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Postpartum Care: Recovery Post Episiotomy Tips

As a pregnancy and postpartum Chiropractor, we get to hear many birth stories postpartum and what some common struggles that parents can face. Looking after your perineum post birth can impact those first few weeks of postnatal recovery and lead to back pain. I thought I would compile some recommendations in this article for women that have had an episiotomy or natural tearing. If you are more of a visual learner, I have a video on my instagram account here.

How can an episiotomy impact your posture postpartum?

If you have had an episiotomy, you will most likely have an incision on the right hand side. This will mean that you will lean to the left to avoid putting direct contact onto the area. We have a reflex that will want your spine to accomodate to this change (in this example your upper back will shift towards your right as your lower back as shifted to the left like an “s” shape) which can create an uneven amount of force travelling down your back. This can be a source of upper back and lower back pain during that postpartum period. Combined with looking after a newborn can also add to your already vulnerable body postpartum!

Some easy tips to look after your Episiotomy

  1. Ice the area! This will reduce inflammation and swelling. We have Femme-Eze packs at the clinic which fit perfectly!

  2. Take anti-inflammatories if you have been cleared to do so.

  3. Keep the area clean, a peri-bottle or something similar (we have some at the clinic that are cheaper than a branded peri-bottle).

  4. Rest on your side when you can or semi-reclined so you aren’t directly on the area.

  5. Avoid sitting on hard surfaces will also be a great way to reduce irritating that area.

  6. Avoid sitting directly on the area, some people will squeeze their bottom muscles together to avoid directly sitting on the incision.

  7. If you are breastfeeding: consider side lying feeding if you can so that you can rest off the area.

Get checked by a professional (or two!)

Seeing a pregnancy and postpartum focussed Chiropractor is a great way to look after your body post birth. We would recommend for you to come in as soon as you are comfortable. We have different treatment options that will suit where you are at in your postpartum journey. We are also child friendly so you do not need to arrange a babysitter to come in for treatment. Kara at the front is amazing with children or your little one can hang out in their pram or do some tummy time while you get treated! As a family focussed clinic, we always try to reduce barriers for receiving treatment and want to look after you!

See a Pelvic Floor/ Women’s Health Physiotherapist. They will be able to have a thorough look at the area if needed and can also give you personalised advice. If you need recommendations, call the clinic and will happily give you some of the practitioners that we recommend!

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