After delivery of the baby and placenta, your doctor will close the incision with absorbable stitches.
How Long Will It Take?
This is done during childbirth.
Will It Hurt?
If you receive anesthesia, you will not feel pain during the procedure. After delivery, most women have discomfort and swelling. You may need to take pain medication.
Average Hospital Stay
The usual length of stay for vaginal delivery is 2 days. An episiotomy will not extend your stay.
Your stitches will dissolve in about 10 days. The cut will heal within about 2 weeks. There may still be some soreness until the skin gets its natural strength back. This could take up to 6 weeks. During that time, you may find it uncomfortable to sit or walk.
While you recover:
When your doctor tells you to, do
Kegel exercises. Simply squeeze the muscles you use to stop the flow of urine. This strengthens the pelvic floor muscles and can help the area heal faster.
Avoid having sex, douching, and using tampons for 6 weeks or as directed by your doctor.
Call Your Doctor
After arriving home, contact your doctor if any of the following occur:
Signs of infection, including fever and chills, swelling, redness, foul-smelling discharge
Pain that you cannot control with the medications you have been given
Bleeding from the episiotomy site
Continuing problems with
loss of urinary or bowel control
If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
Episiotomies. Brigham and Women's Hospital website. Available at: http://www.brighamandwomens.org/departments_and_services/obgyn/services/midwifery/patient/episiotomies.aspx. Accessed September 12, 2017.
Episiotomy. ACOG practice bulletin No. 71. Obstet Gynecol. 2006;107:957-962.
Episiotomy. American Pregnancy Association website. Available at: http://www.americanpregnancy.org/labornbirth/episiotomy.html. Updated August 2015. Accessed September 12, 2017.
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