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Pain management after an episiotomy

An episiotomy or perineotomy is not a pleasant experience, especially during the first month after your baby's birth when your incision is healing. We’re sorry mum, we hate to be the bearers of bad news.

While recovering from an episiotomy most mothers report having constant pain in the location of the incision, pain when they go to the bathroom and for several months afterward pain during sex. On the plus side, only one in every 100 women report having unbearable pain, which means there is a very good chance it will not interrupt your daily activities, which, if we’re being honest, will be very baby-centred. Regardless, no one likes pain, so here are some helpful tips for dealing with it, especially when it does interrupt your daily activities.

Managing the pain:

  1. Over the counter painkillers are always a good first port of call, but avoid aspirin if you’re breastfeeding. Some doctors may prescribe epifoam or codeine if you’re experiencing severe pain, this may disrupt breastfeeding, but check with your physician.
  2. Sitting on a doughnut shaped cushion so there is no pressure on the incision.
  3. Placing ice on the incision for a few minutes several times throughout the day can be very soothing. However, make sure you wrap the ice in something, such as a tea towel, as direct contact between the ice and the incision can cause infection.
  4. If going to the bathroom is too much pain to bare, take a laxative to ease the process.
  5. During the first 4-6 months after giving birth, many physicians suggest opting for alternative methods of sexual intercourse that do not include penetration, such as mutual masturbation, because an episiotomy does make sex quite painful. When you do choose to return to penetrative sex lubrication is a must as the scar from your incision causes severe dryness.

Hope these tips help!