Your cervix produces fluids during pregnancy that help to keep the vaginal canal clean and infection free. This increased moisture and the change in acid levels of the vagina make the area easily susceptible to a yeast infection. The increased moisture also makes the skin of the perineum brittle and susceptible to tearing as your baby is born.
Signs that a vaginal discharge are not normal include a foul odor, a color other than clear or white, vaginal itching, warts or in combination with other symptoms such as fever and flu-like symptoms. With a yeast infection, the vaginal discharge is white and cheese and you may experience itching. If you experience any of these types of vaginal discharge contact your midwife right away.
Some Women Have Tried…
- Wear cotton panties, which have a tendency to be more absorbent and protect the skin.
- Be aware of your normal discharge so you can identify unhealthy changes.
- Do not wear tight clothing around the crotch. This forces the fluids back up the vagina.
- A panty-liner may help reduce moisture.
- Stay aware of the importance of good sexual hygiene. Wash your hands, and have your partner wash hands before sexual intimacy to avoid introducing bacteria to the vagina.
- Eat a cup of yogurt with live cultures every day to help prevent yeast infections.
- If possible, go pantyless in the evenings or at night to allow the vaginal skin time to dry out.
- If you have a private place to be outside nude, a few minutes of sun exposure for the vagina each day can help maintain healthy skin.
- Using soap will only make the skin more dried out and brittle. Try cleansing with warm water and a cloth only.
Similarly, feminine hygiene sprays and powers can be irritating.
- Decrease the amount of sugar and refined carbohydrates in your diet.
- If you do get a yeast infection, contact your caregiver right away to start treatments. A yeast infection can be transferred to the baby during birth.
- If you suspect an infection, rinse your labia with two tablespoons vinegar mixed into one quart of water. Alternately, you could try aloe vera juice.
- Consult an herbalist for proper dosing of chaparral, white oak bark, slippery elm and periwinkle for vaginal infections.