Care at Home After Delivery

Updated on April 24, 2008
A.O. asks from Denver, CO
10 answers

I delivered my second child last week. Before leaving the hospital, a nurse gave me some instruction for care on my wound (episiotomy). She said to use no soap on this area until the Dr. checks me again (that is 6 weeks). Has anyone had the same instruction? Is this O.K.? Does anyone knoe why?


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So What Happened?

I'll definitively call the Dr., but right now I'm using a very mild soap. I will keep using the bottle to rinse myself. Thank you all for your responses.

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answers from Denver on

I've never heard that, and I've had 4 kids, I don't think you should use a bar of soap down there, but cleanse lightly with possibly a squirt bottle with warm somewhat soapy water.

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answers from Denver on

Hi, A.!

I'm an RN-C, BSN, with a specialty in maternal/child care (which includes postpartum care), so here's my advice:
Hopefully you received the peri wash bottle prior to discharge from the hospital. Fill it with whatever water temperature is most comfortable to you, warm or cool, to use after you potty. Try to take two soaks in the tub daily, for increased comfort and cleanliness of your episiotomy (epsom salts or plain water is fine), and if you had stitches, they should dissolve on their own. A mild soap with NO harsh chemicals or irritating agents is fine to use. You may also find dermaplast spray and/or tucks pads (witch hazel)soothing to the perineum or rectum (for hemorrhoids, found in the first aid section of any local store. Remember to change your pad often and nothing vaginal for six weeks!
Good luck with your new baby and happy healing!!



answers from Salt Lake City on

Never had the no soap recommendation. It seems counterproductive to me because if you don't wash it clean for 6 weeks, won't it get infected? I did the same as the other poster. Squirt bottle while using the bathroom, and just being gentler while showering. I would call your doctor to confirm because that sounds crazy to me. Maybe she thought you'd see him sooner than 6 weeks...



answers from Boise on

I don't rememeber getting that instruction, I used the squirt bottle while going to keep it clean but when I showered I washed as normal, just a little more gentler. SO I honestly have no clue as to why they gave you that one?



answers from Fort Collins on

hmm.. trying to remember I'm actually not sure. However I can pass a little tid bit that may be helpful to you. I had pain and beginning of infection in my "stitches" after my first and my mid wife had my put golden seal on it. Which worked wonderfully and helped it heal quickly - works on most cuts :) You can get it in capsules and open them to use the powder or a bit harder to find you can buy just the powder. Oh yah, isn't there some sort of mix they give you with a squirt bottle that keeps it clean while healing?
Best Wishes and Congrats!



answers from Billings on

I never had an episotomy, but after both my kids were born, for soreness in that area, the hospital sent me home with this first aid numbing spray. That was a big help! I am not sure why they don't want you to use soap, but I assume to reduce infection or irritation. The skin down there is very tender (as you know). I hope it heals quickly!



answers from Providence on

You want to use the peribottle like everyone else is saying. You don't want to be rubbing on the healing incision with toilet paper and the possible getting fragments of the toilet paper left behind. I would think it's fine to use a mild cleaner in the area, but don't rub aggressively. It's better left alone so it can heal properly. They did tell me not to use any harsh cleanser in the area. They also tell you not to wash your nipples with soap when you're breastfeeding because it would be too harsh and drying for it. So maybe that would relate to the peri-area with drying it out too much or something? Good luck with the recovery and adjusting to being a mommy of 2.



answers from Denver on

My hospital gave me these squirt bottles and each time I peed instead of wiping I had warm water in it and I rinsed myself off, same in the shower. Your stitching more then likely is self dissolving so soap speeds up the process not to mention would burn. I was told not to wipe or do anything but rinse the area with warm water. Go have your hubby get some spray or squirt type plastic bottles from Target or Walmart and just keep it close to the toilet, then when you take a shower put warm water in it.



answers from Salt Lake City on

I don't remember getting that particular instruction. Someone else mentioned using a squirt bottle every time you use the bathroom and just gentle patting to dry. Call your doctor (or his/her nurse) to find out for sure.



answers from Denver on

Soap can be too drying and further irritate the wound leading to infection. It's a delicate balance between clean and too clean! You could call a nurse line or your ob/gyn office and verify the instructions. Don't be afraid to ask questions! I hope you are feeling well and enjoying your new baby!

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