*We’ve partnered with Earth Mama® to help you handle some of the less glamorous parts of pregnancy and postpartum.
You’ve got to be kidding me.
As if the nausea, headaches, flatulence and random aches and pains weren’t enough to deal with, there’s another common preggo problem that no one likes to talk about—hemorrhoids. Caused by increased pressure on the veins below your uterus and triggered by constipation, these things (ranging from the size of a pea to the size of a grape) are…well, a pain in the ass.
If you’re tempted to quickly Amazon yourself the over-the-counter topical treatment for hemorrhoid pain you saw on TV, WAIT! Some of those salves can be quite harmful, containing fragrances, parabens, diazolidinyl urea and sometimes even small quantities of formaldehyde (Um, do you love your hemorrhoids enough to want to embalm them? We think not.). That’s quite a harsh mixture for quite a sensitive area, especially during pregnancy or postpartum.
Here are some natural ways of relieving hemorrhoid pain (before and after delivery):
1. A sitz bath can be wonderfully soothing for hemorrhoid pain. You can sit in a tub of warm water for 10-15 minutes a day, or purchase a small plastic basin from the drugstore that fits neatly into your toilet. Add herbs like yarrow, lavender and calendula to the water, which are naturally soothing and have antiseptic qualities.
2. Earth Mama® makes a completely natural ointment that is like magic. It provides rapid relief for prenatal and postpartum hemorrhoids, postpartum vaginal swelling and bruising, and even perineal tears and episiotomies. The salve contains herbs such as St. John’s wort, yarrow, calendula and witch hazel, making it gentle and naturally soothing without toxic chemicals that can be absorbed by your ladyparts. You can even store it in the refrigerator for extra relief.
3. Take a seat on a donut cushion (named for their distinctive shape) and take the pressure off. It can help improve posture and blood flow, and relieve discomfort to the affected. Donut cushions come in a variety of shapes, sizes, fillings and some are even inflatable. You can use them in your car, at home, or even sneak one into work to use.
4. Of course, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure. Take whatever measures you can to avoid getting hemorrhoids in the first place. Since constipation increases the likelihood of hemorrhoids, keep things moving with a high-fiber diet and lots of water. Don’t strain when you go, and try not to sit or stand for too long. Kegel exercises can also help by increasing circulation to the area, and can speed up recovery after birth.
Photography by Jonica Moore for Well Rounded.
*This post was sponsored by Earth Mama®.