After Birth “Exit” Care

A few of you have asked me to put a list together of tips on how to care for the good china after giving birth.

So thanks to your suggestions, and what I found online, here’s the glorious list on how to get your tender bits back in order.

Here they are:

• ice wrapped in a washcloth

• use a squirt bottle filled with water to rinse while you pee

• hold a clean pad firmly against the wound and press upward while you poo to help relieve any pressure

• wear boy shorts to hold a cold pad close

• take both ibuprofen and acetaminophen to address any inflamation and pain

* Sitz bath combined with Postpartum Bath Herb healing pads (better yet get one of their recovery kits.)

• hair dryer set on cool to dry off any areas where you don’t want to shake a towel over – this applies to c-sections as well

• condoms filled with water and frozen to a slushy consistency held against the scary sections (it’s not like you’ll be using them for anything else so it’s worth a shot)

• mix calendula oil with the water in your peri bottle to help speed healing

• calendula oil and/or arnica in water, soak a maxi pad in it, then freeze it for a glorious padsicles

• use the Boppy you bought for your baby or nursing, to sit on for the first few days

• Dermoplast spray or New Mama Bottom Spray – sprayed directly on all that ails you, or on a pad then applied

• open one end of a diaper, put ice in it, then put it in the mesh underwear – when the ice melts the diaper absorbs the water so you are not all soggy

• placing Tucks pads or pads soaked in witch hazel (you can place two overlapping for more coverage) on a maxi pad to help soothe the area.

• depends underwear if you don’t like the netted underwear and pads the hospital gives you

• frozen maxi pads that were soaked in Witch Hazel then put in a cooler to take to the hospital

stool softeners and/or prune juice for both c-sections and vaginal births to keep the pushing to a minimum

• vitamin E oil and/ or neosporin on c-section incisions

• wearing a compression girdle to give a little support after a c-section

Always Infinity pads – much thinner than the giant pads they give you in the hospital so they feel less “diapery”

• May I also recommend these TendHer pads? Are they brilliant or what?!

Do you know of any others or are you just backing away from the computer saying, “what the hell have I gotten myself into?!”?

Hey, you may get lucky and not have any use for any of this stuff like my asshole friend, Moira.

Personally, I think it’s the anticipation of pain that’s the worse part – when else do we have up to 35 weeks to think about how much something may hurt? Seriously, if it was that horrible no one would have more than one child. Even if you do need some of this stuff, it’s pretty short lived and you have a new baby to keep your mind off the mess, so don’t worry about it too much.

There, there, you’ll be shiny and new again before you know it. (hair stroke and shushing) Just like this:


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  • With my first child I was given a soothing jelly by the NHS midwife. It was so amazing I got the recipe and make it for friends. 125ml lubricating jelly and 10 drops each of lavender, geranium and cypress essential oil. Mix well and store in a sterile jar. When you go to the loo, either apply directly or (my preference) spread on your fresh maternity pad. Speeds up healing and keeps things feeling clean.

  • HURRICANE GEL for when you go #2. Seriously!!! My friend is a nurse and told me to make sure they give me some and I could have kissed my nurse it worked so well. I had an episiotomy and tore almost to my butthole, so I was terrified to poop afterwards. THE GEL IS AMAZING.

  • Dermoplast is amazing! Tucks are amazing! And what I found very helpful instead of the giant pads they give you is essentially adult diapers. Trust me on this one! Always started making them and I found them before I had my little guy. They arent super bulky but absorbed everything and they wear higher up which helped support my flubbery belly. I also put a pair of underwear over them which added more support to everything. Quite a few of my nurses in the hospital were impressed with the idea. First time mom here and was induced which took over 60+ hours to have my little man makebhis debut.

  • Dermoplast and tucks pads are a must but as a mama of 3 (1c section and 2 vbacs later) a compression girdle after a c section is insanity! I want to know who really used one. That would have been incredibly painful. I recommend some comfortable black pants and low rise ones that have a thin band if you have a c section. 🙂

  • Start taking stool softeners early to prevent hemorrhoids. My midwife had me start taking Colace at 28 weeks to prevent damage. It’s already been awesome! (I was afraid of stool softeners, thinking that they’re the same as laxatives, but it hasn’t given me explosive diarrhea or anything, just makes everything slide on through without much effort!)

  • During my 2nd c-section the doc had to give me something to help my blood clot. When i went to do my first #2 the next day everything came out fine. I was glad… until i stood up and a jellyfish made of blood fell out. Fair warning: if you pull the ‘nurse assistance’ button in the bathroom, you are essentiall pulling a fire alarm. All 7 nurses who showed up said it was normal.Needless to say, I wanted to f-ing die!

  • Another natural constipation aid – senna leaf tea. For my first baby I made half-strength cups (or made a full-strength cup and then diluted it with more water or juice) that I’d sip over a long period of time. Worked like a charm (almost too well!), and I’ll be using it again for my second this October.

  • After a day or so, the water spray really burnt. I started washing down there with Purpose soap (find it anywhere in face soap aisle – made by Johnson and Johnson). It relieves all the burning from pee and is very soothing. I have told many people about this and they have all thanked me later!!!!

  • Just a warning about Always & other pads that have a plastic-y ‘dri-weave’ layer on top: that stuff is latex, and if you use them for a day or 2 & get a burning ring of fire down there, STOP. I thought I had some kinda crazy infection going on after my first babe, but it was contact dermatitis from the flippin latex, to which I am highly sensitized (especially in my nether regions). You may be, too (especially if condoms give you trouble), and if so then you’re relegated to the 2-inch thick kotex basics from 1974 or the high falootin’ Whole Foods pads. Enjoy!

    • I was going to make the exact same point. My midwife told me to use Poise pads b/c there is no dry weave. They worked awesome with no issues. Not only can you get contact dermatitis from the dry weave pads – the dry weave can stick to your swollen lady bits & hurt like an SOB to pull away.

  • Recovery from my first baby was long and hard. I had a long and hard labor, and to say I was sore and swollen is an understatement. I used a NeilMed neti pot all during my pregnancy and I have a ton of those "buffered" salt packets. I tried mixing the salt packet in my squirt bottle (same ratio as the directions), and let me tell you it was life changing. The packets are basically salt and baking soda and they take the sting out of the water.

  • Yes I recommend the stool softners and the tylonol and the ice in that general area I’ve had two going our third baby and will soon be delivering and let me tell I still get scared and nervous but I loved that the hospital gave me the frozen diapers in the hospital but didnt have them when i got home so i will be trying the padciscals any ideas about the gloomys after birth? Like what to do naturaly? Thank you Very much and thanks for the laugh.

    • Six months after my second son was born I finally realized I was abnormally depressed and the problem was not my husband. A doctor recommended B-Complex and let me tell you it is a life-saver and a marriage saver! It carried me through two more post-partums and now to post-menopausal life.

  • I need to remember your blog for next year… my husband and I are thinking about trying to get pregnant this Spring and I will have to remember your tips when the time comes! Scary, but necessary!

  • OMG I found this blog on Pinterest last week and am so thankful I did. I love the realness. I'm 35 weeks and just made a ton of notes for things to ask the doc and to p/u at the store!

  • I'm almost 17 weeks and reading these posts are terrifying! But bookmarking the website cause at least ill have some ideas of what to try. My friend said her friend's doc had her wait a few long felt seconds right before the baby was out, crowning probly to let her area stretch instead of just pushing right thru and said it helped her & didn't neet stitches. Hope I can have that from my doc at delivery!

  • After my first c-section & the catheter was removed, I couldn't pee. I had to, just couldn't. Not sure if it was mental or what. The nurse said I would have to have another catheter. Then, another nurse said wait-she got peppermint drops (like essential oils or a flavor additive) & dropped a few drops into the toilet. It was like the dam opened! Brilliance! Also, post c-section, if you have to walk up stairs, go backwards. Never did it while holding the baby, just in case, but it was much easier.

  • Dermaplast and Tucks are fantastic! Instead of bringing flowers when visiting my friends in the hospital I bring a little bag that has all the wonderful things for post labor recovery. One of them is a can of baked beans. I know its weird, but a tablespoon or two of those before bed in addition to your stool softeners and your poop will be nice and soft.

  • Dermaplast is amazing. When I had my baby, I loved the maternity pads the hospital had ( already had an ice pack in them!) and layering witch hazel pads on top made for quicker healing. And definitely take the squirt bottle.

  • This post is SO true! I know I used many of the above techniques and it got me through 3 deliveries 🙂 Going to bookmark your site in case any of my friends need advice!

  • awesome blog and ohhh so true!!! word of advice – take everything from the hospital room with you. especially the little blue suction ball, you will use it a thousand times!!! wish i read about padsicles before i had my kiddo! i had an emergency c section and it felt like i got hit by a caravan of semi-trucks. now 10 month later i can barely remember the pain and would do it 10 times over for my little guy.

  • holy nightmares.

    I am the mother of 5, my "baby" is a PhD student at Duke…

    Reading this post brought back so many memories, and e freaking gads how did I do it? Mommy mommy mommy my hoohah hurts just thinkin' about all this again.

    But kudos to everyone who contributes; back in the day everyone was mum about it and man was that a surprise. Fore warned is fore armed! So go forth my young sisters, go forth!

  • Great tips! However, do NOT use Arnica on broken skin – Arnica heals bruises like nobody's business (I keep an industrial-sized container of the gel around so my little Amazons don't keep getting oh-so-careful questions about their bruise collections), BUT Arnica in the bloodstream is VERY BAD.

    So, please stick to the calendula oil for your padsicles :>.

    Also, and this is not going to be a popular point – use not the soap on your lady bits for at least a month before delivery. I know – ewww. But just rinse – the skin is waaaaaaaaaaaaay stretchier if you don't soap all the natural oils away. Same thing goes for nipples that are about to become a milk bar: warm water good, soap bad. Trust me, the difference for me was 8 stitches vs. zero stitches. Zero stitches ROCKS.

  • I bought a second "boppy" at a yard sale and used it as a donut to sit on for the first two weeks. I suggest it to all the soon to be new moms I meet!

  • FYI on pads – even though the ultra-absorbant, magic gel moisture absorbing crystals are great because they are thin, they can also absorb all of the moisture that your pour stitched-up areas need to heal. You DO NOT want inflamed / infected stiches on top of the other recovery nightmares. I switched back to a cheaper / thicker pad on the advice of my midwife and went back to being in terrible pain rather than "I am freaking the f out here" pain.

  • Witch hazel pads. Hospital gave me some…they're actually a hemorrhoid treatment but i used them on my stitches. There's a brand called Tucks that sells at drug stores. They're little round witch-hazel soaked pads. I place one on my stitches after every bathroom break and leave it there. It's very soothing

  • I personally couldn't stomach plain prune juice, so… Mix 50/50 prune juice with pineapple juice. Pour over ice for a surprisingly tolerable 'keep the deuce easy' beverage. Add a straw & paper umbrella for kicks.

  • With my second I learned NOT to be afraid of heat "down there", all though the cool (ice diapers!!! YAY!) feel good, warm water/heat packs soothe the hooha A LOT!!! Best trick ever for a quick and easy heat pack….take an adult sized sock like a tube sock, fill it 1/2 way with uncooked rice, tie a knot in the end then heat in the microwave for 1-3 min depending on how hot you want it (some rice will heat quicker than others too) then just tuck it between your legs on the outside of your clothing…..ahhhhhhh, just thinking about it relaxes me!!!

  • There is a product called Ural that is a powder you mix with water and it takes the acidity out of your pee so it doesn't sting so much if you have grazes or stitches. Also if you freeze "fingers" of ice in a plastic ziplock bag (so it doesn't leak when it melts) and insert it into the first layer of your mammoth maternity pad it holds it in place and doesn't give your hoo-harr ice burn on top of everything else. These two remedies combined with painkillers saved me… next time I will definitely take laxatives as that first #2 felt like birth all over again. Its a year and a half (to the day) since I gave birth and I still feel twinges of that horrid feeling if I haven't had enough fibre. EEEk it'll be a while before I go back for bubba number 2!!

  • I had a c-section, and all of the pain killers lead to the most horrific constipation that has ever been experienced, by anyone, in history. So stock up on stool softeners, and make sure the nurse gives them to you with your pain meds in the hospital. You will be sooooo thankful a few days later when it's finally time to poo.

  • Well, first, thanks for blinding me with that last image. Holy shite.

    I second the witch-hazel-soaked-frozen-maxi-pad idea. That was awesome. Between that, sitz baths, and YES TAKE THE STOOL SOFTENERS, recovery was actually much easier and faster than the horror show I had imagined. Therein lies the only advantage to always imagining the worst.

  • OMGosh! I am 14 weeks and have been reading this blog since i was just a single lady looking for a laugh, but this isn't funny anymore. I am blown away at pain I never even imagined. Now I think every night before bed I'm going to pray for my baby to just fall out. YIKES!!! Kudos to all who have had kids before!

  • Things like this make me glad that I am not a women. However, I read all these types of posts and she doesn't. Being so, I've been secretly stockpiling a box full of all these recommended remedies so that when she's hurting, I can pull out a list of solutions.

    I'm freaking amazing, I know.

  • Am around 27 weeks pregnant and am receiving good advice from friends – most who swear by using a spray bottle with a SALT SOLUTION in it (and of course the ring to sit on!).

    Suggestions are 2 tablespoons of salt in about one cup worth of water – it sanitises, cleans and helps aid a faster healing. heres hoping

    • Believe it or not, a mild sea salt solution can help speed healing- not anything that is going to burn, mind you. It is what you use, actually, to heal piercings without touching them or using chemical cleansers.

  • All good ideas! I made my husband buy me one of those rubber rings from the drug store so that I could sit on it. I even brought it with me to the first baby check up (a few days old) a the doctor's office and did not even care who stared at me!

  • And here I didn't freak out enough about the pain! But it's over and done with, and the spray bottle thing-y with warm water is my new fave thing. It's like a hand-held bidet!

    And yes, take the damn stool softeners… actually take any and all drugs that they offer you afterwards, regardless of how you feel about drugs during labour!

  • Go all manly and pee in the shower if it hurts too bad to sit. Just make sure to get hubby to clean the shower regularly!

  • Preparation H!!!!! Just get some. Just in case.
    And careful on the witch hazel if you have stitches, as it can cause drying of the skin and make things worse. It's really soothing, but only put a couple drops in your peri bottle to rinse with if you have some deeper (or a lot of) stitches.
    TAKE THE STOOL SOFTENERS THEY GIVE YOU!!! And then buy more and take them until you're not terrified to poop.
    frozen padsicles are your friend.

  • I am 20 weeks pregnant and this post is freaking me out……. and I am a nurse! lol 🙂 I know it will all happen but I prefer to think of it as things patient's go through rather than myself!! 🙂 But what fun tips! I read some of the not as embarrassing ones to my husband….. I don't think he knows what we're in for:)

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