Stretching Vagina After Birth
Stretching your vag out after birth- this seems counterintuitive, right? After all, your vagina was just stretched to its limit so you are probably wondering WHY in the world would you need to stretch it after giving birth?! This only applies to women who had a traumatic birth- so if you had an episiotomy or any natural tearing, or if you have pain with penetration, thrusting and/or tampon insertion or pelvic floor pain in general. This is because your pelvic floor gets stretched to its max and then seizes up and gets really tight again. You can start this around 12 weeks postpartum. Here are some instructions and tips for stretching your vagina after birth:
Use your finger.
You can insert your pointer finger or thumbs into your vagina. Wash your hands before and make sure your fingernails are short so you don’t scratch anything. Lubricate the finger(s) you are going to use with a water based lube- my favorite is slippery stuff.
Insert your finger 1-1.5 inches inside your vagina. Imagine your vagina as a clock (6 is down toward the anus and 12 is up tossed the clitoris). Slowly massage the lower half of the vagina using a U shaped motion. Press down toward 6 o’clock and back and forth from 3 to 9 o’clock until you feel a slight burning, stretching sensation. Do this for 2-3 minutes max. Focus on relaxing your muscles while you do this and practice using your diaphragmatic breathing.
Just like with the finger, you can imagine your vagina as a clock. Push the dilator down towards six o’clock and work it from 3 to 9. Push and hold for a few seconds at 3, 6 and 9 oclock.
You can also have your partner help you with this wink wink ;). Have them use their index finger and follow the same instructions above, using their index finger and lubrication. Make sure you have good communication if you are going to do this and let them know if it is hurting anything. Again, you should just feel a slight stretching/burning sensation but shouldn’t be painful.
This doesn’t actually stretch it out but is an important part of the process of your pelvic floor healing. It is very important to resume sexual activity ASAP- don’t delay it will only make things worse.
FInd a Pelvic Floor PT
As always, if you are uncomfortable with stretching out your own vagina we recommend that you find a pelvic floor PT to help do this for you. You can look up a PT here: http://www.apta.org. Click find a PT and filter it to Women’s Health.