Of all the stages of pregnancy, the third trimester can feel like the longest. Not only are you ready for all the aches, pains, and swelling to go away, but you’re also excited about meeting your new baby.
When the delivery day finally arrives, you finally see that precious little face and those adorable little feet. All your hard work has paid off as you hold in your arms the newest member of your family.
While the labor pains may be over, for many women, postpartum pains are soon to follow. Discomfort is felt around swelling breasts, incision stitches, abdominal cramping, and postpartum hemorrhoids. However, there are several remedies available to make mom more comfortable as she cares for her new baby. We’ll share our favorites today!
What Are Postpartum Hemorrhoids?
What happens normally during maternity creates the ideal conditions for hemorrhoids to develop. Hemorrhoid symptoms are itching, burning, and blood or mucus when wiping.
- Sitting for long periods: Swollen legs and feet, plus fatigue from carrying so much extra weight around means pregnant women sit down to rest more often.
- Diet imbalance: Comfort eating from pregnancy cravings and hardship alters the diet. We avoid hard stools and constipation by eating a healthy and balanced diet with plenty of fiber. Nutrient depletion is another issue women face during pregnancy as much of the nourishment is delivered to the womb. Prenatal vitamins can make up the difference.
- Constipation: Thanks to hormonal changes, an increase in progesterone may cause constipation.
- Straining: Constipation leads to straining in the bathroom. Straining might also occur with bearing down during childbirth classes or labor itself.
These things that are normal in pregnancy contribute to swelling and trauma to the veins around the rectum wall. Too much pressure on these veins from straining and sitting too long is how hemorrhoids (also known as “piles”) develop.
Because pregnancy and childbirth take a toll on a woman’s body, a case of hemorrhoids after labor may be one more thing to recover from during the postpartum stages. It’s common for women to develop piles during and after pregnancy, so if you find yourself with symptoms of hemorrhoids after birth, you aren’t alone.
Causes of Hemorrhoids After Labor
After the delivery, the pregnancy may be over, but the effects remain for a while. Pushing during labor is a significant factor for hemorrhoids to form.
Another post-delivery circumstance is continued constipation. It may take a while for a woman’s body to balance out and regain regular bowel movements.
Maternity leave is a time for recovery and bonding with an infant. A woman may spend hours sitting to feed and comfort her baby. Women recovering from a c-section may not be able to move much, and this also means more time sitting. Many hours seated contribute to and prolong hemorrhoids.
How Long Do They Last?
Recovery time for postpartum hemorrhoids depends on the size, location, continued irritation, and if anything has been done to promote healing.
A minor case of postpartum hemorrhoids takes up to 6 weeks to clear up. Thrombosed (blood clot formations) hemorrhoids have a longer recovery time and require treatment from a doctor. Hemorrhoids are considered chronic if they last for longer than two months.
What Can I Do to Treat Postpartum Hemorrhoids?
Because hemorrhoids are very painful, they can be worrisome. As you care for your newborn post-delivery, it is also a time to tend to your own recovery.
To ease the discomfort and aid the healing process, we have tips to share on how you can treat hemorrhoid flareups at home.
- Sitz or Epsom Salt Baths: Give your bottom its own bath. Warm water is soothing to the swollen area. A Sitz bath is a small basin designed to envelop the backside with water, or instead, it can be a bath with just enough water to dip your bottom into. For more relief of inflammation and soreness, add Epsom salts to the bath.
- Drink Lots of Water: Hydration prevents hard stools. Stool hardness causes the straining that causes worsens hemorrhoids. As you heal, you don’t want to undo your progress – keeping stools soft helps with this.
- Get Enough Fiber: During pregnancy recovery (particularly when you’re nursing) it can be challenging to get balanced nutrition. Important nutrients may go to your breastmilk instead of the rest of your body. You may need to increase your fiber intake to make up for this. A balanced diet with ample fiber helps to avoid constipation.
- Aloe Vera: Soothing aloe eases the extreme discomfort of the itching and burning of a hemorrhoid flareup. Apply topically, as needed. Aloe is one of the many beneficial ingredients in Doctor Butler’s Hemorrhoid Ointment!
1. Switch to Wipes: Wipes are best for diaper changes, and wipes are best for mothers who are healing from hemorrhoids. Toilet paper can cause additional irritation to the affected area. Soothing wipes with healing ingredients both treat the area and prevent it from getting worse.
2. Apply Topical Ointment: The right topical cream makes all the difference in healing from hemorrhoids. Soothing the irritated and swollen area and also keeping it clean goes a long way toward healing.
Doctor Butler’s Hemorrhoid Ointment is a unique proprietary blend of powerful botanicals that work together to provide soothing relief and speed the healing process.
3. Witch Hazel Compress: Because Witch Hazel is a natural yet powerful anti-inflammatory agent, it is ideal for hemorrhoid relief. For this treatment, cotton balls soaked in witch hazel solution or pre-soaked pads are applied to the affected area during bathroom time or as needed. Witch Hazel is an astringent, so it may be too harsh for a raw area or when anal fissures have developed.
4. Over the Counter Pain Medicine: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly used for post-pregnancy pain. Brand names you might be familiar with are Advil, Motrin, and Aleve. These medications alleviate pain and severe swelling. Be sure to ask your doctor before taking medication, especially while breastfeeding.
Other After-Pregnancy Pains
Pregnancy and delivery are so hard on the body. Other postpartum conditions cause pain and discomfort “down there.” Below are a few other issues that women encounter after giving birth.
Anal Fissures From Giving Birth
Like hemorrhoids, anal fissures bleed and increase in pain during a bowel movement. What makes fissures different is that the anal tissue is torn. Difficulty passing a hard stool may cause tearing of the anus. Urination or subsequent bowel movements cause severe pain and stinging to the affected area.
It takes a few weeks for fissures to heal, or they are considered chronic if they haven’t healed in 6 weeks. When they don’t clear up in a reasonable amount of time, medical treatment may be necessary.
Perineal Pain After Labor
During vaginal childbirth, the perineum (the skin between the vagina and the anus) may become sore (or torn) from stretching. Some situations may require an episiotomy (an incision to the perineum to accommodate a larger baby).
Recovery of this area can be painful. Remedies for perineal pain are similar to those for hemorrhoids: keep the affected area clean, take Sitz baths, and use pain medication. Squirt bottles and cold compresses are also used to heal the injured perineum. Regular pad changes and not sitting for too long helps the condition from getting worse.
Doctor Butler’s Hemorrhoid & Perineal Spray is a soothing mist designed especially for moms recovering from childbirth. It also works to protect and heal the skin as it recovers.
What to do If Postpartum Hemorrhoids Don’t Go Away
Postpartum pains can be difficult, but there are many solutions to help reduce discomfort.
When hemorrhoids or anal fissures persist after 6 weeks, or if the hemorrhoids become thrombosed, contact your physician or mention it during your post-delivery check-up. Medical intervention may be needed for healing and recovery. Your full recovery is so important, so make yourself a priority!
Doctor Butler’s mission from the start was to design the best at-home hemorrhoid treatment. We realize how much and how often hemorrhoids affect women during maternity.
Knowing the issues that arise during and after pregnancy, we created more products designed for her. Below are the Doctor Butler’s products that have been created with new moms in mind.
- Hemorrhoid & Fissure Ointment
- Hemorrhoid & Perineal Spray
- Organic Baby Wipes
- Orthopedic Memory Foam Seat Cushion
It is so important to take care of yourself postpartum and make a full recovery. Stay hydrated, eat nourishing meals with fiber-rich foods, maintain hygiene, and avoid sitting for too long. Have a care plan that includes the right products to help you heal and make you feel better.