How to Recover From a Perineal Tear

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You’re sleep-deprived, trying to figure out this whole nursing thing, your body is recovering from the trauma of birth, the hospital actually let you leave with this tiny human, and now you’re dealing with excruciating pain down under.

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Disclaimer: This is meant as general information, and is not medical or any other type of professional advice. If you have any medical questions or concerns, you should contact your health provider. Please see my Disclaimer for more information.

How can i protect that area?

I made “padsicles” when I first got home at the recommendation of a friend, and they were HORRIBLE! They were so bulky, and incredibly painful.

I complained about this to another friend, and she recommended Depends. Thank goodness because I started using them, and it was a MAJOR improvement.

The Depends were much thinner, but still very absorbent. I always put witch hazel on the Depends to help with irritation and to keep that area clean.

What can i use to provide pain relief?

These perineal cold packs were a necessity for me. It was one of the only things that provided some pain relief, plus it also helped with the swelling.

If you are giving birth at a hospital, you will most likely get cold packs there. However, when you run out, you may want to purchase more if necessary.

I’ve also heard that taking a warm sitz bath can help with the pain, but I can’t say from experience since I didn’t try it.

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How can i sit comfortably?

I tried numerous hemorrhoid cushions, and they all got returned. They were SO painful to sit on! I was desperate because I wanted to be able to sit down while eating, and occasionally when nursing.

I decided to try sitting on the Boppy Newborn Lounger, and it worked! It was the one item that allowed me to sit with the least amount of pain, which was quite a surprising added bonus.

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How do you stay clean down there?

One way to help recover from a perineal tear is to keep that area clean. Every time I went to the bathroom, I would always use a squeeze bottle to squirt warm water over that area.

This may go without saying, but it’s also a good idea to shower regularly.

How can you avoid straining that area?

You can cause strain your tear if you sit and stand for long periods of time. This is why nursing while lying down was a game-changer for me! Nursing while sitting down was so painful, and I think that side-lying breastfeeding allowed me to heal faster.

I always spread out one of her fleece blankets on the couch. I put her in the middle of the blanket on her side, facing me.

Then I would fold up the part of the blanket that was behind her until she had enough support that I didn’t need to hold her back to keep her propped on her side.

I would lay down on my side, and position my bottom arm so it was lightly touching the top of her head and my hand was slightly curved around her back without touching it.

I would adjust the height of my breast so my nipple aligned exactly with her mouth. I would put my nipple on her mouth, and then she would latch.

What else can i do to help that area heal?

Expose that area to air! My mom came over three times per week to watch my baby so I could get some sleep. When taking naps, I would lay multiple towels on my bed and sleep completely naked from the waist down. This felt really good, and I think it helped me to heal faster.

What helped you to recover from a perineal tear? Please share in the comments below!

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