Passing an 8 lb human through a small space will definitely cause some degree of trauma to the vaginal tissue. This can range from swelling to large tears of the tissue. While it is always important to follow your health care provider’s medical advice for your specific condition, here are some ideas to help speed recovery.
A wonderful way to cleanse and soothe sore vaginal tissue. Combine several of the herbs listed below and store in a jar. When ready to use, add 1 cup of herbs to 6 quarts of boiling water. Allow the herbs to steep for 2 hours. Strain herbs and place the remaining liquid into a shallow warm bath with 1 cup epsom salt. You can sit in the bath until the water cools or add a little cool water to end the bath.
Calendula- antimicrobial, soothing, anti-inflammatory
Comfrey- promotes tissue healing
Lavender- antimicrobial, relaxing
Uva ursi- antimicrobial
Sheppard’s purse- hemostatic
Alternating hot (not scalding) and cold therapy is an effective way to increase circulation to the vaginal tissue and bring needed nutrients to help new tissue grow and heal. The simplest way to do hydrotherapy is to end your showers with cold (or cool) water, with special attention to the pelvic area. If you’ve got a bit more time (which is a new mother luxury), you can repeat the cycle of hot and cold 3 times. Use warm water for 1 minute followed by cold water for 30 seconds to the pelvis, repeat 3 times, always ending with cold.
Not just for urinary incontinence, kegels increase circulation to the pelvis. Increased blood flow and lymphatic (immune system) flow can help promote healing while helping your body fight microbes that could cause infection. Performing kegels early in postpartum can also help you maintain muscle tone and reduce the risk of other complications, such as incontinence or organ prolapse.
Initially, maintaining muscle contraction or even initiating kegels may prove to be difficult, but stick with it. The goal is to work up to 8-10 repetitions with a contraction of 5-10 seconds, 2-3 times daily. Sometimes the muscles have difficulty performing a balanced and uniform contraction or their may be pain associated with it. Seeing a health care provider who can help reduce muscle tension and pain can help you be more effective with these exercises. To learn more about these therapies and what they can offer click here and here.
For some women, time and a little TLC is enough to heal. However, there are many women who are left with residual pain, scar tissue or other unpleasant issues in their pelvic floor following vaginal delivery. If you are experiencing any unwanted symptoms following the birth of your child, I invite you to contact me to discuss how I may be able to help you restore your body.