Today we are going there, and by there, I mean to your nether region!
Yes, today we are talking about pelvic and female anatomy, obstetric lacerations during delivery and prevention! If you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant, then this is definitely a topic to which you will want to pay attention.
Obstetric lacerations, often referred to vaginal or perineal tears, can happen during childbirth. Though they are certainly common, they should be treated with the same care and attention that any surgical procedure would be.
Tears can happen in varying degrees- sometimes they can be minimal and other times they can be quite extensive. It is very important for a woman to know where the tear occurred, what type of tear it is (1st degree, 2nd degree, 3rd degree, or 4th degree), and how to properly care for the tear.
Usually stitches are needed to put the anatomy back together. Though the stitches will dissolve or fall out naturally, there are several things you can do to help care for the tear. I cover all of that, as well as some ways to prevent tears in this week’s video. Click here to watch it now!
Here are some of the items that the Babies After 35 community recommends to help ease your recovery.
If you have a laceration, it can be very uncomfortable/painful to have bowel movements. I recommend using a stool softener to not only help ease passing stools, but also to help get bowel movements going again as the birth process can often lead to constipation.
If you have stitches as a result of an obstetric laceration, then you also want to give the area special care to help the healing process. I highly recommend having Tucks on hand to help with vaginal swelling as well as hemorrhoids which can flare up as a result of pushing during delivery.
An ice pack, Dermoplast pain and itch spray, portable peri bottle, and sitz bath soak can all make life a little more comfortable as your body continues to heal. Again, a vaginal tear with stitches does require time to heal and extra attention. While you are attending to your new baby, be sure to care for yourself, too
Be sure to watch my Q&A video to get more in-depth details, and as always, if you have questions or concerns regarding your own obstetric laceration, be sure to talk to your obstetrics provider!
Shannon M. Clark, MD, MMS is a double board certified ObGyn and Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist, and founder of Babies After 35. In her roles as a clinician, educator and researcher at UTMB-Galveston, she focuses on the care of people with maternal and/or fetal complications of pregnancy. Dr. Clark has taken a special interest in pregnancy after the age of 35, which according to age alone, is considered a high-risk pregnancy. In her role as a physician caring for high-risk pregnancies, she has counseled and treated hundreds of women over the years in her very own situation, and has found a whole new respect for the challenges and complications a woman may experience when trying to have a baby later in life.
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