How Best to Use Tucks Pads Postpartum
Following childbirth, you may experience issues such as itchiness or soreness around your vaginal or rectal area. This can be incredibly uncomfortable and certainly something that you don’t want to have to deal with on top of the pressures of being a new mom. This article explains an option that may help you.
What are Tucks Pads?
Tucks pads are used to treat burning sensations, itching, or other irritations caused by bowel movements or hemarroids. However, as well as that, they are commonly used to clean the outer vaginal area after a woman has given birth1. This is particularly the case if the woman has suffered from a perineal tear, as the pads can give instant relief of the itchiness caused by that2.
Tucks pads are medicated with witch hazel, which is what gives them their cooling effect3. You may well already be wearing a sanitary pad in the early days following childbirth, particularly if part of the process involved an epesiotomy. The advice is to wear one or two Tucks pads on top of your sanitary pad, rather than instead of it.
The active ingredient, witch hazel (Latin name, Hamamelis virginiana4), not only helps to reduce soreness, irritation, and itching, it also helps combat swelling5. Studies have shown this to be hugely beneficial to women suffering from perineal concerns after the birth of their baby6.
This is not to say that Tucks pads should be seen as a replacement for basic hygiene, of course. On the contrary, cleaning the area remains incredibly important (see later section of this article for more information).
When Should I use Tucks Pads?
Although Tucks pads are typically utilized for people suffering rectal issues such as hemarroids and pain during bowel movements, they also come highly recommended for new moms. They are most effective in treating soreness and itchiness caused by a perineal tear5, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be used by anyone who has just given birth.
As these products help by providing a cooling sensation to the vaginal area, you may consider using Tucks pads no matter what happened during your child’s birth. In rare cases, some people have experienced allergic reactions to the witch hazel in Tucks pads7.
However, this is uncommon and, while different people may have varying experiences, the product is generally considered to be safe for use on skin7. Nonetheless, you should inform your medical professional if you are using them, particularly if you are taking other medication, as there is always a small chance that different drugs can react with each other8.
How do I choose the right Postpartum Product?
This article is focused on Tucks pads, which can be used to relieve itchiness or irritation generated in the vaginal and perineal area following childbirth. However, there are other products that you may wish to explore. Depending on the requirements of your postpartum care, you may want to look into a variety of options9, such as:
- Disposable underwear: Due to the high likelihood of heavy bleeding during the postpartum period, you may well bleed through your underwear. Having some disposable pairs handy may be helpful.
- Peri rinse bottle: Following a vaginal delivery, your genitals are likely to be tender and possibly swollen. This means that using toilet paper during the postpartum period may be uncomfortable or even painful; a peri rinse bottle provides an alternative as it is a spray that effectively cleans your vagina after urinating.
- Perineal spray: This acts as a local anesthetic, relieving the pain in your perineum caused by a tear or episiotomy.
- Epsom salts: Adding two tablespoons of Epsom salts to four inches of bathwater, and resting therein for fifteen to twenty minutes, can help reduce pain around your rectum and perineum.
- Maxi pads: Bleeding is highly likely following childbirth, no matter how the baby was delivered. As well as that, you could well experience higher levels of vaginal discharge to what is usual for you. Therefore, strong sanitary pads are vital.
- Ice pack: Due to the additional blood and fluid that rushes to the vagina during childbirth and the trauma of the event itself, your vagina may well be swollen during the postpartum period. You can get small ice packs that are specifically designed to be worn with sanitary pads for just this reason.
- Pain relief medication: Over-the-counter pain medication may well be enough for you. However, some women benefit from a prescription-strength pain reliever. Speak to your doctor if you think this may apply to you.
- Tucks pads: And, of course, the focus of this article. As already discussed, Tucks pads can help relieve itchiness, soreness, and swelling around the vagina, perineum, and rectum.
How do I ensure Proper Cleanliness when using Tucks Pads?
As Tucks pads are medicated, they also help with the cleaning and healing process. Nonetheless, they should not be used instead of following your regular hygiene routine. Tucks pads are disposable and biodegradable, making them safe to be flushed down the toilet. Therefore, bathe or shower as you would typically, making sure to keep your vagina and perineum clean, then use a pad afterward.
It is recommended to wash the area affected with mild soap and warm, but not hot, water before applying a Tucks pad. This will keep your vagina sufficiently clean without causing further irritation by overly hot water or strong detergent. Please also note that Tucks pads are not designed to be used internally.
There is a range of products available to support you during the postpartum period. These range from sanitary pads to bottles that act as a bidet. Amongst this selection, Tucks pads can be used to help the itchiness, pain, and swelling brought on by childbirth. With witch hazel as the active ingredient, Tucks pads help soothe the vagina, perineum, and rectum. They are particularly recommended following an episiotomy or perineal tear. They are entirely safe to use for most people, although it’s always worth checking with your doctor if you’re not sure.
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