From perineal massage to icing your vagina (yes, we said icing). We've teamed up with women's physio, Clare Bourne to help you heal after a vaginal delivery.
Are you a new mum with no idea what to do to help your vagina heal? You're not alone. New mums have to put most of their mental energy into keeping a tiny human alive (fair), but their own recovery often gets overlooked.
Ladies, we've got you covered. We've teamed up with Clare Bourne, a leading UK women's physio, to help you manage your recovery and stay as comfortable as possible during the postpartum period. This guide will focus on the common concerns for mums who have had a vaginal delivery, but don't worry, we have a c-section edition coming very soon.
How to Help your Vagina Heal
Women's physiotherapist, Clare Bourne discusses some common concerns after giving birth, and how you can address them.
Clare's top tips for vaginal recovery:
- Keep on top of your pain medication.
- Allow your vagina to get some air after showering and before dressing.
- To help manage swelling, create a 'padsickle', by placing a maternity or sanitary pad in the freezer and wrap this inside your underwear.
- If you're feeling too much pressure on your perineum when sitting (especially if you're in the same position for a long time), elevate your thighs with rolled up towels or blankets.
Postpartum Perineal Massage
According to the NHS, up to 90% of first time mums will have some sort of tear, graze or episiotomy after a vaginal delivery. If you have had any element of birth tearing, perineal massage is a great tool to promote scar healing and prevent the build-up of scar tissue.
After giving birth, it's common to feel very tight in your perineum, and less than enthusiastic about moving this area. Perineal massage helps to promote healthy tissue movement to reduce this uncomfortable, tight sensation.
Clare Bourne demonstrates how to use NESSA's Vagina Victory Oil to perform perineal massage safely after giving birth.
Postpartum Bladder and Bowel Care
It's a glamorous topic but someone's got to talk about it! Seriously though, why isn't there more guidance on this stuff? Going to the toilet after having a baby can be so daunting, especially as you're trying to work out what's normal for you in the postpartum phase.
Everyone is different, so asking your friends how much they went after having a baby won't be all that helpful. It's important to work out what's a normal amount to go for you, given your birth experience and your bladder and bowel movements before giving birth.
If you think you may be suffering with incontinence, please speak to your GP. They won't be surprised by your questions as it's so common to need support with this after giving birth.
We created VVO to support perineum recovery after giving birth (as well as celebrate how amazing the vagina is for bringing life into the world). We recommend using VVO in perineal massage to reduce uncomfortable dryness, while also treating the area to some wonderful natural antioxidants.
To use, simply apply 3-4 drops to your thumb, and sweep side to side, as Clare demonstrates.
Don't be a stranger...
If you have any questions about healing after birth, please comment them below or get in touch via Instagram and we'll do our best to find you the information or support you need.