Today got us thinking about all things scary…….one of the things is how your lovely lady garden/fanny/Minnie/fanghita is going to fair following birth? The though of tearing and stitches can leave ladies feeling a bit green round the gills, worried about whether it will ever be the same again? Or maybe it will just all fall out whilst walking around the garden centre, pushing your pram. Awkward….you’d be scraping it all up off the floor running out clutching your precious uterus shouting ‘ I might need this again’ ….
Anyway…. Good news is, you don’t need to be afraid, here’s our guide to looking after your beloved vagina.
Like a scout (or beaver!) Be prepared, there are a few things you can organise in advance to help out. About 75% of women who have a vaginal birth will have some sort of stitch, graze or tear that involves the skin and muscles layers in the vagina & labia. So….
Sanitary towels: Buy decent ones (we quite like Mothercare) as you don’t want them to irritate any stitches you may have. Use ones with wings, change them regularly and sometimes you might need to wear 2 at the same time. One at the front and one at the back.
Lavender/tea tree oil: These oils are great for helping to heal and soothe your lady garden, and you should aim to bathe twice a day for the first week or so if you can. Just run a shallow bath, pop a few drops of oil into a 1-2 table spoons of milk, shake and add to the bath. The milk helps the oils to disperse in water. Sit in the bath for about five minutes…. Enjoy a quick relax!
Hairdryer: The thought of rubbing your bits dry with a towel leaves you howling like a banshee… So lots of patting dry is necessary. You could even pop your hairdryer on a cold setting and waft it up between your legs, ensuring everything is nice a dry. You might look a bit strange if your beloved walks into the bedroom at this point. Kinky!!
Arnica: This is a fantastic little homeopathic remedy, perfect for speeding up bruising in your slightly battered Minnie. You mustn’t use the cream though, tablets only and you can pick them up in Boots.
Drugs: Welcome back ibuprofen! They’ve been absent during the pregnancy, but welcome them back with open arms, for they have magic anti inflammatory powers. Safe when breastfeeding your little bundle, and non drowsy, so take regularly to combat any pain.
Jug: It can be a bit uncomfortable to wee when you’ve got stitches or grazes, so try having a jug full of warm water nearby when you go, and pour it down the front of your labia. The warm water is really soothing and it helps to dilute any concentrated urine that can make it stingy. Think paper cut finger and salt and vinegar crisps….
Make sure you drink lots of water too!
Sit like a man: don’t be all Lady like and sit with your legs crossed, it can pull on the muscles causing pain. So sit like a big burly bloke!
There’s always a lot of poo chat when it comes to having a baby, but it tends to be focused on those ‘poonami’ nappies that baby produces… But what about your poo?! The first poo after childbirth can be more nerve wracking than an English A level in Mussolini…when you haven’t revised. At all.
Good news is, it’s never as bad as you think. Take your time. Drink lots of water. Take a step (or stool!) to the bathroom with you and sit on the toilet with your knees elevated, it makes it easier to empty your bowel. Good diet full of fruit and veg (sound like my mum!) Once you’ve been, don’t forget to congratulate yourself on the safe delivery of your first post baby poo!
Frozen peas: If it all seems a bit swollen and puffy down there, try something cold like a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a tea towel. Or even a sanitary towel in the freezer? Just hold close to your swollen bits for 5-10 minutes to gain some relief. I can remember using a cold can of G&T… It was a sad waste of a G&T!
Pelvic floor: You can start these exercises when you feel ready, don’t worry if it all feels a bit numb to begin with. Just take your time and it will become easier with practice. Try and find a point in the day when you remember, a nappy change maybe? Or when your feeding? Whilst waiting at traffic lights is a favourite of ours….. everyone has weird pelvic floor face so fear not.
Sex: At some point in the distant future, you’ll look at one another and decide you’re going to have to sex again. It might be a mad 5 minutes of crazy hornyness on the sofa, or a planned night of passion (Maybe even M&S 2 dine for £10!!) Either way you’ll be a bit worried about how your fanny will manage, will it completely repel the advancing penis? Will he think it feels different? Baggy somehow? Will it all disintegrate?!
Once again, it’s never as bad as you think. Use LOTS of lubricant (think online shopping!) and take it steady. Foreplay is a must…..you might even enjoy it!
Bottom line, Your vagina is amazing, look after it!