Postpartum Hemorrhoids – What nobody tells you
Oh my.. Everybody knows about it, most people experienced it at some point in their life and yet, it still feels embarrassing to talk about.
Dear mom, you’re not alone! Trust me!
In this article you’ll learn the natural remedies and holistic approach to the treatment of postpartum hemorrhoids.
Of course, there are tones of things you can buy in your local pharmacy to help you soften or reduce hemorrhoid symptoms, like creams, stool softeners etc. In fact, I’m pretty sure you’ve already bought and tried a few of them. Those can give you some relief, but most of them only work for short periods of time.
What I want to give you are some tools and a holistic approach to treat postpartum hemorrhoids for the long term.
I’ve tried a lot of different things myself and I know what works for me and what doesn’t. So, I ask you to keep an open mind and see what can work for you. While I’m convinced my approach will work for most people, it’s possible it might just not be your cup of tea. But I always encourage you to try the natural holistic methods of healing first before getting into the medications or surgery.
What is postpartum hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins, either inside the rectum or under the skin around the anus.
I’m not going to get into too much details about what it is, because if you’re reading this you definitely know what it is. But in a few words, hemorrhoids are swollen veins that can be internal (can cause rectal bleeding) and external to the anus (can be painful to the touch). In pregnancy and postpartum hemorrhoids can happen due to:
• hormonal changes in your body
• the extra weight (aka your baby) pushing down to rectum veins
• increased blood flow during pregnancy
• due to vaginal delivery or “pushing” too hard
Adding to this, I believe one of the biggest reasons why we pregnant and postpartum women have hemorrhoids after birth is because we just don’t take good enough care of our body. I’m talking about actually honoring your body at what stage it is in and giving it the support that it needs.
Instead, we are so busy with our daily lives that we don’t provide many simple basic things that our body needs. Things like proper rest, healthy eating, hydrating ourselves, letting our body gently release while on the toilet (instead of pushing it out so hard because we’re in a rush!), clearing our mind and letting it have an emotional release.
Natural home treatments for postpartum hemorrhoids.
- Squatty potty. This is the number one treatment for me. Squatty potty is beneficial for many reasons, and hemorrhoids is one of the biggest ones. We as humans are supposed to poop in a “squatting” position, our digestive tract is designed to evacuate easy this way. There is a lot of research on this, not only does it help you evacuate with ease, but it’s also very good for your pelvic organs and muscles. By the way this is not only beneficial for women, but for men too.
- Apply oil. Oil yourself up as much as possible in the anus as often as you can. I’m a huge fan of Ayurveda and oiling is a favorite pleasure of mine. I use it before and after showering, before and after using the toilet, before and after sex, before and after everything. Yes, it sounds funny, but it’s easy to do, affordable, is non-toxic and brings lot’s of benefits to your life. My favorite oils are almond oil, coconut oil and olive oil. I use them all over my body. I’ve ditched shower gels, soaps, creams, lotions, face cleansers and face washes a long time ago and don’t regret it as oil can do it all. But specifically, on hemorrhoids, especially in early postpartum, it was the golden tool for me. I recommend that you pick your favorite oil (make sure you don’t have an allergy first) and apply it before and after your bowl movements. Trust me, it’s a game changer! You can also try some natural suppositories or balms made of oils. I like this one, (Don’t worry it’s not sponsored, it’s my own preferences).
- Throw away the toilet paper. Don’t use toilet pepper ever again. Instead, use warm water. So simple and affordable. After a bowl movement wash yourself with warm water and wipe/tap with a towel. You can even install a bidet faucet (this link is not sponsored) it’s super cheap and easy to do. Or just keep a cup by the toilet and fill it up with warm water when you need it and ta-da! ;). Also, adding Witch Hazel into this cup of water will give you a soothing relieve.
- Seats baths with Epsom salt or a full body bath with Epsom salts. Promotes healing and overall relaxation that is so needed in postpartum.
- Donut pillow. If hemorrhoid is too uncomfortable to seat. It’s a small comfort but can give you a nice relieve while breastfeeding.
• Self-massage. Give yourself perineum massages with deep breathing. Not only does it feel amazing and helps to release the tension in your pelvic floor muscles, it also helps with hemorrhoids. Again, oil yourself up and massage the perineum area with your fingers. Make sure to apply a gentle pressure. While massaging, take slow deep breaths. I suggest you do 3-5 slow deep breaths in and out, then come back to your normal breathing, making sure to focus on relaxation through the breathing. Breathing helps with muscle relaxation and as you know works great for your mind too.
If your hemorrhoids piles are too big, you can gently push them in its place (not into the anus). Again, don’t forget the breathing and lots of oil.
• Belly massage. Oil up your tummy and gently massage it in a circular motion from right to left. Keep breathing calmly.
Side note on the massage: We need to improve circulation of the blood and massage is one of the greatest and pleasantest way to do it. So, if you do have a chance to get a full body massage, please take it.
• Yoga as a tool for treating hemorrhoids. Yoga poses like ‘Leg’s up the wall’ (see below) , ‘Downward facing dog’, or just going on all fours and breathing, while letting your belly totally relax. These poses will really help with blood circulation and to reduce swelling of the veins.
- Healthy diet choices., In pregnancy and postpartum our digestion system changes. Therefore, to support our body to heal we must consume food that is easy to digest, warm and freshly cooked. I suggest lot’s of broths, soups and stews to support your gut, and of course to help relieve and prevent hemorrhoids.
- Don’t lift heavy things. It’s a big NO and yet we’re doing it, because we’re too busy and because there’s no one around to help us. Extra weight will bring pressure to the pelvic floor and consequently can result in hemorrhoids. You know it girl, don’t lift anything heavier than your baby!
- Hydration. Drink as much fresh filtered water as you can, up to 2-3L a day. This will help you to improve your digestion and reduce swelling of the veins i.e. hemorrhoids. Try to drink warm water or room temperature water, NOT cold water or ice cubes!
- Rest. There is nothing else your body needs in postpartum like rest. Rest is crucial. It helps your body to bring all it’s systems in a healing state. It’s vital. Letting your body rest after pregnancy and birth will help you big time, not only with hemorrhoids but to eliminate all the troubles that we, as postpartum women have.
To conclude all of what I’ve written above, I urge you to start taking your self-care as priority number one. If you let yourself slow down and treat your body and your emotional body with honor you will notice how dramatically your health and life can change.
Postpartum Hemorrhoids are not the only health challenge we have in postpartum. It’s one of many. Many appear because we don’t take our self-care seriously enough. We don’t allow our body to rest, we eat on the go, we use the bathroom faster, we lift heavy things, and so on. Because of our modern busy lives, we forget to honor our feminine nature.
I hope you will find the treatment that suits your body and heal fast!
Download your free Postnatal self-care guide where you’ll learn what else you need to do in postpartum to heal.
Hopefully you can grab a good restful sleep mama!
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- Book by Susan Weis-Bohlen, 2018, Ayurveda beginner’s guide, Althea Press, Emeryville, CA
- Book by Sarah Kucera, 2019, The Ayurvedic Self-Care handbook, The Experiment, New York, US
- Article by Mayo Clinic, 2019, Hemorrhoids – Symptoms and causes, viewed December 2020, mayoclinic.org
- Article by Jennifer Robinson, MD, September 2020, Hemorrhoids, WebMD, viewed November 2020, webmd.com
- Article by Jamie Ducharmes, 2019, Scientists say the Squatty Potty really does help you pop better, Times, viewed November 2020, time.com
- Article by Katy Bowman, 2012, Squatty Potty, Nutritious Movement 2020, viewed November 2020, nutritiousmovement.com
- Article by Katy Bowman, updated 2020, 4 Fast Fixes for Pelvic Floor Disorder, Nutritious Movement 2020, viewed November 2020, nutritiousmovement.com
- This is not sponsored example of the Bidet attachment, Amazon.ca, viewed November 2020.