Episiotomy is a surgical procedure for assisting childbirth. The surgery was a routine part of the childbirth procedure in the past, but it’s not performed that often these days. The following article provides information about the measures to be taken to accelerate the healing process after this surgery.
Episiotomy is a surgical procedure performed during childbirth wherein an incision is made in the perineum, which is the tissue between the vaginal opening and the anus. A surgical cut opens up the vagina so as to facilitate easy and fast labor. The surgery is performed in the second stage of labor. Earlier, about 40% of women in labor had to undergo this surgery. Nowadays, this surgery is performed only if there is no other alternative to accelerate the process of childbirth. It is chosen only in emergencies on account of painful recovery.
The perineal region stretches maximum when the baby is pushed out of the uterus. Often, the natural vaginal opening is not sufficient for the baby to come out fully. Sometimes, the baby is abnormally positioned or her shoulders might get stuck. In such cases, the vaginal opening needs to be enlarged by making a clean surgical cut in the perineum. The surgery can also be performed in certain scenarios which may need fast and quick labor.
For instance, some babies may get distressed and feel deprived of oxygen, due to which they need to be taken out as fast as possible. Besides this, the medical condition of the mother may also put restriction on the extent to which she can push the baby. Birth assisting techniques are used in such cases. An episiotomy is often performed to prevent excessive tearing of perineum during such difficult labor.
The surgery leads to some problems in women after childbirth. These include incontinence, short-term sexual dysfunction, etc. Besides this, the woman also has to endure a lot of pain and discomfort. Moreover, there is a risk of infection. However, one can minimize the pain and promote faster healing with proper care.
Women who have undergone this surgery are prescribed pain relievers like paracetamol. Analgesic creams are given to numb the pain and reduce inflammation. The medications should be taken under the supervision of a medical practitioner only. OTC pain relievers should not be taken.
Witch Hazel or Hemorrhoid Pads
Applying an ice pack is the simplest and best remedy to reduce the swelling and pain. Ice treatment should begin as soon as possible. However, ice should never be applied directly to the fresh wound, instead the ice cubes should be wrapped in a towel and compressed on the wound. Witch hazel and hemorrhoid pads are also a good option to accelerate the healing process. Change the pads whenever required, to maintain proper hygiene.
Soaking your body in a bathtub containing warm water, is also a good remedy for episiotomy wound. Sitz bath can offer even more comfort. One can also buy sitz bath with herbs which soothe the wound and heal it. Perfuming agents should not be used, as they can irritate the wound.
Maintaining good hygiene is of prime importance to avoid infections. Cotton panties should be worn throughout the recovery period, and they should be changed several times during a day. Lukewarm water can be used to disinfect the area after defecation and urination. Squirt water on the wound to reduce the sting while urinating.
The pelvic muscles can be strengthened by performing kegel exercises. Also, walking is the best exercise during the recovery period, as it encourages blood circulation to pelvic region, thereby promoting faster healing.
If proper care is taken, one can expect the wound to heal within a few weeks of the surgery.