One of the more annoying little common postpartum complaints is hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids occur when the blood vessels around your rectal area have become unusually swollen. They can range in size from small raisins to large grapes. Hemorrhoids are often itchy and can be very painful, especially in the first few days postpartum. You may find some bleeding in the rectal area especially after a bowel movement, this is normal. Postpartum hemorrhoids are annoying, but thankfully temporary.
Some women get hemorrhoids during pregnancy, they are especially common during the third trimester when there is added pressure on the blood vessels in the lower part of your body. If you had hemorrhoids during pregnancy you are probably an old pro at dealing with them already. If your first experience is postpartum, you’ll quickly learn how to deal with them and make yourself feel better until they go away.
Postpartum hemorrhoids are caused as a result of all the pushing during the delivery. Also, the added progesterone in your body causes the walls of your veins to relax, making them more susceptible to swelling. Often the harder and longer you have to push the worse your hemorrhoids will be. Luckily the nursing staff with be well equipped with tips and tricks to make dealing with your hemorrhoids much easier.
A few of the things that I was told while I was in the hospital after my delivery were to use Tucks pads to sooth the hemorrhoids, avoid straining when having my first bowel movement postpartum, and to avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time. The Tucks pads worked well (they are also used to ease the pain and swelling of your perinium as well). The nurses provided me with stool softeners while I was in the hospital and directed me to continue taking them when I got home (again, a lot of help).
Luckily this annoying postpartum complaint will go away fairly quickly. Usually within a couple of weeks you will find your hemorrhoids have disappeared. Talk to your doctor if you are concerned about your hemorrhoids or if you have questions about how to deal with them.