How long to heal from tears? - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 10 Old 04-17-2011, 12:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
CookAMH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: the great northwest
Posts: 4,472
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I gave birth 12 days ago and still have a fair amount of discomfort from some 2nd degree tears. The sutures are still there in two of the areas, and pee still burns the tears (I use a peri bottle but sometime it still hits the area). My midwife, at 1 week, said they are healing well but to continue to keep my legs togther which I have been doing for the most part. I have read about using comfrey...what kind should I buy?  It sound like making tea and putting that in the peri bottle could help? I can send my DH down the street to an herbalist to get comfrey...they carry a lot. I read that the root is best for applying to healing - should I put that in the peri bottle, or make a paste and apply to skin?

 

Ice helps, though there isn't too much swelling at this point. One area, it's like a triangle, has the stitches dissolved already but is pretty pink and firm. Then I also have a tear at my perineum and up my labia and the sutures are still there (mw used a longer lasting variety on those).

 

Could part of the pain be from the presence of the sutures, and once they dissolve, things may feel better?

 

What else can I do? This is my second baby but first vaginal birth (VBAC :) ). I have help till Tuesday while my mom is here.


Alicia, wife to an loving and faithful DH, and mama to three fantastic though nutty children (cs, then an HBAC, then a VBAC!!).
CookAMH is offline  
#2 of 10 Old 04-17-2011, 12:31 PM
 
lifeguard's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Coyote Rock Farm
Posts: 6,574
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

I had a 3rd degree tear & I must admit the healing process was slow. I took several sitz baths a day as I found that the most soothing thing. I know by 4 weeks I was feeling about 90%. I'm pretty sure at 2 weeks out I was most definitely wishing I had more of the prescription pain killers.

 

Sorry I can't be more cheery about it but if it helps in the long run I found things healed up wonderfully & I'm pleasantly surprised at how normal things look/feel now.


Surviving sleep deprivation one day at a time with dd (Oct '11) & ds (Oct '08).

lifeguard is offline  
#3 of 10 Old 04-17-2011, 12:53 PM
 
Marissamom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,543
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

with my first I had an episotomy, and I think it had completely healed by 6 weeks, then I was just dealing with the scar. 


Marissa, Partner to J geek.gif, SAHM to A (05/09)fly-by-nursing1.gif and I (03/11)stork-boy.gif. we cd.gif
selectivevax.gifdelayedvax.gifnocirc.giffemalesling.GIFecbaby2.gif part-time and familybed1.gif through infancy. planning ahomebirth.jpg
Marissamom is offline  
#4 of 10 Old 04-19-2011, 02:48 PM
 
Bird Girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,305
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Yes, at two weeks out from my first vaginal birth I was still pretty sore--I mostly sat on the boppy, rather than straight on the couch. I tried to take a bath every day, which helped. I had a third degree tear with my first child and a second degree with my second child, and everything healed up both times. It was sore for a while, though, and it takes maybe 4-6 weeks to really feel at all back to normal. Hang in there.


 

Bird Girl is offline  
#5 of 10 Old 04-19-2011, 10:06 PM
 
averlee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,050
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I had a big 2nd degree tear, too. Frequent sitz baths helped. Different teas in the peri bottle helped a lot, too- chamomile, even regular lipton tea. Alcohol free witch hazel was also good to rinse. Taking ibuprofen and tylenol helped some too.

 

I would say it took about 4 weeks for the majority of the pain and discomfort to heal. And I think about 6 months until full recovery. 

averlee is offline  
#6 of 10 Old 04-22-2011, 05:31 PM
 
wombatclay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: running the red queen's race
Posts: 14,143
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Congrats on the VBAC!  :)

 

I had a 4th degree tear with my first vbac and a 2nd degree tear (along the scar) with my second vbac.  I put together a HUGE "how to heal from tears" list that I started handing out all over the place after my 4th degree tear... here's the short form.  ;)  I wrote it for 4th degree tears, but it can be applied to any tear and hopefully since you're starting with a smaller tear you'll feel better even faster!

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Quote:

Right off the bat:
---Alternate warm with cold.  Although the cold packs will reduce swelling you also want to encourage circulation, which is what a warm pack does.  Start out with cold packs, but after the first hour or two (12 hours max) start alternating a warm chem pack, heated rice sock, or warm cloth with the cold pack.
 

--for the cold/warm therapy, make an herbal tea (see sitz bath ideas below).  Soak clean wash cloths or fabric menstrual pads in the herbal blend then freeze or place in a crock pot (depending on whether you want cold or hot).  Use these instead of the "glove full of crushed ice" the hospital offers.


---Rock Rose and Star of Bethlehem are Bach Flower Remedies that address shock, trauma, and birth injury.  Rescue Remedy is great for any birth, but start taking Star of Bethlehem and Rock Rose as soon as possible... even during suturing!
 

--homeopathic arnica, 200c, taken orally every 15 minutes on the first day, then 3-4x a day.  Again, safe to start during suturing.

 

After the first few hours:
---sitz baths!  At least twice a day for 15 minutes (though I found that a sitz bath before/after every bathroom visit was very helpful during the first weeks... and I even nursed while sitting on the toilet topper sitz bath).  An herbal blend can be purchased or make your own.  For example, epsom salt, sea salt, lavender, calendula, rosemary, comfrey, uva ursi, garlic, shepherd's purse, or ginger in any combo can be added to the hot water.  One recipe (if you want a recipe) is:

 

2 oz Comfrey   (there is some safety concern about Comfrey on injured skin, it can cause liver toxicity so while it has a good track record for tissue healing you may want to substitute a different herb.  Personally I used chamomile instead of comfrey and left out the garlic LOL.)
1/2 cup sea salt
2 or 3 bulbs garlic
Put the herbs into an 8-qt pot filling with water 1/2 to 2/3 up the side. Bring to a boil, immediately reduce to simmer and set timer for 20 minutes. In meantime break garlic bulbs into cloves and peel. When timer dings, pour *tea* into another pot covered by strainer or colander. While drawing bath mash garlic (bottom of cast iron pan works great) and add sea salt and mashed garlic to tea.


---use some of the sitz bath "tea" in a peri bottle for bathroom visits


---"Sun you Bum": Use the sitz bath for 10-15 minutes.  Then smear the healing tissue with topical aloe vera gel.  Lay down on the bed so that your nekkid bum is sticking up, hopefully in a sun beam.  Wait 5-10 minutes then get dressed or take another sitz bath.


---keep your legs together!  Don't do things where the tissue is "pulled" against for a few weeks.  Be careful getting into and out of cars, or walking up and down stairs, to make sure your legs stay together.  When picking up your child make sure you don't squat!  You'll only do it once (and then you'll NEVER forget to avoid squatting), but it can cause damage to the healing tissue as well as being darned uncomfortable so try to avoid that once.


---some mamas like those donut pillows, but a pillow or cushion made from memory foam may be better.  Donut pillows allow the healing tissue to "sag" while the memory foam provides some support.  If you do choose a donut pillow, try not to use it for more than a few weeks before moving to a more supportive pillow.


---along with topical aloe vera gel (look in a natural food store for the kind sold as a beverage, it's usually purer than the other brands) applied 1-2x a day to the healing tissue, try patting the healing tissue with honey (a little honey, dabbed on, then "tapped" so that the skin pulls a little with your finger tips) or smooshing on some plain (no added sugar) yogurt.  You can leave them in place or rinse them off (rinse off or rinse in a sitz bath).


---Kegel!  Kegel kegel kegel.

 

In general:
---Add more protien to your diet.  It takes protien to build new tissue and you're building tissue on top of dealing with a new baby, possibly older kiddos, the rest of the world, etc.  So try eating whole foods, in season, with a bit more protien than you'd normally have.


---Take a prenatal multivitamin (with iron, you're building tissue after all and probably have some blood loss due to the tear).  Add flax or cod liver oil.  Take a probiotic or eat live culture yogurt (plain, without sugar).


---Belly Dance!  It sounds odd, but the gentle stretching and increased blood flow to the pelvic area that comes from belly dance is a good healer.  In addition, some people feel that genital trauma or birth injury can cause the body to "shut down" the pelvic area.  Basically the body responds to the pain by isolating the area, but re-integration of the pelvic area isn't automatic.  You need to encourage the body to re-integrate.  Belly dance and gentle yoga (svaroopa or kundalini) that encourage focus and awareness of the pelvic muscles while stretching/enhancing blood flow encourages the body to heal on more than just the physical level. 


---Tapping, kundalini yoga, chiropractic, acupuncture/acupressure or other energy work.  Many traditions believe that there are "energy lines" in the human body.  Alternate health therapies like acupuncture, reiki, and some chiropractic schools focus on these channels.  Many traditions teach that the perineal area is the root chakra, or that lines of energy flow through this area.  Tears damage the energy chanels and chakras as well as the physical tissue so spending some time restoring energy flow can help you heal completely.


---Check out books like Ending Female Pain, The Core Program, Lose the Mummy Tummy, and Beyond Kegels.  The Core Program is designed to be done in 15 minutes a day and focuses on helping women create/maintain proper posture and joint stability.  The Mummy Tummy book focuses on healing the diastasis that happens during pregnancy and includes detailed exercises for healing the pelvic floor. And the Ending Female Pain book just plain rocks for ANY woman!

 


Be pretty! Be practical! Be Pagan! Visit Pagan Hearth & Home!
 mama to lady.gif(4/05), hearts.gif(6/07vbac), diaper.gif(8/09vbac), and babygirl.gif (9/11vbac)

wombatclay is offline  
#7 of 10 Old 04-22-2011, 07:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
CookAMH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: the great northwest
Posts: 4,472
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Thanks! Looks like I've done a good bit of that over the last 2 1/2 weeks and at this point, what I mainly feel is discomfort from the lasting sutures, and downward pressure from a weak pelvic floor (I just posted separately asking about that topic). Most of the pain is gone, and it doesn't really burn to pee without using the peri bottle. I haven't done a sitz bath since my mw said that could cause stitches to dissolve prematurely. In two areas I have sutures that last 2-3 weeks, so I'm guessing there will be less discomfort once they are gone?

 

I've actually started to itch some in the vaginal area, which tells me healing is progressing.

 

Working on kegels as I really want that saggy feeling when standing to go away, no idea how long that will be. But, I do not have pain when doing a kegel anymore which is another good sign. I do feel pulling but not pain.

 

I had always heard cold on sutures, but just saw last week about doing heat and made a little rice sock and it's felt quite soothing!


Alicia, wife to an loving and faithful DH, and mama to three fantastic though nutty children (cs, then an HBAC, then a VBAC!!).
CookAMH is offline  
#8 of 10 Old 04-22-2011, 09:34 PM
 
Marissamom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,543
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I remember having a lot of itching when the sutures were coming out after my first, and it did feel better after they were gone. hope you start to feel better soon. 


Marissa, Partner to J geek.gif, SAHM to A (05/09)fly-by-nursing1.gif and I (03/11)stork-boy.gif. we cd.gif
selectivevax.gifdelayedvax.gifnocirc.giffemalesling.GIFecbaby2.gif part-time and familybed1.gif through infancy. planning ahomebirth.jpg
Marissamom is offline  
#9 of 10 Old 04-27-2011, 09:24 PM
 
cinderella08's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 573
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Sorry you are uncomfy mama!

 

 

I had 3rd degree bilateral sulcus tearing with my 2nd baby (also, a VBAC!).  Meaning - I tore from my cervix, all the way down the vaginal canal (on both sides actually), and out the vaginal opening.  It took 85 stitches and nearly 3hrs of suturing.  It was *not* fun.  2 weeks postpartum I was still in horrendous pain.  My MW checked things out and many of the sutures had come open and had to be chemically cauterized with silver nitrate.

 

 

I did this

 

 

1 G water - bring to a boil

2c sea salt

6oz comfrey

6oz chamomile

6oz calendula

 

 

let steep overnight.

 

 

I put that in my peribottle and it was amazing.


hippie.gif Hi, I'm Amber

Ava {12.20.08}  Levi {8.19.10}  Aspen  {EDD 7.21.13}

cinderella08 is offline  
#10 of 10 Old 04-28-2011, 09:19 AM
 
sunwise's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Virginia
Posts: 151
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Hi there! I had a 4th degree tear with my first (and only) delivery. I wish I had some of the advice in this thread to help me then! I think I was feeling pretty well healed in 6 weeks, and quite a bit better in 4 weeks.

 

Definitely follow the advice to keep your legs together and not put strain on the area. I started doing too much when I was feeling better at 4 weeks, and I developed a hematoma. The hematoma felt better in about a week, but when it first developed, the pain was horrible, just like it had been in the first few days after the delivery.


First time mom to Max, born 8.23.2010!
sunwise is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off