My first birth was an Induction/C-section. I put the slash between those two words because I’ve come to learn that a c-section often accompanies an Induction, and this was the case for me. I had both a C-section to care for and my vagina and vulva from hours of pushing. It was rough. I was thrilled when I had my first VBAC, but also had an episotomy, and then two more vaginal births. Surprisingly, no one really spoke with me about vaginal aftercare. I mean, an entire human being came out of my vagina, you would think someone would have told me how to care for it! I learned, after 4 babies, that there are some helpful products from the Hospital, and there are some products no one tells you about! Let’s talk about Post-Partum Vaginal Aftercare!
After my first VBAC I sat in my hospital room wondering what my vagina had just gone through. I was afraid to look, but eventually mustered up the courage to have a peek with my makeup mirror. I thought that for sure there was a giant tunnel. I thought I’d be able to see up my giant Vagina tunnel straight through to my eyeballs or the top of my uterus at the least. To my surprise, it looked fairly normal. Swollen and bleeding, but pretty normal considering that a baby just came out.
The Hospital gave me a stack of items, I’ll link in affiliates if I can help you find them. They included:
- Giant Disposable Pads
- Standard from the hospital
- Disposable Nylon Underwear
- Super-thin designed to go over giant pad
- Dibucaine numbing ointment
- Amazing product. I put it on top of every witch hazel pad/condom ice pack for days.
- Peri Rinse Bottle
- spray bottle for vulva and perineum
- Also great economical cloth diaper sprayer!
- Witch Hazel aka Hemorrhoid pads
- Witch hazel product is a must-have for swelling!
- I also love Earth Mama’s perineum spray
The Dibucaine ointment was one of my favorite hospital-provided items. When combined with my condom ice-pack it was fantastic. Both helped a lot with pain. I would take a condom ice pack covered by my nurse with a disposable paper towel (surprisingly didn’t get stuck to my vagina). Next, I’d top that with witch hazel pads aka hemmorhoid pads in a row.
Next, I would draw a line of this ointment right on top of the tucks style pads. Imagine putting a perfect line of ketchup on your hotdog. I took this combination, often after using the toilet, and placed it ontop of the pad and slowly pulled it up with the nylon underwear. It sat from my vagina and across my perineum or more crudely “taint.” After the nurse showed me how to make this combo, the first and only instruction I ever received after 4 births, I was ready to go and changed it every few hours myself.
It’s important to know that the condom ice pack doesn’t go inside of your vagina, it sits on the outside like a hot dog would on it’s bun. It was great for swelling, pain and something I wanted to continue at home. Ice is well known to help with inflammation, reduce swelling and speed up healing!
Concom ice pack
- Frozen condom filled with water
- Paper towel on top of condom
- Creates a barrer so it’s not too cold on your skin.
- Top that with hemmorhoid/witch hazel pads
- Draw line of numbing ointment on witch hazel pads
- Place over giant pad and slowly pull up
- Make sure it sits across vulva and perineum
(Pinnable Image Below for Pinterest)
For my second baby. I bought condoms and made ice packs before going into labor. I filled the condoms up with tap water and put them in the freezer. To my surprise, finding a plain condom at Target was difficult. They were all ribbed, textured, had special creams or colors. Not great for Post-Partum vaginal aftercare. I eventually located some plain condoms and had ice packs ready to cool at home. With my VBAC, unlike my Induction/C-section, I went home in two days! It was nice to have the ice condoms at home, ready and waiting in the freezer.
The nurse cautioned me and said “if anything larger then a golf ball comes out, save it and call me.” While I did pass some clots, I didn’t see anything bigger then a golf ball and didn’t have to call. Standing up after laying down was the hardest. I knew the rush of fluid was coming and braced myself. Luckily I had the washable chuck pad (green in photo above) on the bed for overflows. After a day or two I was comfortable enough to wear my own pajamas without bleeding on them.