Post partum hygiene. The midwife's advice for maximum comfort

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Marie-Ange Demory
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Post partum hygiene

After the birth and once the baby is born, the joy is such that you put your own well-being aside for a moment. It is also important to respect the correct hygiene practices in the intimate area to avoid infections, but above all to feel good. Here, then, are the right tips to curepost partum hygiene, both in the case of natural and cesarean births.





In this article

  • The tips for intimate hygiene after childbirth
  • Intimate hygiene with episiotomy
  • What to do for vaginal dryness
  • What detergent to use after childbirth?

The tips for intimate hygiene after childbirth

Spontaneous childbirth creates trauma to the lower genital area and in particular to the vaginal canal and vulva. These injuries often result pain, inflammation and swelling of the intimate area. How to alleviate these annoyances? Using of the compresses of cold calendula directly in contact with the area and arnica-based ointment that reduces inflammation. We must also not forget that immediately after delivery there will be significant blood losses called lochiations. It is completely normal to have them and there is no need to do internal douches or other strange procedures to prevent infections.



The only important things to remember are:

  • maintain good intimate hygiene with neutral pH detergent,
  • replace the tampon at regular intervals. This means that in the first few days you will probably find yourself replacing the tampon every hour / hour and a half and then deferring more and more until the losses disappear.

Intimate hygiene with episiotomy

There is a particular case to which particular attention must be paid in terms of hygiene, namely the presence of the episiotomy, the cut that is performed to allow the child to be born easier and which is then sutured. First thing to say is that the stitches will not be removed but will be reabsorbed leaving a small and not very visible scar. In this case the focus should be on infection prevention affecting the wound. Because bacteria are very fond of warm areas in which there is permanence of humidity, in this case caused by leaks, and can slip between one point and the other of the suture causing its infection. A wound infection must be treated with antibiotics, and reopening and drainage of locally formed pus may be required.



It seems to me to be able to say that since all this can be prevented, it is appropriate to do so.

How? With some small and simple tricks.

  • First of all, the part affected by the trauma must be kept clean and as dry as possible.
  • Then a normal hygiene
  • Dry the area well after washing it
  • Change the tampon more often, especially in the first few days.

It may be helpful to reduce swelling and pain with compresses of cold calendula replaced frequently and, once closed, arnica cream.

Read also: How to face the Puerperium

What to do for vaginal dryness

After the lootations many women report both internal and external dryness. A nuisance due to the redistribution of fluids and the restoration of the condition prior to pregnancy. Dryness can be countered in several ways, the key concept in this case is moisturize the part. First by drinking water, that is, at least 1,5-2 liters per day. This favors spontaneous hydration cells and body tissues and is automatically distributed to the areas that need it most.

What detergent to use after childbirth?

Avoid using harsh intimate cleansers and with low pH that tend to dry out the area even more, these are only good in case of infections because they create an inhospitable environment for bacteria. Moisturizing pessaries can be useful to use in the evening until the discomfort due to dryness is alleviated. Finally, practicing an external and internal perineal massage every other day with almond oil, olive oil, or with moisturizing preparations may be advisable because it reactivates the area and allows its "self-hydration", as well as promoting the recovery of normal muscle tone after the childbirth. If you follow these directions you will always feel better, as if you were in a meadow full of lilac.

I would like to conclude with a little practical advice for the first few days in the hospital after giving birth: bring your towel and intimate cleanser, in fact, very often those present in the hospital are too aggressive and risk creating discomfort and irritation.

Questions and answers

How long to use post partum pads?

Time varies from woman to woman. Typically they should be used for 30 to 40 days, depending on how long the leaks last.

How long does the pain of birthmarks last?

It can take up to six to seven weeks for the pain in the episiotomy points to disappear completely. 

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