I have never had a baby, but when I had my anus removed, they cut me open exactly the same way they would if you had an episiotomy. My doctor told me that the incision was similar to a 4th. degree episiotomy tear, so that is long and painful! I was very sore for about 2-3 weeks. I was still using a wheelchair full-time back then and it hurt to sit down all day long.
One thing the hospital did for me after surgery was they used these special maxi pads that had ice pack solution in them. They snapped them open like an ice pack and I wore one with disposable panties (they borrowed all of this from the labor and delivery floor, from what a nurse told me). These were a godsend! Later, when I came home, my caregiver did something similar with Natracare long maxi pads. She put witch hazel and bottled water mixed together on the pad and froze several of them. I would change them every couple of hours. They made sitting down much more bearable. The witch hazel also reduced swelling a great deal as well.