Advice for postnatal care

What can I do to aid healing?

Ensure good perineal hygiene, keeping the area clean and dry as much as possible and change sanitary protection regularly.

Wash hands regularly, especially before and after changing sanitary protection and/or attending to perineal cleaning.

Take a daily bath or shower, making sure the perineum is washed with gentle soap and water only and rinse after with clear water. It is important that the wound is dried as much as possible either by patting gently with a soft, clean towel and/or drying with a hairdryer on a ‘cool’ setting.

Observe for signs and symptoms of perineal infection such as increase in pain, excessive discharge that has changed in colour and/or offensive smelling, swelling, suture breakdown and haematoma, and inform your midwife if concerned.

Take any prescribed analgesia regularly, and as directed. Non-pharmacological treatments such as topical application of ice and cold gel packs can provide short term pain relief when applied to the perineal area.

Maintain a good, balanced diet with adequate fluid intake to help promote healing, and assist with breast milk production if required.

Undertake regular, gentle physical activity such as walking and commence pelvic floor muscle exercises within 5-7 days of delivery.