Perineal Recovery 101

Isn't it funny how your new mama friend, who seems to be blissfully enjoying life in a newborn bubble, conveniently failed to mention the part about perineal tearing. Yeah, vaginal tearing (just don't goggle fourth degree tears - you've been warned).  I mean, c'mon, what did you think could be the potential outcome when your baby app told you that your baby is 'now the size of a watermelon'.

As awful as all of that sounds, you're going to be incredibly amazed at what your body can do and how it can heal itself. But, there sure ain't nothin' wrong with giving your body a little helping hand along the way to speed up the healing process or to make them a lil less excruciating. Here are our fave thirty tips on how you can do exactly that:

1. Use Icepacks. Perineal Icepacks are the most convenient way to help alleviate pain and reduce swelling when it comes to tears. We can totally recommend a mate that sells them, you can find them here and we 100% can say they are the best.

2. Make padsticles! If Icepacks aren't an option then padsticles are your next best bet! Lather a sanitary pad in aloe vera, add a sprinkle or spray of witch hazel, fold the pad and cover in aliminium foil and pop it in the freezer for about 1 hour. Blisssss.

3. Use a Peri-bottle. A peri-whaaaat? Basically a Peri-bottle is a handheld squeeze bottle that you can use to spray water at your vagina whilst you pee. Think about it - a vaginal tear + highly concentrated urine = basically salt in a wound. So do yo'self a favour and dilute that pee! Adding in a drop or 2 of witch hazel will also do wonders here!

4. Use a hairdryer post-pee. Side step the toilet paper, you don't want anything touching your stitches. Use a hairdryer on a low heat setting for 5 seconds to get thangs nice and dry down there. Keeping everything dry will also help you avoid yeast infections which is not what you want to add to your list.

5. OTC Pain Relief. If breastfeeding, it is best to opt for opt for Paracetamol which is a perfectly safe pain relief medication for breastfeeding mothers.

6. Rest. With a screaming newborn? Yeah right! But wherever you can, try to rest laying down as much as possible. 

7. Poo correctly. Oddly enough, there really is a technique to it. When recovering from a perineal tear you want to avoid any pressure, so you want to avoid any straining when using your bowels (read more about 'that first poo' here!) .You can do this by using a footstool to keep your knees above your hips. Support the area with a pad (or toilet paper and your hand) to lessen stretching and pain. Use stool softeners if needed to help assist.

8. Support the area. Not only when you are emptying your bowels, but it helps to support the area with your hand when you cough, sneeze or need to scream at your toddler for the 36216th time because he woke the baby up again.

9. Pretend it never happened. It's true. Ignorance is bliss. If you aren't down for the daily photos to see how healing is progressing, then just put the camera down. It can be scary, overwhelming and downright depressing knowing the extent of the damage, let alone seeing the extend of the damage. So just do all of the things to help speed up your recovery, but don't think too heavily on how she's lookin' down there. We promise, she will be back to her old self in no time!

10. Do those Kegels! The only thing worse than losing control over your own sleep routine is losing control of your bladder standing in the line at Woolies. Try to work Kegal exercises into your daily routine (LOL, routine?) to help build those perineal muscles back up!