You’re preparing for a vaginal birth and you are wondering what will happen if you end up getting stitches after the birth. A few things you should know upfront; not everyone who has a vaginal birth will get stitches and not everyone who tears will need stitches. The tissue repairs so well on it’s own that some women will tear and not even need stitches.
If you do end up needing to get some stitches, here are some things to know.
It shouldn’t hurt while you are getting stitched
If it does hurt, make sure to tell the doctor or midwife, they will give you more anesthetic so that you don’t feel it.
Most often, the doctor or midwife will use stitches that dissolve on their own and you don’t have to get them removed. This is different than the type of stitches used to close a c-section which need to be removed by the doctor or midwife. If your birth provider hasn’t given you any instructions about stitch care, when to come back for a check-up and if they used stitches that dissolve or need to be taken out, make sure to ask them before you go home.
You won’t want to wipe
I will mention this again, the vaginal tissue heals really well after birth, but in that immediate few days (even few weeks!), it may be uncomfortable or may even sting when you use the bathroom. You also won’t want to wipe afterwards. Most hospitals and birth centers will give you a peri-bottle which you can spray on the perineum as you pee to help reduce the burning and help clean.
Once stitches have healed, it shouldn’t hurt
It takes a few weeks for the stitches to heal, and once they have healed, it shouldn’t hurt any longer. If the tissue is still uncomfortable even after the stitches have healed, it’s important to talk to your doctor or a postpartum physical therapist about this.
Persistent pelvic pain is often talked about as something that women just need to deal with after birth. That is not the truth at all, there are many therapies that can support pelvic healing to take the pain away. Pelvic floor therapy is a wonderful post-birth therapy that will help the tissues heal if there continues to be some pain.
Hi, I’m Dr. Potter and I help women feel vibrant and healthy during their motherhood journey.
It was after the birth of my first baby when I became passionate about helping other moms. I was blown away by how hard it was to heal after that birth.
Now it’s my passion to help you heal optimally after birth. Want to learn more about making a postpartum plan with me? Head HERE. Have a young baby and want to work on healing optimally after birth? Head HERE.