Childbirth is so amazing. For approximately fourteen days your vagina and bum hole will basically be inside out.
Labour and delivery. All you ever hear about is labour and delivery. How did it happen? How long were you in labour? How long did you push for? Did your water break? Did you get an epidural? When you’re pregnant, you’re most anxious about labour and delivery. That’s what we all see in movies. It looks scary. It sounds scary. Like, a little human is going to burst through your vagina. That’s f*cking crazy. Labour and delivery is pretty intense and it is a big deal. I think it’s normal to be anxious about it and I’m not trying to minimize what labour and delivery is. BUT, I wish there was more talk about the physical struggles women have AFTER taking baby home. Keep in mind this blog post is being written based on my own experiences and what worked for me. I hope some of these products and tips bring some comfort to your nether-regions. And, if you’ve given birth and have a favourite product or postpartum tip, please write about it in the comments.
If the products and tips in this blog post can bring even a little bit of comfort or a speedier recovery to your busted up vagina and bum hole then, I’ve succeeded.
I’m writing this blog post to shed light on what it’s like AFTER labour and delivery and to give some helpful tips for women who are expecting. Specifically, I’m writing about the first two weeks postpartum (give or take a few days). You know, those fourteen days where your vagina and bum-hole (yes, I say bum hole because I don’t like the word anus) are basically inside out.
THE POSTPARTUM GOING PEE ROUTINE.
- Frida Upside Down Peri Bottle: This bottle is so much better than the one they give you at the hospital (that is, if your hospital even gives you one). Keep it beside your toilet. Luckily for me I could reach the sink from my toilet so, I would let the water run until it was warm and fill up my bottle while I was peeing (it’s called multitasking people). After I finished peeing I would spray with the warm water to clean myself. You can’t just wipe willy nilly. It’s like a bad car accident down there. After spraying I would very gently just tap the areas around the car accident with tissue. Some women can experience serious burning when they pee postpartum. If that’s the case for you, you’ll want to make sure you have the bottle filled up before you pee and spray it on your hoo-ha as you pee. This will really ease the burning.
- Hair Dryer with a COLD button: Keep a hair dryer on your counter that has a cold air function. Where I lived, the health unit calls women a couple days after they’ve given birth to check in on how things are going. So, when this lady called and we were chatting, she mentioned that I should try using a hair dryer with cold air to dry myself after I pee. You want to keep your nether regions dry and have air flow to promote healing. This piece of advice was life changing. I wish I knew who this lady was that called me. I would like to send her flowers. So, you’ve peed. You’ve sprayed. And now you’re blow drying your crotch for 10-20 seconds. So good!
- Earth Mama Perineal Spray: Now that you’re dry and standing half naked in the bathroom. Spray on some of this perineal spray. Feels so nice. Not only does it feel amazing, it contains ingredients that promote healing! I would usually let the spray air dry but if you wanna bust out the dryer for a second time, by all means.
- Earth Mama Perineal Balm: Now, imagine this. Your lips (on your mouth) are insanely dry and chapped and you apply a luxurious lip balm that contains a little bit of peppermint in it. Is there anything that feels better? YES! Applying this balm to your busted up crotch! It is cooling, promotes healing, and feels so, so, so, so nice. Two of my best friends are currently pregnant and I bought them both this balm!
OTHER THINGS TO HAVE ON HAND POSTPARTUM
- TUCKS Medicated Cooling Pads: These are nice to have next to your toilet as well. Sometimes I would pat these all over after I peed and sprayed with warm water. They are cold and full of good stuff. I believe you can find them at Walmart.
- Pee pads (yes, the ones for dogs): We have two dogs who use pee pads instead of going outside. It’s a long story. But anyways, my sister (who is a nurse) had a genius idea! The day after giving birth she set me up on our pull out couch with pee pads. Remember that keeping the area dry and having air flow is best for healing. So, I would sit without pants or underwear or pads or diapers, etc. (all of which are super irritating for your inside out crotch) on the pee pads with a blanket over me and watch Netflix and breastfeed and whatever. And incase you’re wondering why you’d have to sit on pee pads, you will be bleeding… A LOT. You may think sitting on doggy pee pads sounds weird but JUST DO IT! I sat like this whenever I could. And yes this, among many other things, is why I didn’t want visitors for a few weeks after giving birth.
- The biggest blackest underwear you can find (one million pairs): I bought SO many and I needed them! Once you transition from diapers to underwear and pads, you’ll want to have a ton of big black undies. If you’re like most women, you will bleed for A WHILE. Not just for the two weeks postpartum I’m focusing on here. So, stock up! Full disclosure, I still wear these underwear all the time. They’re just so comfy. Sue me. When I feel fancy I’ll put on my Victoria’s Secret full bum coverage panties (panties is such a weird word).
- Old Towels: This is handy if you’re bleeding heavily. You might as well throw some towels down and save yourself the headache of getting blood on your sheets.
- Depends Silhouette Underwear: Some might call these slim fitting diapers. Regardless, they are super comfortable. WAY more comfortable, in my opinion, than wear a massive pad. I went through lots of these. They are marketed as being for urinary incontinence, but, they should definitely be tapping into the postpartum market!!
- Pads (massive ones to tiny ones): When you’re making the transition from your little diapers to pads you want to make sure you have all different sizes. As your bleeding slows down you will move to lighter and lighter pads. I went through a ton of the little panty liner things because the super light bleeding lasted forever for me. I find pads insanely uncomfortable, so usually at night I opted to sleep in either a Depends (if bleeding was heavy) or just go bare (when bleeding was lighter) and sleep on towels. The more your vagina breathes, the better!!
- Loose Pants: Everyone loves leggings and they are so comfortable. You probably wore them your whole pregnancy but, postpartum is NOT the time nor the place to wear leggings. You want the loosest pants you can find. Thin material would be best. I had an amazing pair of baggy harem-type pants that I wore over and over. The less material and pressure you have in your crotch area, the better!
- Earth Mama Sitz Bath: I went over the pee routine above and it may have left you wondering “Renee, what do I do if I go for a poop!?” The first poop is SO scary. UGH, you just can’t imagine trying to push and get something else to exit your body down there. Like, it already feels like your vagina and bum-hole are falling out of you, so, why would you push!!!? It’s going to be okay. Women are typically advised to take a stool softener postpartum to make this whole poop process easier. After you go once you’ll feel better about it, I promise. If you go thru the pee routine and still feel dirty or upset down there, you can try having a sitz bath. If you don’t have a bath tub, they do sell little bum baths for this purpose. See what I am talking about here. Amazon has everything! I put these sitz bath salts from Earth Mama in my bath tub, filled it just a little bit with warm water, and sat there until I felt satisfied. The postpartum pee and poo routines are kind of like selecting a carwash as the gas station. Like, can I get by with a Basic Wash (pee routine) or do I need the Ultra Wash (pee routine + sitz bath)?
- Heating pads: Your body will feel like it was hit by a truck. For me, my neck and lower back were the sorest they have ever been! I lived with a heating pad on. Usually a bean bag/rice bag pack on my neck and an electric one on my lower back. It helps soothe the pain so much. Many women get intense upper back and neck pain from breastfeeding. Stop looking down at your damn baby! I know, it’s hard. It’s literally what I’m doing in the two photos below. But, I’m doing it with a heating pad on my neck!
There you have it folks. This blog post is focused on your vagina and healing in the first two weeks postpartum. Keep in mind there is a lot of other shit going on. Like, breastfeeding, trying to figure out baby gadgets and breast pumps, Googling every f*cking thing your baby does, trying to keep visitors away (was that just me?), posting on social media (obvi), not sleeping, sterilizing EVERYTHING several hundred times a day, milking yourself, trying to keep up with personal hygiene, etc. It’s a crazy time! So, if the products and tips in this blog post can bring even a little bit of comfort or a speedier recovery to your busted up vagina and bum hole then, I’ve succeeded.