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Mothering › Groups › October 2013 Due Date Club › Discussions › What REALLY happens to your lady parts after birth??

What REALLY happens to your lady parts after birth??

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I am freaking out about this. We're planning a natural birth at home and I fully intend on doing all preventative measures to prevent tearing like perineal massage from 33-34 weeks on, pc muscle exercises, and breathing the baby out slowly... but I am still scared of what my vulva is going to look like and feel like after pushing a baby out of it. Sex is sooooooooo important in a partnership and i don't want to be self-conscious to the point of not wanting sex, or to have to spend a ridiculous amount of time building my pelvic floor muscles back up so that sex feels good (for me and my partner). I have a friend who didn't want sex for almost 2 years after baby because that's how long it took for her hormones to give her her libido back (breastfeeding killed it she says) and for her to feel like her pelvic floor was toned enough to enjoy sex and feel confident. I have another friend who had a natural childbirth and tore and described the healing process graphically.... UGH. And then there's the whole issue with perineal tenderness and soreness/going to the bathroom after...

 

BTDT moms-- what was your experience healing after natural childbirth?? 

post #2 of 10

Every woman is very different so you can get 10000 different anecdotes but they are just that-anecdotes.  However, given your age and fitness level, (same as mine when I had my sons) you have ever reason to be optimistic that you will recover nicely.  Hormones making sex not interesting for however many months is certainly something you will just have to wait and see how it pans out.....

post #3 of 10

I was 30 when I had DS but I was in good shape and we spent the third trimester diligently doing perineal massage...

I still had a 2nd degree labial tear (sutures failed so it took an extra long time to heal) and a prolapse so kind of double whammy.  My libido was totally back within a couple weeks of having the baby.  I had to spend a couple more weeks convincing DH to have sex with me because he was so worried it was too soon for my body and he'd hurt me. I would say that within a few months my tear was not noticable during sex and DH just knew to be extra gentle for a while.  The prolapse never made sex uncomfortable or less enjoyable.

 

I will say that I was self conscious about DH looking at my nether regions for a while because I did feel a little damaged.  Now, 3 years later I don't even think about it.

 

Serafina is right though, everyone is different. You have no idea what your hormones will do and there are things that might happen to your body that you can't control.

 

On the going to the bathroom after front...I remember being so scared to poop after I had DS that I didn't let myself for days. I was terrified. My midwife told me to take lots of pysllium husk to make sure everything moved smoothly and I was totally fine. I mean, my tear wasn't on my perineum but everything was sore so I assumed it would hurt and it didn't.  Yay Fiber!

post #4 of 10

Let's see- going to the bathroom after baby?  Best advice I ever got was to buy plain old "fiber pills" from Target and take them as soon as I came home (4 hours after birth) with baby. I took them every  night for a couple weeks and each BM was (TMI but you asked!) soft and slipped right out . . . no pain or worry!  I did that with my second baby as well and plan on doing it again.  It's just nice NOT to have to worry about that issue . . . in my opinion.  The midwives (and I'm guessing hospitals do too) sent me home with a peri-bottle, basically a squirt bottle. Fill it up with lukewarm water and as you pee, squirt it on.  Feels wonderful, helps keep that area clean and avoids any stinging sensations, too!  It was so nice, I understand now why other countries have faucets hooked up for cleaning instead of toilet paper!!!!

 

As far as lady-parts . . . I was a bit shocked after DD was born and I decided to see what I looked like with a mirror!  Granted I tore, so I had some healing there, but I do recommend NOT looking until after you are cleared for sex at 6 weeks anyway!  Anyway, I healed find and while it took a while for us to adjust to each other, I would say our love life is at it's best now (well, no, not right now at 32 weeks pregnant but you know what I mean) in the 13 years we've been married!  Your body will heal, you will love each other in new ways (psychologically and physically) as you become parents.  True love isn't based on a perfect body and while the physical part is of course very important to a relationship, it's not what holds you together.  

 

Hugs!  It's scary having your first baby- so many unknowns and really no way of knowing how things are going to be for you.  Best advice ever- just take a big breath and try to relax and go with the flow.  Life will move on, you'll learn and change!  

post #5 of 10
My decision to push out a 9 pound baby nearly flat on my back was a bad one. Despite all the perineal massage and pelvic floor exercises, I tore. It required quite a bit of stitching, but my records say it was only 1st degree. It took a while to heal. With DS2, I was kneeling for the birth. He came so fast (and trust me, I was trying to stop him because the midwife wasn't ready. I wasn't pushing, yet he was still coming) I tore along my old tear...lots of stitching again, but I felt great immediately (not right back to normal, a little tender)! DS3 came even faster (pushing-wise...my labour was a little longer), but I only got one stitch and, actually, I was told I didn't need it, but it would probably heal better if I got it, so I decided to get the stitch. I felt about the same as after DS2's birth right away after DS3's birth. I imagine I look pretty different down there than I did before I had kids! DH certainly doesn't mind, though! Also, I don't ever remember having any sort of issues with fit between DH and I. I've always done a lot of pelvic floor exercises and waited at least until my 6 week check up to actually have intercourse, so maybe that's given me time to tighten back up. I can honestly say we have better sex now (especially before I got pregnant...I haven't been too interested in sex this pregnancy) than we ever did before we had kids.

As for the bathroom, honestly, I was TERRIFIED to poo after my first, but the thought of it was way, way worse than it actually happening. I got a little nervous after my other two births, but, possibly because I wasn't nearly as sore or, probably, because I already knew from experience that it wouldn't be as bad as I was anticipating, it wasn't as bad as after DS1.
post #6 of 10
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

serafina--- oh yes!! thank you for that article. I know about the relationship between the sacrum/glutes and I've read that doing kegels can create excess strain on the sacrum causing it to tilt inwards--- I've noticed my butt is shrinking (or maybe it's just looking smaller because my belly is growing) during this pregnancy so i'm going to up the squats/glute strengthening exercises as a preventative measure! 

post #8 of 10
I never became self conscious. Maybe I should have due to my 4th degree tear and 30 stitches inside and out after the birth of my first child, and I know I don't look "normal" down there, but my husband is kind of a perv when it comes to me and always tells me how beautiful my vagina is (TMI). I have never thought anything other than the fact that it is perfectly fine for him and that's all! He told me one time that all of my baby related damage is beautiful and a big reason he finds me so amazing. He knows I went through that to birth his children. It's important to just do what is healthy and good for you and Baby. Anything else really is not that important.

Oh, and I took stool softeners to help with my poops after baby, but I also take them now. Lol
post #9 of 10

I had a second degree tear because my son decided he wanted to come out like a line backer; both shoulders at once.  My midwife also told me I didn't ned stitches but they would help with the healing process.   A peri bottle should be part of your birth kit and will help amazingly post partum.  I used a hebal infusion in mine and it was amazing.  I had an undiagnosed prolapse as well which made sex very uncomfortable for me.  Once I figured out what it was I went and saw a rolfer and it was fixed.  It also turned out my pelvic floor was too tight and needed to be released.  The rolfer fixed that problem too.  

 

My midwife told me that the first post partum poo is purely psychological.  Make sure you take lots of fiber and the rest will take care of itself.  Now if you end up with hemorrhoids that adds a little more to the issue but nothing witch hazel pads won't fix.  

As far as the swelling goes, I filled non lubricated condoms with water and alcohol (so they don't freeze but are nice and cold).  I couldn't stand the frozen pads--they were too much like bricks in my undies.  

post #10 of 10

I had a labial tear and a second degree tear with my last son. My midwife stitched the 2nd degree tear. I was in a lot of pain for months. 2 years later its comppletely back to normal but it took at least 6 months.

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