How long will my stitches take to heal?
Why you might need stitches
Many mums need stitches after labour, whether it’s because of a caesarean, an episiotomy (the name for a surgical cut in your perineum), or a tear.
How long will they take to heal?
It tends to take between 2 and 4 weeks for perineal stitches to heal but everyone is different and you may find it takes longer. Caesarean stitches generally take around 6 weeks to heal, but may take up to 12 in some cases.
The important thing is to look after them and keep the area clean to allow your body to heal without any problems, such as infections.
Tips to help you heal faster after giving birth
- Stay clean and keep the area dry – a good way to give yourself a quick wash is with a spray bottle full of water. Give yourself a squirt a few times a day and dry yourself gently.
- Take it easy – have regular rest periods and keep your physical activity to a minimum.
- Do pelvic floor exercises as often as you can. This will increase the blood flow to the area and encourage healing.
- Make sure any sanitary pads don’t rub against your stitches and change them regularly.
- Try using an ice pack covered in a cloth, but only for a few minutes at a time. They can be helpful to reduce swelling but they can also reduce blood flow to the area if used for too long.
- Stay regular – eating a healthy diet with plenty of fibre and staying hydrated with lots of water will make you less likely to get constipation, so you won’t need to push to go to the loo.
If your stitches feel too tight or you think you may have an infection, let your doctor know as soon as possible so they can make sure everything’s ok.