What to Know About Vaginal Care After Childbirth
Welcoming a new life into the world is a truly remarkable experience that can inspire joy, love and a sense of fulfillment - along with confusion and exhaustion. If you’re unsure about how to properly care for your intimate health after childbirth, know that you’re not alone. Our culture has a history of ignoring Mom’s needs after labor. You were probably handed a spray bottle, adult diapers and a loose recommendation to avoid intercourse for about six weeks - then sent on your way.
Dr. Courtenay Poucher, OBGYN and a gynecological plastic surgeon, has treated thousands of women who struggled with their vaginal care after birth. Here are her recommendations to increase your comfort and confidence postpartum.
Choose Products that Promote Vaginal Healing & Comfort Postpartum
While the spray bottle most hospitals give new moms will aid in removing dried, sticky fluids from the vaginal area, water will do little overall to improve postpartum vaginal discomfort. Microtears, stitches, inflammation and bruising all must be addressed to improve a new mom’s vaginal pain and irritation.
Dr. Poucher recommends warm sitz baths, cool compresses, and rest for new moms who are experiencing pain, itching or swelling of the vagina after birth. Nurturing, all-natural spritzers can also bring significant, instant relief to the vaginal area.
The byDrPoucher Soothing Spritzer contains Green Tea Extract to reduce inflammation and repair damaged skin, while oats hydrate and nourish to reduce dryness and itching. You can apply the byDrPoucher Soothing Spritzer as needed to calm stressed vaginal tissues, allowing new moms to feel more comfortable and capable in their postpartum bodies.
Want to feel fresh - but no time for a shower? You can use Soothing Spritzer head to toe for a quick pick me up. The Soothing Spritzer can also be used immediately after sex to calm still-healing postpartum intimate parts.
Postpartum Vaginal Comfort During Sex
After you’re cleared by your physician or midwife to have intercourse, you may still be hesitant. That’s ok. Every woman’s body, relationship, postpartum recovery, and intimacy needs are different. Please never feel pressure to have sex after childbirth - or any time. You don’t owe anyone sex.
If, however, you’re excited to have vaginal intercourse after childbirth, you may notice a difference in sex postpartum. After you give birth, hormone changes, new vaginal laxity and still-recovering tissues may make intercourse uncomfortable - no matter how much you desire it. Dr. Poucher recommends taking it slow - and keeping your vaginal tissue well lubricated and moisturized so that you don’t disrupt just-healed tears.
The byDrPoucher Everywhere Balm is often recommended for post-delivery vaginal care because ingredients like Avocado Oil provide long-lasting moisture while Tea Tree Oil’s antibacterial properties protect and promote healing. You can use it as lubrication during sex and as an everyday balm to speed healing and increase vaginal comfort postpartum.
Cleaning the Vagina After Childbirth
Postpartum vaginal cleaning can feel intimidating to a lot of new moms. You may have stitches, tears and swelling - plus significant postpartum bleeding - that make you wish you could forget about your vagina altogether, especially when you’re in the shower or on the toilet.
When you do have time to shower - and please, for your mental and physical health, have your support system help you get regular showers! - avoid traditional soaps and detergents. This is not the time to reach for your harsh, drying, PH-disrupting body wash. Warm water can be sufficient for cleaning the vagina anytime - including after birth.
But if you feel best using a gentle cleanser, opt for the Fabulous Foam Wash from byDrPoucher. PH balanced with moisture-rich shea butter and soothing Lavender Essential Oil, Fabulous Foam Wash is kind to your most sensitive skin and will leave you feeling and smelling naturally fresh.
When it comes to cleaning your postpartum vagina after using the bathroom, many new moms have substantial anxiety. It might have hurt to poop, there may be a lot of blood in the toilet, urine may have stung your torn skin - and now you have to… wipe, too!? You can eliminate that dread by using a pre-moistened wipe during each bathroom visit. Much more comfortable than traditional dry toilet paper, a pre-moistened wipe can help reduce postpartum vaginal discomfort.
The Wonderful Wipes from byDrPoucher are flushable, luxurious intimate wipes perfect for postpartum vaginal care. They will leave behind nothing but freshness while nurturing your tender skin with calming, healing Lavender Essential Oil.
It’s crucial to remember that your postpartum healing journey doesn't end right after childbirth – in fact, it's just the beginning. As a new mother, prioritizing your own wellbeing, particularly your vaginal health, through postpartum self care is essential.