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After Episiotomy

Your doctor either performed an episiotomy (an incision made to enlarge the opening of the vagina) or repaired tissue that was torn during your baby’s birth. Stitches were used to repair the skin in or near your vagina. The stitches will dissolve on their own within a few weeks. They don’t need to be removed by your doctor.

Avoid Infection

Lower the risk of infection by keeping your stitches clean.

  • Gently wipe from front to back after you have a bowel movement.

  • After wiping, spray warm water on the stitches. Pat dry.

  • After urination, it's OK not to wipe. Just spray with warm water and then pat dry.

  • Don’t use soap or any solution except water.

  • Change sanitary pads at least every 2 to 4 hours.

Avoid Constipation

  • Eat fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and bran cereals.

  • Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water every day, unless directed otherwise.

  • Don’t strain to have a bowel movement.

  • Ask your doctor about using a stool softener.

  • If you are breastfeeding, ask your doctor before you take any medication.

Ease Pain

  • Sit in a warm bath (sitz bath).

  • Place cold packs or heat packs on your stitches. Keep a thin towel between the pack and your skin.

  • Sit on a firm seat so that the stitches pull less.

  • Use medicated spray as ordered by your doctor.

Follow-Up

Make a follow-up appointment as directed by our staff.

 

When to Call Your Doctor

Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following:

  • Clots of blood (the size of a quarter or larger) passing continually from your vagina

  • Heavy or gushing bleeding from your vagina

  • Smelly discharge from your vagina

  • Severe pain in the abdomen or increased pain near your stitches

  • Fever of 101.0°F or higher or shaking chills

  • No bowel movement within 1 week after the birth of your baby

  • Trouble  urinating, or pain or urgency with urination

  • Stitches that come out or pieces of stitches passing from your vagina

 

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