I am asking this question for a good friend: The doctors were very close to performing a C-Section, however, they did not and performed and episiotomy. She has stiches and is healing. Her question was:
1. How serious is an infection to that wound??
2. Is it common practice to be applying antibiotics to the wound?
3. If antibiotics are OK, which kind are usually given?
A wound infection in that area can be relatively serious, but luckily they are relatively rare. Nature has provided a very good blood supply to that location of the body, along with good wound healing capability as it is probably one of the most commonly injured areas of the body throughout the history of the human race. Most of the time, occassional sitz baths to keep the area clean are all that is necessary, and the stitches usually heal within a few days. We don't usually prescribe topical antibiotics, in fact in 20 years, I have never prescribed topical antibiotics. If I were going to recommend something, I would probably suggest triple antibiotic ointment. A topical antibiotic is going to be difficult to use there however, especially with the lochia. (blood flow after having a baby). Probably best just to keep clean (don't OVERDUE--too much cleaning or something too strong like hydrogen peroxide can be detrimental) and report any symptoms of infection such as fever, pain or drainage.
Hi, I had an episiotomy with my first and thankfully I had a great midwife with some very good advice; yes, we all know that we bleed for a while after birth and it is very difficult to keep a wound in such a delicate location under those circumstances dry. HOWEVER, she did say that if I have ANY opportunity whatsoever to enjoy a private place in the sun on a towel for about 5 minutes a day to get some fresh air and sunlight onto it, then it will heal faster and without the need for any antibiotics.
She was right. I had 12 stitches all up, 6 internal and 6 external, and with this natural method of care, I didn't need any antibiotics, didn't experience any infection (don't confuse the natural clear fluid weeping of the sore with infection. Infection would be incredibly sore, inflamed, have a yellowish weeping and be a bit smelly) and the stitches just fell out by themselves (my doctor used the dissolving kind).
If sunlight isn't available, practical, or your preference, a hair dryer for a few minutes a day is good also.
Thank you so much for the comment. I have heard similar advice. Please do not take offense, but I am really hoping for the Dr. to gave me her professional opinion as I did pay the fee for the "Expert Forum"
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