Your Baby and You - page 20

Bowels (passing faeces/motions)
Constipation is very common after childbirth. This can be made worse by
haemorrhoids (piles). Piles can be treated using good hygiene, preparatory
creams, and stool softeners. Pain relief medication can help. A high fibre diet
is important including fresh fruit and vegetables, and drinking plenty of fluids
can help prevent constipation. Occasionally some women have difficulty
getting to the toilet in time and may have an accident. This is not normal
and you can get help. Discuss this with your midwife or GP for referral to a
specialist if any of these problems occur.
Perineal care
It is normal for your perineum, (the area between your vagina and your anus),
to be sore and uncomfortable in the days following your baby’s birth. If you
need pain relief, you can take two paracetamol tablets every 4 to 6 hours, up
to a maximum of 8 tablets in 24 hours. If you are taking any other medication,
please check that you are also able to take paracetamol. It is important to
keep your perineum clean as it is a common area for infection.
Daily baths or showers are very important and you should change your
sanitary pads frequently, washing your hands before and after doing this.
If you have had stitches, these should dissolve over two weeks, as your
perineum heals. If you have any worries about your perineum or your
stitches, please see your GP or midwife. Ensuring a good diet and fluid
intake will help relieve constipation, which may be adding to the discomfort.
Cold gel pads may relieve some discomfort. Tampons should not be used
until at least 6 weeks after birth to reduce the risk of infection.
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