After childbirth, you may have had stitches to repair any perineal tears, or an episiotomy. It is rare for the stitches to simply to come undone. However, occasionally an infection or pressure on the stitches from bleeding underneath can cause the stitches to breakdown, leaving an open or gaping wound.
How do you know if your stitches are infected after birth?
If your stitches have become infected, you may notice the following symptoms:
- redness or swelling around the stitches.
- an increase in pain or tenderness at the wound.
- warmth at or around the site.
- blood or pus leaking from the stitches, which may have a foul odor.
- swollen lymph nodes.
When should I be worried about postpartum stitches?
Call your healthcare provider if you have:
- Heavy or gushing bleeding from the vagina.
- Discharge that has a bad odor.
- Severe pain in the abdomen or increased pain near your stitches.
- If your episiotomy or tear opens.
- Fever or chills.
- No bowel movement within 1 week after the birth of your baby.
How do I prevent my stitches from getting infected after birth?
First and foremost, Lesley recommends keeping the area where you’ve had stitches very clean by bathing or showering at least twice a day, as this will minimise the risk of infection. It’s best to use plain warm water or specialist Epsom Salts.
How do you tell if stitches are infected?
Watch out for any signs of infection near or around the stitches, such as:
- increased redness around the wound.
- pus or bleeding from the wound.
- the wound feeling warm.
- an unpleasant smell from the wound.
- increasing pain.
- a high temperature.
- swollen glands.
How do you tell if stitches are healing properly?
The edges will pull together, and you might see some thickening there. It’s also normal to spot some new red bumps inside your shrinking wound. You might feel sharp, shooting pains in your wound area. This may be a sign that you’re getting sensations back in your nerves.
How do you treat an infected stitches at home?
How to care for stitches and prevent infection
- keeping the stitches covered and dry for the first 24 hours.
- cleaning the stitches gently with mild soap and water.
- avoiding perfumed soaps, alcohol wipes, iodine, and peroxide.
- patting the area dry gently with a fresh towel after cleaning.
How long does a vaginal tear take to heal?
How long does it take a vaginal tear to heal? Most women feel relief from any pain caused by a vaginal tear in about two weeks. If your tear required stitches, they will dissolve within six weeks.
How long should stitches hurt after birth?
It is normal to feel pain or soreness for 2 to 3 weeks after having any tear. Here is more information about recovering from a perineal tear and looking after your stitches when you get home.
How long does it take for normal delivery stitches to heal?
The stitches in the skin should heal in 5-10 days. The underlying stitches in your muscle layer will take longer to heal. These won’t completely heal for 12 weeks. For the stitches that you can see, make sure to watch for any signs of infection.
What color pus is bad?
Pus is a thick fluid that usually contains white blood cells, dead tissue and germs (bacteria). The pus may be yellow or green and may have a bad smell. The usual cause is an infection with bacteria.
Why is it red around my stitches?
Some amount of redness and swelling around the wound site is normal following a procedure. The body takes a few days to fight off bacteria and other potential infections following exposure to the air. It does this by releasing white blood cells and forming blood clots to prepare the site for tissue repair.
Is it normal for stitches to be swollen?
Normal: Swelling, bruising and redness may continue for days to weeks after the stitches are removed. This is a normal part of healing. Abnormal: If the wound becomes more red, tender or swollen after one to two days, please notify us or consult with your family physician.