By Alisa Donner, MSW, LCSW, Co-Founder of PAM
When I dreamed of bringing home my bundle of joy I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would also carry around a very different bundle, hemorrhoids. OMG, I actually did it, I outed myself on this blog. Well ladies, its true, evidently they can be a byproduct of being pregnant (the fetus crowding against the lower region of the bowels) as well as from pushing during vaginal birth or if you get constipated during pregnancy. Did I just say constipated and hemorrhoids in the same paragraph of this blog?
Actually constipation can happen during pregnancy for many reasons, one of which is that the enlarged uterus can press against the lower intestine. Bowel changes happen ladies, I mean your body is REALLY shifting and space gets crowded toward the end of the 40 weeks, also you are eliminating for two, so expect some things to be a little different. NEVER TAKE LAXATIVES OR SMOOTH MOVE TEA ETC DURING PREGNANCY, SEEK MEDICAL ADVISE BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING LIKE THAT.
I noticed my new buddies a couple of weeks before I went into labor. I had absolutely no idea what was going on. It was VERY uncomfortable, and sitting had become a nightmare. I started using one of those bouncy balls to sit on, the pilates balls, but it was a little too late.
During my labor everything went incredibly smooth (no pun intended). It was a natural birth, sans any medication or epidural. A spontaneous home birth, that story is for another blog post. And when my OB came to the house I was ready to push. Why do they always make it, whether at home or in the labor and delivery room just in time to push? Anyway, I was on my bed and remember the look on his face when he came to check on my progress said something like, “Wow, you have some large hemorrhoids, that is going to be uncomfortable later on.” I was completely disoriented at that moment, but I remember thinking, “What in the heck is he talking about?” But we moved quickly onto more important things and my beautiful daughter was born.
I was not prepared for the pain postpartum. But it had nothing to do with the natural birth. Yes, I had sore muscles, I mean I labored for 13 hours. And I tore a little in the birth, but did not need to be sewn up. I literally could not walk on my own for 3 days post delivery. OK, that means, help I need to go to the bathroom, help I need to take a shower, help I need to get out of this room already! I was shocked. It was the pain of the hemorrhoids; I had 3 of them. I learned about the beauty of the donut pillow and the sitz bath postpartum. I admit I used Tucks, anything to help. And gradually they got better, but they never went completely away. They aren’t active, in fact in the past 8 years they have only been active 1 time, but they are there, basically war wounds I guess.
I taught Mommy & Me Yoga class for the 1st 6 months after my daughter was born, and I remember making a comment in class about hemorrhoids and birthing; some sarcastic comment that actually fit in the moment. Dr. Lauren Feder was in the class, she was there with a dear friend of hers that had a new baby and they were having a fun time together. Lauren is a Board Certified Medical Doctor that transitioned into Homeopathy, and her practice in LA mostly focuses on homeopathic medicine. She laughed at my joke in class and chimed in that if I had seen her during the pregnancy she could have prevented it with homeopathy. I was surprised and intrigued. She certainly peaked my interest in homeopathy, and I have gone on to have a long love affair with Homeopathic Medicine. I encourage you to search around in your community for a Homeopathic practitioner and learn about this wonderful form of medicine. It has certainly added to the health of my family.
Here are some tips to keep your bum from bumming you out while preggo and postpartum:
- Keep Hydrated, drink water – the color of your urine is your guide, as long as it is clear, you are drinking enough
- Pay Attention – are you starting to get constipated? Increase your fiber (naturally) and add flax seed oil to your morning or afternoon smoothie. Sometimes prenatal vitamins contain iron, and that can slow you down…if you notice you are straining when eliminating, talk to your medical provider
- Baby wipes - I have no idea why, but everyone says to use them during pregnancy to wipe instead of tissue, I think it is because they are less irritating, use ones that are organic/non-toxic and flushable please
- Exercise – keep on moving during pregnancy, I LOVE prenatal yoga, but we also encourage women to walk, daily if possible, it helps with constipation – no strain, no gain ladies
- Sitz bath and baths in general – they are oh so good, make them a regular part of your pregnancy
- Pilates ball and the donut cushion – they do help once you have the buggers
If you get Hemorrhoids, talk to your OB or midwife, and consider outreaching to a homeopathic. There are several remedies that are used and one of the benefits of homeopathy is there aren’t any side effects.
**Alisa is not a medical provider nor is she or any of the PAM Bloggers giving medical advice. She is just talking about her experience as a mom and a pregnant woman. Please always talk to your medical provider before starting any exercise program or taking any medicines when pregnant or postpartum.
photo credit: ivillage.com