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If you’ve had stitches after tearing or an episiotomy, bathe the area often in clean warm water to help it heal. After bathing or having a shower, dry yourself carefully.

In the first few days, remember to sit down gently and it may be more comfortable to lie on your side rather than on your back. Pelvic floor exercises can also help healing.

If the stitches are sore and uncomfortable, tell your midwife as they may be able to recommend treatment. Taking regular painkillers will also help. If you're breastfeeding, check with your midwife, GP or pharmacist before you buy over-the-counter products, such as ibuprofen or paracetamol.

Usually stitches just dissolve by the time the cut or the tear has healed, but occasionally 1 or 2 have to be taken out. Talk to your midwife or GP if you are concerned.

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