Caring For Mom

Natural Delivery:
  • Healing from an episiotomy
  • What is an episiotomy? Definitions of episiotomy on the Web.  Is a cut made in the skin between the birth canal and the anus. This area of skin is called the perineum. The cut is made so the baby can be delivered more easily.

Hopefully you will not have to have an episiotomy as this is a practice not used very often anymore. You will only find that this method is used when a mother is more than likely going to tear very badly during the birth of her newborn. Otherwise, chances are - this will not be something you will have to worry about having done.

I did have this procedure done on me for the birth of my first daughter and it was not even necessary; however, at that time it was still a much used preventative method. I was given a sterile hospital water bottle and a pain reliever that I applied directly to the wound. Think of hair mousse and how it foams out. It was very similar to that and it indeed did relieve the itching and pain from the stitches and pain. The doctor also suggested I take sitz baths to help speed up the healing process. Lastly, there is a no "sex until fully healed rule" to prevent tearing up the stitches and reopening the wound; which wasn't a problem since it would be painful anyways. I hated to have to go number two as this caused pain, so I had to take laxatives or eat/drink more fiber. And, the healing process took about 2-3 weeks for things to start to get back to normal for me.

So, in the mean time, lots of water bottle cleaning, foam treatments, and a few sitz baths, pain when going to the bathroom - even urinating was painful due to the acidicness in the urine.

As you can see the doctors had to weigh the risks and worth of this method when giving birth and it has been ruled that it is not needed unless there is no question the mother will tear badly. If a mom will only tear slightly or not at all - doctors will not perform this minor surgery as it has been found that the mother heals better without it.

Check out this great article for more information:

  • When to call the doctor

  • Source: You should call your doctor about your postpartum health if you:
    • experience an unexplained fever of 100.4° Fahrenheit (38° Celsius) or above
    • soak more than one sanitary napkin an hour, pass large clots, or if the bleeding level increases
    • had a C-section or episiotomy and the incision becomes more red or swollen or drains pus
    • have new pain, swelling, or tenderness in your legs
    • have hot-to-the-touch, reddened, sore breasts or any cracking or bleeding from the nipple or areola (the dark-colored area of the breast)
    • find your vaginal discharge has become foul-smelling
    • have painful urination or a sudden urge to urinate or inability to control urination
    • have increasing pain in the vaginal area
    • develop a cough or chest pain, nausea, or vomiting
    • become depressed or experience hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, or any thoughts of harming your baby

    • Healing from a C-section
    • I have not had a c-section and cannot provide any personal knowledge. So, I did some online research and found this wonderful site it’s easy to read and does not have all kinds of ads causing you to have to go through 5 pages to read one article. :)

      This site even has support web links and 800#'s!
    • When to call the doctor
    • Source: from the above link
      • Any bleeding in your incision. It can mean the surgical stitches have separated.
      • Unrelieved pain, or if the pain has increased.
      • Pus, leaking, redness and swelling in your incision, which can indicate an infection.
      • A fever can also suggest an infection, most likely in your incision.
      • Pain or cramping in your arms or legs that will not go away is a serious symptom and can suggest the presence of a blood clot. Other symptoms can include sudden swelling in the arm or leg, red or discolored skin, and skin that is warm to the touch.
      • Continuous headaches, dizziness or back pain could suggest after-effects of the anesthesia used during surgery.
      • Symptoms of postpartum depression can include tearfulness, anxiety, appetite changes, sleep problems, extreme fatigue, and difficulty focusing your thoughts, among others.

    • Weight loss
    • It may come to a surprise to many of you - but weight loss after birth is not as hard as many are told it is. Bottom line - if you took care of yourself and didn't overeat during your pregnancy and you opt-in to breastfeeding the pounds will just fall off very quickly as the baby nurses them away, plus nursing also stimulates the uterus healing, a faster shrinking uterus = smaller waistline sooner.

      One reason a woman may have trouble losing weight after birth is due to the fact she thought she was eating for two and figured she had to eat double of everything. When the truth is you're not eating for two full grown adults - you really only need about an extra 300 calories a day for most single birth healthy pregnancies; which is equal to about adding one cream cheese bagel to your menu a day. Seems odd, but it is true. Talk with your OB/Gyn or midwife on what is best for you and your baby.

      If you want to be pre-pregnancy weight or better, less than a year after the birth of your child, stick to a healthy diet and do not give into unhealthy cravings.

      Here are some healthy fixes that you can substitute your sinful cravings with: source: Ice cream - opt for a nice cold fruit smoothie, non-fat frozen yogurt, sherbet/sorbet or popsicle; Cola/Soda - flavored seltzer, mineral water with fruit juice or lime juice; Doughnuts and pastries - whole-grain bagels or toasted bread with jam; Potato chips - low-fat or baked chips, pretzels or light microwave popcorn; Chocolate - have a few squares only, chocolate milk, fat-free hot cocoa or make some trial mix with a small handful of chocolate chips, dried fruits and nuts; and, Cakes and cookies - low-fat banana-nut or zucchini bread or try an Angel food cake topped with fresh strawberries, Graham crackers with a little peanut butter.

      Suggestions to control your cravings: Cravings lose their intensity while the pregnancy progresses. But here are some ways to help you manage your food yearnings: 1. Eat breakfast everyday to lessen the intensity of your cravings. 2. Understand your cravings to help find healthier substitutes for your food urges. Try to take time breaking your cravings down: What are you longing for: something cold, smooth, creamy, and sweet? This will aid you in identifying more nutritional substitutes. 3. Keep a food diary and review whether you're eating a balanced diet or not. 4. Work out to help you curb hunger. 5. Have lots of emotional support from loved ones. 6. Think small in terms of the amount of intake. 7. Always consult your doctor. While pregnant, keep in mind that this is no time for dieting but a time to experiment with foods and make eating fun as it should be. Have assortment in your foods, balance your diet well, and make eating fun, not weird.

      Lastly: Check out this site: Top Ten Ways to lose Unwanted Pregnancy Weight

    • Bleeding and Abdomen Healing
    • Abdomen pain after birth is generally normal and isn't usually that painful. It is just spasms from your abdomen contracting to allow your body to go back to its smaller shape. With the baby out of your body, there is no need for your abdomen to be stretched that large and so the inner healing process begins. Read More from this site.....

      If you gave birth vaginally you will have bleeding for about 2-3 weeks - to learn more go here....

    • Sleeping right
    • Ahhh... rest after having a baby - lol is this even possible! Yes it is! But, you need to be in control and work out a family and you schedule. If you have a partner in your life, it helps if they contribute to the schedule when they are home.

      Also, it is not just as important that you get much needed rest, it is also as important the baby get rest too. So, family just dropping by is not ok. Pre-make out a family visiting schedule and if you have to post a laminated copy on the front door. This way if someone decides to drop in during the day when you and baby are taking your much needed nap they can see your sign stating, “- no visitors during such and such times - as baby and mommy are taking their naps". You may also include - this means you too "Nana" or so and so, if you have one of those overbearing "rules don't apply to them" family members. You can even make it to where it shows when the visiting hours are.

      Get some great tips here:

    • Eating Right
    • Eat healthy, balanced meals My recommendation is to eat good balanced meals that include fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish or poultry, and low-fat or non-fat dairy products (your body will need lots of calcium). --S. Angel, R.D., M.Sc.

      Try sticking to only fruits and vegetables most of the week and "fleshy" meats only twice a week. I try very hard to make the effort to eat mostly fish and chicken when I do eat meats. --iVillager

    • Post Partum Depression
    • Are mood changes common after childbirth? After having a baby, many women have mood swings. One minute they feel happy, the next minute they start to cry. They may feel a little depressed, have a hard time concentrating, lose their appetite or find that they can't sleep well even when the baby is asleep. These symptoms usually start about 3 to 4 days after delivery and may last several days.

      If you're a new mother and have any of these symptoms, you have what are called the baby blues. The baby blues are considered a normal part of early motherhood and usually go away within 10 days after delivery. However, some women have more severe symptoms or symptoms that last longer than a few days. This is called postpartum depression. Read more......