Getting Around, Bathing, C-Section, Hygiene and Episotomy

Getting around on your own

It is best to get up and move around soon after giving birth, but exactly when you start depends on the particular type of birth you had and anesthesia that was used for your labor and birth. Moving around minimizes the risk of blood clots in veins of your pelvis and lower extremities. It also helps with better bladder and bowel function.

Hygiene and Episiotomy

Change your sanitary pads frequently to absorb the discharge and avoid infection. The perineum should be rinsed and cleaned with lukewarm water 2 to 3 times daily and after urination and bowel movements. Use a hand-held shower, a squeeze bottle or sitz bath to cleanse the episiotomy.

The occasional use of antiseptic spray or antibiotic cream may provide relief. Use moist antiseptic towelettes or toilet paper in a patting motion to dry the perineum. Washing or wiping should occur from front to back to prevent contamination of the birth canal and avoid potential infection. The episiotomy will heal quickly if kept clean and dry.

Mothers with a cesarean birth

Keep your incision clean and dry as instructed by your healthcare team. Please call if it becomes red, swollen, tender, warm to the touch or if it is draining.

Bathing

Showers are usually fine as soon as you can walk postpartum. Sitz or tub baths are generally safe after the second day. They are soothing to many mothers who have a sore bottom, had an episiotomy or because of lochia discharge. Vaginal douching is not recommended until after your postpartum check-up.