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Mothering › Groups › September 2011 Birth Club › Discussions › What's "normal" after a vaginal birth?

What's "normal" after a vaginal birth?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi ladies,

I'm hoping y'all can help me out. Almost 4 weeks ago, I had a VBAC with new DS--yah! I am wondering what things are supposed to feel like down below now... I had second degree tearing and my mw spent quite a while stitching things up. I think that has healed up ok, but I am still frequently getting the feeling like something's falling out my vagina--that feeling like when a tampon is slipping down. I mentioned it to my mw at my 2-week appt, and she said it was probably just stuff getting shifted back where it goes and to do kegels and let her know if it was still bad in a couple of weeks. I do think it's gotten better, but I still notice it if I do any kind of walking/activity beyond bare day-to-day stuff, especially if I do much lifting (my toddler or baby in carseat). So is this normal or should I be worried? I'm terrified something is prolapsed (I had a very fast pushing stage, side-lying with one leg waaay back--not ideal!), so I would love to hear this is totally normal so I could stop worrying.
post #2 of 10
I have same thing including second degree tear ad super-fast pushing! Although I had forceps, too.

At 5 weeks I am feeling better. Walked quite a bit today and didn't notice it at all. I poked my fingers in there and my vagina feels different and a little less roomy but other than that it all seems to be working okay. My OB checked at 2 weeks and I have no bladder or cervical prolapse.

My stitches separated and my OB thinks that might be what I'm feeling, but I'm not sure...

Good luck--I will ask more about it at my 6 week follow up.
post #3 of 10

I had a second degree epis with my first (and vacuum to boot) and I honestly don't remember what it felt like those first few weeks, but this time around I only had a 1st degree tear (along the old epis scar). I'm about 5 1/2 weeks now and I don't really feel anything out of the ordinary. It felt like you are describing for a few weeks though, including sort of a squishy-type feeling down there. Everything gets rearranged during childbirth and it certainly gets moved out of the way during a vaginal birth. I had about two weeks where anytime I went to the bathroom (#1 or #2) it felt like my insides were completely bruised and super, super achy. That subsided. Kegels are a huge help! My doula reassured me that was a normal feeling too.

post #4 of 10
A mild prolapse is normal after a vaginal delivery. I read a study recently where they discovered prolapses in 90+% of women 6 months postpartum. My guess is that things are sagging a little and you can feel it because your vagina is still sensitive and probably quite dry from breastfeeding. I would avoid lifting your baby in a carseat (it can be done!). I always take a wrap with me when I go out and just pop the baby in. Lifting a carseat is especially hard on your pelvic floor and back, whereas a baby in a wrap distributes the weight more evenly. Above all, don't freak put! You're fine! It takes at least a year for your vagina to get back to some semblance of normal after childbirth.
Some really useful resources are...
www.hab-it.com. She's a physical therapist and has an awesome DVD. It's amazing! All women should own this video.

www.katysays.com. She's a biomechanic and has a lot of great info. Read her blog entry titled "you don't know squat"

I've also hear really good things about a program called pfilates. It's pilates exercises that strengthen the pelvic floor.

An awesome book you should check out is "ever since I had my baby" by Dr Roger Goldberg. He tells you the truth about your postpartum vagina and pelvic floor. It's extremely refreshing!

What I find frustrating is that no one talks about this stuff! Are women just embarrassed or do they not pay any attention to their lady bits. I can't figure it out!
post #5 of 10

I had that feeling for the longest time, and still do if I've really overdone it, I'm at 8, almost 9 weeks pp.  It doesn't help matters that I have on and off eczema there so I get even more dry and sore.  I haven't worried about it at all though because it's getting better all the time, so I figure as long as it's getting better it's ok.  My midwife checked my muscle tone at 6 weeks PP and said it was really good.  She did advise that every woman should see a pelvic floor specialist when you're done having kids so you don't have to deal with incontinence issues when you're older, regarldess of how many kegals you do it's never enough. 

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Phew--y'all have made me feel so much better!! I'm so glad to know that this feeling, while uncomfortable, is apparently normal. I've been confused because I really felt better in terms of walking after my c/s (after the first week or so) than after this birth and I'm used to hearing about mom's feeling great and being back at life full-speed after their vaginal births. Thank you for setting my mind at ease!
post #7 of 10

Oh Konayossi thank you so much for posting this question! I've been freaking out the last couple of days because I feel it MORE now (though DH thinks I only feel it because the rest of me isn't in pain anymore!). Scottishmommy, those are awesome links! Good to know it's all within the realm of normal. I broke out a mirror (sorry, might be TMI) last night, hoping to see what in the world was going on, and all I could see was vaginal wall at the opening, I'm guessing still just swelling from my second degree tear (man, those seem popular...)?


Ugh, I will admit that I did not love being pregnant, found nothing wonderful about labor (especially considering how far off the mark everything was for me), and have struggled with BF and being a mom to this little boy. Just in the last week have I begun to feel human again and fallen in LOVE with DS. I guess the higher he expectations, the harder you fall right?

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Mama2ChicknLil View Post

I broke out a mirror (sorry, might be TMI) last night, hoping to see what in the world was going on, and all I could see was vaginal wall at the opening, I'm guessing still just swelling from my second degree tear (man, those seem popular...)?

Ha, ha I totally have thought about looking with a mirror but am too chicken! I made the mistake of feeling of DS's head while he was crowning and still haven't recovered from the trauma of how crazy-strange everything felt down there! Glad to know I prolly wouldn't see anything ...
post #9 of 10
Don't do it konayossi...it's not likely to make you feel better! That 6 weeks thing is a real load isn't it?
post #10 of 10
Don't break out a mirror! There is a reason you can't see your vagina! Trust me, it probably looks like a hot mess down there. I looked with DD1 and I seriously couldn't tell what was what. It was a mass of flesh. Gross! This time it actually isn't as bad.

Get some replens, or other long lasting vaginal moisturizers. I think part of the problem is that after birth your tissues sag a little and because you are so dry they rub together and get stuck. It makes sense right? If you are moist in the vaginal area the tissues will glide over each other better and not feel "stuck".

Also, when you poop, try putting your feet up on a stool and get your knees as close to your chest as possible. Make sure your lower back is in a c shape. This straightens out your rectum so there isn't a kink in it. Any left over poop in your rectum is going to add to that feeling of pressure. I actually went ahead and ordered a thing called "the squaty potty", which is a fancy stool that helps you squat over a western toilet. It's also supposed to be a great potty training tool.

You also want to make sure that your bladder is emptying fully. I tend to lean forward after I pee just to make sure more comes out. Glamorous, right?

I also really, really recommend looking into the hab-it DVD. That woman is awesome, and the exercises are great. It will really help get everything back in place!

Above all, don't worry! I worried so much about my vagina after DD1. I finally saw a urogyn who was like, "you have a mommy vagina". They weren't terribly impressed! They did recommend physical therapy and it helped a lot. They assured me that I was normal for a parous woman. I do have an unusual injury from my first birth called a perineocele. It's quite uncommon and most likely happened because the obgyn didn't repair my perineum correctly and i had bronchitis during and after the birth. Hello popping stitches! Oh well....vaginoplasty in 10 years!
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