Bad Tear During Birth. Sitz Bath Products Available? Any Suggestions or Tips?

Updated on July 28, 2011
A.K. asks from Minneapolis, MN
12 answers

My sister just had her baby yesterday and ended up tearing pretty bad. She is in a lot of pain today and her baby has to stay in the nursery because he sometimes breathes fast. My poor sister is an emotional mess. Anyways, once they get home they do not have a bathtub, only a (small) shower stall. I see there are products that go on a toilet that are a sitz bath. Do those work ok? any other suggestions?

Any other products I should get? Tucks or something?

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answers from Chicago on


You can get it at CVS, Walgreens, etc...
The hospital sent me home with it after my son. It's a numbing spray. I only had a 2nd degree tear, but as you know, ANY tear in that area is awful. That and sitting on ice packs was the only way I got through the first week home with the baby!

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answers from Alexandria on

My OB clued me in on this stuff. They gave me one can of it in the hospital. It's an anti-biotic first aid spray with a pain reliever in it. It does not burn! It was a life saver when I tore with my first one. It is an aerosol spray so she can spray her self. You can buy it any drug store a; pick her up 3 or 4! If you can't find dermaplast (and you should have no problem) make sure you get one that says "pain relieving" if it is just a first aid spray it will likely burn!!
Also, while you are there get her a donut pillow. Like the kind they make for hemorroids. Sitting will be difficult for a while and this will help her sit without sitting on what hurts!
Congratulations on your new nephew!!

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answers from Saginaw on

I had a pretty bad tear with my first daughter. Tucks did help, also the hospital gave me some spray, can't remember what it was. It was to take away pain, and that did help a lot. (I know they have it at drugstores.) Also, I'm sure the hospital will give her this, but a squirt bottle to squirt warm water will help too.

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answers from Atlanta on

Yes -get the over the toilet sitz bath and plenty of Tucks and witch hazel (primarily what is on Tucks). Also -at the drugstore -find the "spray bandages." I'm trying to remember the exact brand, but with my first I was given this in the hospital and it was FABULOUS! -It basically cools and numbs the area and is really nice to use when you have to go to the bathroom. With my 2nd, at the same hospital 2 years later, they said they no longer gave it out. I asked them why, and they were non-commital, but I think it was probably some budget cut back. I had my husband go get some at the drugstore and it really helped. I didn't have any awful tears or problems, especially with my 2nd, but I did have stitches and soreness -and my best friend had about 40 stitches and awful tearing. She used it as well and reported great results.

****AH! -read below -Dermoplast is it! SO wonderful! Also, the Tucks or Witch Hazel will soothe her torn areas -not just hemorrhoids. AND the water/squirt bottle another post mentions is also fantastic. Fill with warm water and it feels so good.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Oh no! Go to any decent drugstore and get her a Sitz Bath set. And yes--definitely Tucks and something to act as an ice pack--like those bean bags you can put in the freezer but are still soft.



answers from Columbus on

Allison - You should check with the hospital your sister delivered at about the sitz bath tub and the attached tube with the pouch for the water. That's where I got mine and it is a life saver for bad tears or just flushing out the area to keep clean in general for quick healing.
You should also check to see if you can get some additional oversize pads that the hospital give to use at home for a few days. Tucks pads are great and also there is a spray you'll get that helps numb the area. She could go to smaller pads within a week or so but I would recommend keep using the Tucks pads and the spray(don't remember the name of it but the hospital will give you samples of all above mentioned and you just buy whatever is needed later).
Sitz bath will help heal the area quickly and she should try using it at least couple of times a day for 15-20 minutes if not more frequent in the beginning. In the beginning she would need someone to assist her to and from the bath. The attending nurse should show her how to use the sitz bath, the Tucks and the spray. Also, ask for a squirt bottle as well. She can fill the squirt bottle with warm water to flush out the area whenever
she uses the bathroom. I delivered in January of this year but I feel like it happened a long time ago so I hope I am not forgetting anything. Congratulations on the newest addition to your family!



answers from Minneapolis on

I had my baby 4 days ago and tore horribly. I have 3rd and 4th degree tears all over the place and to my butt (tmi lol) The best thing I have found is the squirt bottle that the hospital should send home with your sister. Liek a previous poster said, it does have multiple holes. Just fill it with warm/hot water and use while your peeing and throughout the day to keep the stitches clean.



answers from New York on

Okay, first poo: here's my contribution of info, based on a few different experiences from friends, family and myself. (I realize for this asker, it's no longer relevant, but others will end up on this page.) This is totally TMI, but that's what this site is for. I saw so many women suffering when I researched this, that I thought I've got to get over the TMI thing and share what might help others.

~ Sitzbath - yes.
But cold water and ice works too, to numb the areas that will hurt. I got mine "free" from the hospital (let's just say no extra charge). It fits in the toilet if you put the seat up. Pharmacies might sell them or be able to order one.

~ Her partner.
Hope this goes without saying, but her partner needs to be completely supportive and quick with anything she asks for. This is not the time to complain about how difficult it is to buy maxi pads, or that he can't find things b/c she didn't clean up when she had all that time off during her pregnancy. My husband has been wonderful. For fond memories later, I wrote down all the things he has said that I will never hear again, like "Would you like me to go buy pads?"

~ Lavender is amazing for pain.
Well, more amazing than you would think. Try to get some strong smelling lavender in a fabric satchel, the kind you might get at a farmers market. Or perhaps you have a neighbor growing lavender in their yard and they would donate to the cause. Just tie it up in light fabric with a ribbon. Hold this and smell it when you feels pain. I remembered learning about lavender in my birth class with my first kid.

~ Stool softeners and magnesium citrate.
Stool softeners are generally good to take with pain killers, and one doctor in the hospital told me that more are needed if you tear. When stool softeners did not work, I wondered if I could take magnesium citrate and my doctor said it was okay.

~ Problems urinating:
Problems letting pee out are also common after pregnancy. However, believe it or not, getting the poo out might spontaneously make you pee. And being constipated will make the lack of peeing feel worse, pressure on your bladder, etc. I'm not a doctor, I'm just saying it is possible for both problems to be solved at once. (Wow, this is the most TMI thing I've ever put on the Internet.)

~ To push or not to push?
There is some debate on whether you should try to push out the first poo (stool) or let it come naturally. Instructions here are for pushing, but you can modify and not push. If you are not sure, ask your doctor.

~ Maxipad/paper towel against the stitches.
Another commenter on this site said their midwife suggested this, and I am so glad, because no medical person ever told me. I'm so thankful for the Internet! So what you do is hold a clean maxipad, or folded up papertowel against the stitches. The pad or papertowel should not be so thick that you can't feel the stitches. The idea is that it is counter pressure, so you won't bust a stitch, feel as much pain, and I think it guides the poo out. I think you want to have your fingertips on the last stitch.

~ Finally:
Put the toilet seat up, stand over it, hold the papertowel against the stiches with dominant hand, hold the satchel of lavender to your nose with other hand, squat down and push, very hard. You'll wish you had the option for an epidural. It might be a mess, but you will feel relieved. Might have to repeat a few times, maybe an hour or so later.



answers from Houston on

Oh no! Oh, and if she has not pooped yet, it will hurt so bad if she does not have a stool softener, or milk of magnesia. :( poor thing.
Just warm water every time she pees through the sitz bath bag should work fine. I liked sitting in the warm tub with a bit of salt also. The spray they give on the tucks pads was awesome. (The pads help with the swelling, the spray for healing and pain.) I got an extra bottle of that before I left. Minimal walking. Make sure she has help for when she gets home. After about a week she should be better. No driving for the 6 weeks, for risk of infection. Make sure they check her stitches before she leaves the hospital, and at her 6 week follow up. I feel for her, really. :(


answers from Lansing on

When I gave birth to my daugther, she tore me so bad that I now have permanent nerve damage. The hospital gave me a water bottle to take home with me and use it when I went to the bathroom and when I took a shower. I couldn't wipe for about a month (Yes, I know gross). The water bottles tip had a multiple holes in it, so it didn't just come out in one line. It helped A LOT! I would also suggest getting the shower sprayer, the hand held one.

Tucks won't work, except for hemmroids. She could also ask the nurses at the hospital what she can do/use. Good Luck to her, it was a painful recovery for me.



answers from Chicago on

pain spray and tucks/witchhazel. and not to walk.
ouch. and if she has hemroids tell her icy hot right on them. scarey but works. (not on cut of course!)



answers from New York on

I didn't read all of the responses... but I tore pretty badly with my son. When I left the hospital they gave me a sitz bath, tucks pads (hospital brand), a cream and a spray. I asked for a "extra set" the morning I was leaving which got me through most of the healing process (I think I told them I was almost out so I could have a fresh set for home).

It works but it takes time... the bathroom process for me the first week or two was like 20 minutes to just pee. It got better and faster with time. I was in A LOT of pain and swollen after delivery. I couldn't cross my legs for at least a week! I think I was taking 3 or 4 advil every 6 hours for the first few days as well (I didn't want to take anything stronger).

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