Top tips for mum after a vaginal birth

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  • Try to rest when your baby sleeps. Side lying with a pillow between your knees is often a comfortable position.
  • Remember that visitors are coming to see you, and not your clean floor! Don’t try to do everything. Delegate jobs to others.

Perineal Swelling or Pain

  • Ice packs can be really helpful to manage swelling and pain in the perinium. Use for 10-15minutes at a time. Make sure you have some material between your skin and the ice so you don’t get an ice burn!


  • One of the best things you can do for your pelvic floor is to NOT get constipated
  • Maintain a soft stool by drinking plenty of fluid and eating lots of soluble fibre – such as berries, kiwifruit, apples, citrus, prunes, green leafy  vegetables, oats, chia seeds and beans.
  • If you are taking pain relief such as codeine you might become constipated – ask for some laxatives in the hospital, they won’t hurt and will definitely help.
  • Using a pad or wad of toilet paper to put pressure against your perineum when you are opening your bowels can help, especially if you are feeling sore.
  • Avoid straining on the toilet, take your time, and your posture is very important.

Manage ankle swelling

  • Rest with your legs elevated and pump your ankles up and down.

Looking after your Abdominals, and any separation

  • Remember to log roll when getting in and out of bed – from sidelying with bent knees, use your arms to help push you up into sitting on the edge of the bed (this limits the strain on your abdominals in the early phase).
  • You may like to wear an abdominal support for the first 6-8 weeks, large tubigrips, belly belts or postnatal recovery shorts are a good option.
  • Don’t do crunches, sit ups, planks, burpees or other high level abdominal exercises until you’ve had your 6 week postnatal check to ensure you are using your abdominals correctly.

Check out and download our full information brochure for all your care in the post-natal period

Womens Health POST NATAL TIPS – Vaginal Birth

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