We often get asked about products that are useful during pregnancy or postpartum and have decided to compile a list of must-haves, especially for those first few weeks postpartum.
This is very helpful for gently cleaning the perineum in the first few weeks after giving birth. If you have any tearing or stitching, you want to make sure you keep the vulva clean and this inverted bottle is a must have! Fill it with warm water and use after urination or a bowel movement. It is also helpful if you have hemorrhoids or vaginal varicosities to avoid painful wiping.
Postpartum, the ligaments that stabilize and hold together your pelvis are still very lax or weak, especially if you are breastfeeding. An SI belt, worn low on the hips, can help provide an outside force to stabilize the pelvis. This is great, especially if you are having SI joint pain or pubic pain after delivery. However, you don’t want to become dependent on this forever and eventually want to work on getting your muscles stronger to do the work in place of the SI belt. But, for the first 6 weeks, this SI belt can be very helpful to accelerate healing and enhance the stability of the pelvis.
Often after a vaginal birth there is a significant amount of vaginal tenderness, bleeding, and swelling. Witch Hazel is Native American remedy that women have been using postpartum for many years to help control these symptoms. Witch hazel contains tannins, which help to reduce swelling and pain. It also can help prevent infection by fighting bacteria and helps constrict blood vessels which will stop minor bleeding. Dabbing a witch hazel cooling pain in the vaginal region can provide soothing relief. These pads are also great for hemorrhoids!
Postpartum women often develop thumb pain, most frequently called DeQuervain’s tenosynovitis. This is basically an inflammation or swelling of the tendon of the thumb. It often happens postpartum because there is still so much fluid in your system, which crowds the tendon. The thumb tendon then gets overworked with the way most people use their hands to lift the baby with the thumb apart from the rest of the fingers while the fingers scoop underneath the baby’s armpits. This increased demand on the thumbs combined with overall increased fluid in the body cause pain, discomfort, and inflammation. Often, wearing a thumb splint at night can give the tendon a rest in a neutral position. If the pain continues, you may need to wear the splint during the day as well.
These are just a few postpartum items that can be helpful. If you have questions or concerns about any issues postpartum, you should contact your physician or pelvic floor physical therapist. Rebalance Physical Therapy can specifically help with pelvic floor and musculoskeletal concerns pre- and postpartum. Contact us today to set up an in-person appointment or telehealth visit. We also offer comprehensive online video courses that allow you to treat yourself at home and at your own pace. Course topics include female pelvic pain, C-section, and vaginal delivery to help you recover safely and effectively postpartum with guidance from experienced pelvic floor physical therapists.
Written by Elayne Geba, PT, DPT, WCS
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