Tips for Perineal Pain and Tenderness After Birth

Whether you’ve had a graze, tear, episiotomy, or not, having a vaginal birth can leave you feeling sore and bruised.

Due to swelling or tearing to your perineum from birth, you may find it uncomfortable to sit down or feel sore when getting up and down, especially in your first days postpartum. It may take up to six weeks or more for the area to fully recover but it should feel back to normal in time.

Here are some helpful tips for healing your perineum and alleviating tenderness after birth:

  • Padsicles! Fill a menstrual pad with a little water and put in the freezer to chill before placing in your underwear or applying to your perineum for short periods.
  • Apply a perineal relief spray as needed.
  • Sit on a supportive donut pillow or cushion.

Tips for perineal stitches

  • Eat fibre-rich foods (such as kiwifruit, pears, prunes) so it’s easier to pass your first and subsequent bowel motions.
  • Keep your perineum clean by showering regularly and changing your sanitary pad often.
  • Keep the area dry by gently patting after showering or urinating.
  • Use a peri bottle (squeezy bottle with water), like this one from Viva La Vulva, during urination to prevent stinging.
  • Practise your pelvic floor exercises.
  • Book a postnatal WOF with a pelvic health physio.

If you have any concerns about your postnatal recovery or are experiencing severe or increasing pain, consult your GP or your LMC.