If you have had a vaginal birth your bum may be sore — back and front! — and there will a lot of bloody discharge (even if you have had a C-Section) . You will now see why you need those giant maternity pads!
Tips For A Sore Bum:
- NB: While it is often recommended, some carers, including the early-discharge home team at Ireland’s National Maternity Hospital, now advise against using tea tree oil when you have stitches. Instead, mothers are advised to bathe daily in warm tap water, change pads regularly, and begin pelvic floor exercises
- If you do not have stitches try and make sure that you have two warm baths a day containing a few drops of tea tree oil if you wish. This keeps any grazes clean and prevents infection; it soothes the area so that it feels less painful; and even more important it gives you 15 minutes for yourself during these first few days which will seem to be a constant round of feeding and changing. Unfortunately this may not be possible in some hospitals, so start when you get home.
- What you can do, in hospital or at home, is to get a mineral water bottle with a sports-top (squirty top) and leave it in your toilet bag, or on the cistern. Fill this with warm water (and a drops of tea tree oil if you wish) and wash yourself down each time you use the toilet. Make sure you circulate the water around your bottom. If you find your bum becomes excoriated or feels scalded stop using the tea tree oil, as you may be having a reaction to it, or are using too much.
- If you do not have a bath at home pharmacies in many countries stock “Sitz baths” which sit on top of your toilet so you can bath your perineum. Ensure that you keep this meticulously clean.
- Your perineum may be swollen after the birth. To soothe it tear open one end of a maternity pad and thread a frozen (and unopened) “Mr. Freeze” cool pop into the pad. Place it against your bum. For added comfort keep your maternity pads in the freezer. You can now also buy gel packs designed for soothing the perineum area.
- If you have stitches ensure you keep your bottom dry in between washing. Either pat it gently with a soft towel or dry it with a hairdryer on a cool setting. A wet scar will take longer to heal.
- Arnica is a homeopathic remedy used for bruising, which a lot of women seem to find helpful after birth. Tablets are available in most pharmacies.
- Do not be afraid of sitting on your bum. Sitting on your stitches will not harm them. You may find the pain increasing up to day 5 as the tissues heal, but it should lessen after that. Don’t forget to take pain relief.
- Some women prefer to sit on a swimming ring or breastfeeding cushion, so as not to sit directly on the perineum. You can also buy or hire“donut” or “valley” cushions especially designed to ease a sore perineum.
- If the pain in your perineum increases after day 5 or you begin to get a bad odour from the area, then this may signal an infection. Contact your hospital or doctor, as you may need antibiotics. If after a week to 10 days your bottom seems slow to heal“go commando” - sleep without underwear to allow air at the vaginal area – and seek advice from your midwife or doctor.
“Back home, in the days after the birth I found myself getting back on my birthing ball to take pressure off my sore bottom. And my baby also enjoyed the motion of being rocked back and forward.”
“I had an epidural and delivered on my back. My coccyx was bruised during labour and I found it very difficult to sit down. My husband came home with an inflatable child’s swimming ring as a joke — but it actually meant I could sit without putting any pressure on my tailbone. What a relief”
“I had a lot of stitches. My partner got me a wheelchair cushion from a medical suppliers. It was the only thing I could sit on for weeks.”