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how to ease hemorrhoid pain during pregnancy and postpartum

So many pregnant and postpartum posts will talk about how a woman feels after giving birth. They’ll go into details about sore and aching breasts and nipples and further discuss the ways to soothe the sore vagina or soreness from the c-section. Some posts discuss the complex emotions felt after birthing a child, bringing awareness to Postpartum Depression/ Anxiety and the Baby Blues. All of these types of articles are amazing resources for women but generally do not discuss one dirty detail of the postpartum period – hemorrhoids.

It’s important for women to know that hemorrhoids after pregnancy are just as normal and common as during their pregnancy. A baby puts pressure on the abdominal veins and may make normal functions of the body, like pooping, harder to do! Hemorrhoids can beinternalor external, so you may or may not be able to see them, should you suspect they are present.

Symptoms of hemorrhoids

  • pain and/or swelling around the anus
  • bleeding after a bowel movement
  • itchiness “back there”

The underlying issue of hemorrhoids?

Constipation! When the body isn’t able to void the bowels adequately or completely, stool backs up in the colon. Though you may feel the urge to go, straining may occur as you try to cleanse your system. This straining and/or pressure is what typically leads to hemorrhoids.

Relief of constipation

  • Stool softeners
  • Fiber supplements
  • Fiber-rich foods such as apples or prunes
  • Light exercise (you just had a baby, keep in mind! Make sure you allow your body time to heal and only do very light exercises like a short walk to keep things moving internally)
  • Lots of water

“Fun” Fact

Hemorrhoids are more likely to occur in postpartum moms who have had vaginal deliveries, but c-section birthsresulting in hemorrhoids are not uncommon.

Talk to Your Doc

If you are one of those women who do get hemorrhoids, don’t be afraid to tell your doctor about them! He or she can recommend creamsthat will help to heal them fast while reducing the pain/itchiness associated with them. They’ll also likely recommend a good fiber supplementor give a list of foods that you should eat to increase productivity in the digestive system. Take note that it’s important to be in touch with them if you have not been able to have a bowel movement in 3-4 days following childbirth. They are health professionals for a reason and will guide you to whatever option is best – don’t worry, they’ve seen and heard it all!

At Home Remedies for Hemorrhoids

The pain/itchiness associated with hemorrhoids is no joke and one of the very last things you wish to deal with following childbirth! Luckily, there are several simple ways to relieve the irritation and inflammation and get to feeling better quickly!

  • Sitz baths – a simple bath drawn up with just 3-4 inches of water, just enough to soak your sore areas. If a bathtub is not an option, a sitz tub can also be purchased online. Hemorrhoids or not, these types of bath are awesome for post-childbirth pain relief! You can add the following products for further relief, if you wish
    • Baking soda
    • Epsom Salt
    • Vinegar
    • Essential Oils (ones that are safe for topical use!)
    • Witch Hazel
  • Ice packs routinely while sitting
  • Pads with witch hazel for soothing and healing
  • Lots and lots of water and other above-mentioned measures to combat the constipation and give you full relief!

There’s so much going on after birth – your body is working to heal and restore itself to its pre-baby state and your hormones are a whirlwind of unpredictability. It can be very trying, both emotionally and physically, to stay positive and focus on your new little bundle when so much is going on in your own body. But have faith! Your body will return to its “normal” state and you will heal as nature intended! Be sure to consult your doctor with any concerns you might have about the healing process. While the information provided here is not a replacement for medical advice, hopefully it can help ease your mind and get your body back on track!

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