Healing from a Tear Naturally
Giving birth is a very intensive process for mom, and during labor, either a natural tear or an episiotomy may occur. An episiotomy is a surgical incision to increase the vaginal opening, and it may be performed to help deliver the baby. After birth, there are many different options mom can use to give relief and help heal any tears or soreness.
It’s best to get clearance from your doctor or midwife before trying any of the following recommendations at home. If possible, have some of these options available in the third trimester so that once the baby is born, they are all ready to be used.
A sitz bath can be taken in a large basin or a bathtub. Epsom salt and non-iodized salt can be used in hot water to help soothe and heal the tissues. Add one to three tbsp into the bath. Soothing herbs can also be added into the sitz bath. These include lady mantle, chamomile, calendula, comfrey, lavender, oatmeal, yarrow, witch hazel, and rosemary. Combine equal parts of the herbs (in a mesh bag) into 2L of hot water. Let the mixture steep for 20 minutes before adding the steeped water to a full bathtub and soaking in it for 15 to 20 minutes. This can be done once or twice a day. There are also many herbal sitz baths options available online or ask your midwife for a supportive blend.
Sitz baths can also be taken with your newborn baby, as it can help them heal the cord and perineum quicker.
Frozen Sanitary Pads
Frozen pads are a great way to decrease inflammation and discomfort after birth. Spray a pad with water, witch hazel, or aloe vera gel until it is damp and place them in the freezer.
Peri Bottle and Cooling Spray
A peri bottle is an essential item in any birthing kit, although the hospital will usually send you home with one. Fill the bottle with warm water and a tbsp of witch hazel to help soothe and clean the area after visiting the washroom. After squeezing the contents of the peri bottle onto the area, it is important not to wipe just pat dry with toilet paper. Clean the peri bottle and replace the solution often. Mother Love Bottom Spray, New Mama Bottom Spray, and Earth Mama Organics New Mama Bottom Spray are all excellent premade options.
Combined with peri bottles and cooling sprays, bottom balms and cooling sprays are an excellent tool to speed recovery after birth. There are many great blends and herbal options available.
Use a donut cushion to comfortably sit on a chair, couch, or another surface while healing. Some women do prefer hard surfaces. Test both options to see what works best.
Kegels help increase blood flow in the peritoneum (the area between the vagina and the anus). The exercise brings nutrients and oxygen to the area promoting healing. Kegels are okay to start straight after birth.
*Seeing a pelvic floor specialist once the initial healing has taken place can be incredibly supportive for those dealing more aggressive tears.
Rest, Rest, and Rest
Before birth, have a support team ready to help. This could be your partner, your parents, your friends, or hired support. Let your support clean, cook, etc. With the right help, you can sleep when the baby sleeps. Rest is the best medicine for healing a wound after surgery.
Increase Fiber and Stay Hydrated
To help ease bowel movements after birth increase fiber in the diet. Pears, chia seeds, bananas, avocados, and dark leafy greens all contain high sources of fiber. Drinking three liters of water is crucial. If you are still having difficulty passing stools, take a magnesium supplement.
Consume Skin Healing Nutrients
Cysteine promotes skin elasticity and is essential for skin repair. Foods that contain high levels of cysteine include eggs, cottage cheese, yogurt, Brussels sprouts, red peppers, and onions.
Silica helps stimulate the elasticity, wound healing, and strengthening of the skin. Great dietary sources of silica are strawberries, garbanzo beans, green beans, dark leafy greens, cucumber, celery, asparagus, and mango.
Selenium prevents free radical damage and helps maintain skin elasticity. Consuming foods like brazil nuts, wheat germ, fish, garlic, and eggs.
Vitamin C is important for cell elasticity, regeneration, and integrity as well as stimulating the production of collagen. Eat papaya, red bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and strawberries to increase vitamin C and collagen production in the body. Do not supplement more than 1000 mg of vitamin C per day.
Vitamin E promotes wound healing. Increase foods like sunflower seeds, almonds, olives, and dark leafy greens in the diet.