After birth hemorrhoid – What to Expect After Giving Birth
Welcoming a precious bundle of joy is undoubtedly one of the biggest highlights of a mother’s life. However, it may be wrought with complications, with a common condition being hemorrhoids, affecting 1 out of 3 pregnant women. Hemorrhoids are distended or swollen blood vessels in the rectum and around the anus that can make life very uncomfortable.
Therefore, if you’re expectant, hemorrhoids are one of the problems you can expect. Worry not, however, because you're in the right place to find out how you can deal with them.
Hemorrhoids Types and Symptoms
The two main types of hemorrhoids are internal and external hemorrhoids, depending on where they are found. Internal hemorrhoids are found inside the rectum whereas external hemorrhoids are found in and around the anus. When an internal hemorrhoid protrudes outside the anus, it becomes known as a prolapsed hemorrhoid. The symptoms of hemorrhoids are as follows:
- An itchy or irritating sensation in the anus
- Feeling hard lumps on the anus as you wipe after bowel movements
- You notice blood on your stool or in the toilet
- Pain after bowel movements that may last for a couple of hours
- Discomfort when you sit
What Causes Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are prevalent in pregnant women, and one study found out that the prevalence was 86% out of the 835 patients that participated in the study. They mostly occur in the last trimester because the fetus gets increasingly heavier and puts a lot of pressure on blood vessels that transport blood to the anal and rectal regions.
Hemorrhoids that develop after birth occur because of the immense pressure that is applied on the rectal and anal muscles during vaginal delivery. Constipation is also a common complaint after delivery and this exacerbates the hemorrhoids as it puts additional pressure on the anal and rectal muscles.
Home Treatments for Hemorrhoids
You can treat hemorrhoids with readily available solutions you can find in your kitchen or over-the-counter. Below are some of the home remedies you can try on your hemorrhoids:
You can make a cold compress by wrapping ice in a towel or piece of cloth. You should then place it on your anus for about 15 minutes. The ice shrinks your blood vessels so the swelling will go down and the pain and irritation will be soothed.
Soak in a Sitz Bath
Dip your anus in warm water, preferably with Epsom salts for 20 minutes. Your blood flow will improve so the inflammation will reduce along with the itchiness and pain.
This is an anti-itch product you can find over-the-counter that you should apply directly on the hemorrhoids. It soothes irritation, pain, inflammation, and reduces bleeding. It can also be found in various products like wipes, soap, and creams.
Aloe vera is a natural anti-itch and anti-inflammatory compound you can use to treat the pain, swelling, and itchiness of hemorrhoids. Before you apply aloe vera gel directly on your skin, do a patch test to make sure you’re not allergic to it.
Coconut oil is a versatile oil that has several uses including soothing irritated skin because of its moisturizing properties. It can, therefore, be applied to hemorrhoids to reduce pain, irritation, and inflammation.
Tea leaves have tannic acid which is a compound that is anti-inflammatory so it will a good remedy for the itchiness, pain, and swelling of hemorrhoids. Dip the tea bag in warm water and put on the hemorrhoids for some time until you feel relief.
When you stay physically active, you get digestion and excretion moving along quickly so you won’t be straining in the bathroom. This is because stool doesn’t stay long enough in the digestive tract to get too hard. Make sure you only engage in exercises that will not harm the baby.
Fiber-rich foods like root vegetables, vegetables, fruits, legumes, and grains are very good at adding bulk and softening the stool. Eat them in plenty and you’ll not strain in the toilet and aggravate hemorrhoids or cause them to recur.
Water is the agent that is drawn by fiber to make stool softer and thus, easier to pass. Drink at least 6 glasses of water daily to move this process along.
Obey Your Urges
When you have to go to the toilet to move your bowels, don’t ignore that urge. Go as soon as possible because if you don’t, stool hardens and becomes difficult to pass.
Wear Loose and Breathable Clothing
When your underwear or pants are too tight and made of non-breathable fabrics like polyester, blood flow to the rectum and anus is restricted so hemorrhoids may develop. Wear properly-fitted cotton underwear to avoid this.
When to Call Your Doctor
You should be able to notice a marked improvement after these home remedies. If the pain of the hemorrhoids keeps getting worse, you should see your doctor right away.
Additionally, if the bleeding also persists beyond 10 minutes, you should seek medical attention immediately!
Pregnancy and postpartum can be incredibly challenging periods and hemorrhoids only add to the troubles. The good news is that with treatment (home or medical) the symptoms improve within a few days or weeks. Adopt some of the home treatments recommended in this article to make these periods a little more bearable.