Episiotomy after birth: how to heal faster
An episiotomy is a deliberate incision made in the stretched perineum and vagina to prevent uncontrolled tearing of the mother's tissues as the baby's head is delivered. It used to be thought that an episiotomy not only prevented extensive tears of the perineum but also the development of vaginal prolapse in later life. Since the evidence for the latter is now doubtful, episiotomies are no longer performed routinely.
The most common concerns about episiotomies are how much they will hurt afterward and how long they will take to heal. The reality is that they are painful, particularly on the second or third day after the birth, when the stitches often feel tight and uncomfortable. This is the result of the body's natural healing response, which inevitably causes swelling of the traumatized tissues.
Much relief can be obtained from placing ice packs against the episiotomy area and using an inflated rubber ring to sit on. However, the vagina has an excellent blood supply and most cuts will heal in one to two weeks as long as the area is kept as clean and dry as possible.
Regular warm baths will help relieve discomfort. It is not necessary to add disinfectant solutions and it is important to avoid highly perfumed soaps and oils, which can irritate the healing wound.
I would sit there and just rinse and rinse and rinse with the warmest water I could stand. It made the area feel SO much better.