bathroom use a peri bottle or MommyWasher to spray warm water over the area and pat dry with a clean washcloth or diaper wipe.
- Using diaper wipes after bowel movements can offer a better and gentler way to clean a tender bottom, especially if the birth resulted in hemorrhoids.
- Hydration can help to prevent constipation. The use of narcotic pain relievers after birth may contribute to constipation. Ask your provider about a stool softener and make sure that you are drinking plenty of water and consuming high fiber foods in the days/weeks after birth.