As a new mom, you might know hemorrhoids can be an unpleasant result of pregnancy. But during this exciting time, hemorrhoids should be the last thing on your mind.
Luckily, once you know what's causing them, how to relieve your symptoms and what you can do to help prevent them, you can put your hemorrhoids behind you and focus on taking care of the latest addition to your family.
To minimize your discomfort you can try the following:
- Wash your bottom with unscented soap after each bowel movement. Then dry off thoroughly by gently patting with a soft towel.
- Wear loose, cotton underwear instead of synthetic fibres to keep the area as dry as possible.
- Avoid using talcum powder.
- Don't stay standing or sitting longer than you have to. A warm bath can help with itching.
- Apply cold compresses. An ice pack can do the trick as well.
In most cases, your symptoms will clear up within a week or two. And by making a few small changes to your lifestyle, you can minimize the chance they'll come back to the same degree, if at all.
There are many things you can do to relieve your hemorrhoid symptoms right from home.1
- Apply an ice pack (with a soft covering) to the affected area several times a day. Ice may help decrease swelling and discomfort. Some women find cold compresses saturated with witch hazel to be soothing.
- Soak your bottom in warm water in a tub for 10 to 15 minutes a few times each day. (If you don't have a tub, you can buy a sitz bath at the drugstore. It's a small plastic basin that you fill with water and position over your toilet, allowing you to submerge your rectal area simply by sitting down.)
- Try alternating cold and warm treatments.
- Gently but thoroughly clean the affected area after each bowel movement using soft, unscented, white toilet tissue, which causes less irritation than colored, scented varieties.
- Moistening the tissue can help, too. Many women find using pre-moistened wipes more comfortable than using toilet tissue. You can buy wipes medicated with witch hazel that are made specifically for hemorrhoid sufferers.
- You can help relieve your hemorrhoid symptoms with over-the-counter medications but should consult a doctor or pharmacist before using these products.
You should consult a doctor or pharmacist before use.
1 BabyCenter. Hemorrhoids during pregnancy. Accessed at: http://www.babycenter.com/0_hemorrhoids-during-pregnancy_244.bc (July 2, 2014)