Perineum after birth

The perineum before and after birth

What can help to prepare for birth and after you gave birth.

During the delivery the vagina and perineum have stretched incredibly to help your baby coming through - even if you had a c-section in the end the perineum can feel swollen.

Preparation of the perineum before birth

It can help to stretch the perineum before birth by gentle massages to start around Week 34/35 several times a week. Also here are always different opinions as usual. Try out if this works for you.
Here are some links to download with more information.

Perineum Massage 1, Perineum Massage, Perineum Massage 3

In general warmth and oil is recommended to soothe the skin. You can use sweet almond oil, lubricant (sex) or a special Dammmassageöl from Weleda or Stadelmann for example.
This oil can later also be used to massage your babies tummy.

You can also stretch the perineum with a special ball where you can slowly start stetching your perineum.

Raspberry Leaf Tea
For preparation you can also drink Himbeerblättertee (raspberry leaf tea). This is not scientifically backed up, but a lot of women and midwives swear by it. You can start 4-5 weeks before your due date. From week 36-38 just one cup each day and then up to 3 cups. It makes the skin layers softer and more stretchable. For these who have got a short cervix please begin 3 weeks before your due date!!

Injuries to the perineum

Even if visibly everything has remained healthy there is often an edema, which may have formed due to the pressure of the child's head. The region is swollen. So even a supposedly intact perineum can feel very sore and needs care.

After a perineal tear or cut, which is then sewn first, the tissue naturally swells quite strongly and it hurts during the first days.
Unfortunately new moms do not speak a lot about these topics. But it is worth to talk about it!

Tips to heal and relieve pain

If you have fever, really strong pain or you have blooding or the swelling does not get better, please ask your midwife or go to your OB Gyn.

  • Cooling: You can drizzle sanitary pads with sunflower or olive oil and freeze them in a sealed bag. Then you can put the frozen "cool packs" in our panties (knickers) to cool your perineum as long as you enjoy it. You should change them regularly.
    Also bigger panties help to relief pressure in general in this area and make you feel more comfortable.
  • Sitting baths: Sitting baths is an old method to help after delivery. Mostly Tannolact is used for that. (You get it at the pharmacy.) If you do not have a special bath tube at home, you can use a plastic bag which you pull tightly over the toilet seat and enjoy your sitting bath or use cling foil to create a little pond to sit in on your toilet. The sitting bath can be used once a day for 10 to 15 minutes and at a water temperature of 35° C. As an alternative to Tannolact, camomile (cooled down tea), marigold essence, alchemilla, oak or hamamelis bark can also be used. These additives do well, refresh and are both anti-inflammatory and healing.
  • Intim Spray: This is an alternative to sitting baths. The regeneration sprays or intime sprays (please only special ones for the time after birth e.g. Motherlove, Regeneration Spray) can be used immediately after birth and they have a healing, relaxing and refreshing effect. The sprays can be used several times a day.
  • Flushing: Urinating can burn / sting mostly unpleasantly in the first few days after delivery. You can fill a measuring cup with warm water and let it simply run between your legs, along the vulva, while peeing. Or you have a shower and flush yourself with warm water.
  • Lying down:  After perineal injuries of any kind you should try not to sit too much in the first days. This is good for healing and the regression of the swollen region.

Normally the perineum has regenerated after four weeks. The sutures must not be removed normally. Your midwife will look after your injuries regularly. If you do not have a midwife you can contact your OB Gyn or the delivery room, where you delivered your baby.


March 2020
Gravidamiga - Dr. Christine Krämer
This blog post has been prepared with the greatest possible care and does not claim to be correct, complete or up-to-date.“
Picture credit: Ulrike Leone Pixabay

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