There's a common misconception that all childbirth-related aches start and end, well, at childbirth. However, millions of mothers across the globe may beg to differ. While it's true that labour pain will stop right after mom's welcomed her bundle of joy, the area can stay sore for many, many days. Some women might even experience perineal tears, which can and will extend their recovery time.
But how long does it take for a perineal tear to heal? Every woman's body is different, and recovery time varies from one person to another. It could be anywhere between four to six weeks, and that's where cold and hot perineum pads come in handy. Read on to learn when to use these pregnancy must-haves for every expecting mother.
Repeat After Us: Per-Uh-Nee-Uhm
Who knew the soft tissue that connects the anus and the vaginal opening had a name. It's called the perineum, and it's surrounded by many important nerves, muscles, and organs. During labour and delivery, this area has to endure a lot of stress. It's not uncommon for all the pushing and stretching to take a tall on it, causing some rips on its delicate skin.
Perineum tears can range from first to fourth degree depending on their severity. Typically, it's nothing that a stitch or two won't fix. In fact, many women only experience a few minor skin cuts. These superficial lesions can be left alone since they don't need much treatment — other than keeping them clean, of course. Only 3.5 out of 100 women will sustain serious sphincter injuries that require surgical intervention.
Preventing Perineal Tears
By now, you might be wondering, "how do I stop perineal tears?" There's no bulletproof way to do so. However, you can reduce the risk by massaging the area daily in the final month of your pregnancy. You could also try using a birth trainer a few weeks before your due date. During childbirth, the following actions might help as well:
- Pick a comfortable delivery position.
- Keep your perineum warm using a pad or a compress.
- Consider using a birthing tub.
Healing Perineal Tears
If you get one of those dreaded slits regardless of the prevention measures mentioned above, don't fret. It's absolutely natural, and with the proper follow-up care, you'll be good as new in no time. But how do you heal a perineal tear? First and foremost, you'll always need to obey your ob-gyn's instructions. Remember, they have tons of experience and know what's best for you.
Some additionals steps you can take to expedite your recovery are:
- Use hot and cold pads to soothe the discomfort in your perineal area.
- Ask your doctor if you can use a numbing cream or spray.
- Take sit baths in a shallow tub of warm water.
- Avoid toilet paper. Instead, use a peri bottle to keep the area clean.
- Don't rub the area. Pat dry using a clean gauze or a sanitary wipe.
Where to Get Your Pregnancy Essentials?
Perineal tears are a usual concern for expecting moms everywhere. You can only do so much to prevent them, but there are several alternatives to help you heal them faster. If you're looking for cold and hot pads and other pregnancy must-haves, visit BellyBands. We have a wide variety of products to give you comfort and peace of mind.