Cleaning stitches: How long do I need to do this?

I had my baby 3 weeks ago. How long do I have to clean my stitches.

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Peg Plumbo CNM

Peg Plumbo has been a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) since 1976. She has assisted at over 1,000 births and currently teaches in the... Read more

Dear Sylvia,

Congratulations. I hope you had a peaceful uncomplicated birth.

After about 2-3 weeks, the stitches used to suture perineal lacerations or the episiotomy are dissolving and the skin is knitted back together. As long as you have not had a fever or an infection which would make the healing process longer, nothing special needs to be done at this point.

This is not to say that all the pain or sensitivity would be gone; tub baths are still soothing. But you can return to your previous bathing techniques now; no spray bottles or anything special is necessary.

If hemorrhoids are a problem or there is still discharge from the wound, you may want to continue sitz baths for another week or two.

I hope you are healing well and good luck to you and your family.
Peg

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