**I hope this post helps anyone reading, but I do want to mention it may be TMI, so please read at your own discretion.**
As a first-time mom, never would I have imagined that the week after giving birth would be one of the hardest, most painful experiences of my life.
After giving birth, I felt a lump appear out of nowhere as I sat on the toilet to pee. The nurse commented it was “postpartum hemorrhoids” which can happen due to prolonged pushing.
I was given Preparation H, Tucks Pads, and a peri-bottle to keep things clean and to soothe the pain. I also took ibuprofen to reduce inflammation and stool softeners to prepare for my first bowel movement after birth.
My digestive track was off and I was expected to go to the bathroom in a couple of days. I was terrified of using the bathroom because of the postpartum hemorrhoids, but the nurses reassured me that it was a common fear. Most women had no trouble using the bathroom afterward.
This wasn’t the case for me.
I couldn’t go to the bathroom for days and when I finally had the urge, it was so painful that I felt as if I was going through childbirth all over again – except worse. I couldn’t go to the bathroom without crying. I felt as if I was tearing and not being able to go made me feel nauseated, uncomfortable, and unable to eat for a week.
I tried to drink prune juice and took some milk of magnesia but it made things worse. Now, not only could I not go to the bathroom without pain, gas built up in my stomach. I couldn’t sleep at night and had to walk around to relieve the pain while holding my baby in my arms. I tried gas-x to help the situation but how many more days would I have to suffer like this? (note: gas medicine combined with some types of pain relief could kill, so always clear any medications with your doctor beforehand!
I didn’t know what to do.
I had a third degree tear, postpartum hemorrhoids, nausea, headache, fatigue, I couldn’t eat, and I was having trouble breastfeeding. My baby needed me, but I was overwhelmed by pain to the point where I couldn’t even speak.
I tried Sitz baths, taking an actual bath, and using all of the remedies I could think of. Finally, I realized that I had no way around it. If I wasn’t allowed to use a suppository and nothing else was working, I would have no choice but to deal with the pain and push out my first bowel movement to get it over with even if it was excruciating. I wanted to be gentle, but I was being tortured and had to get things moving.
I looked up other people’s experiences with this and found out I wasn’t the only one. Many other women commented that this could be as painful, if not more, than childbirth where they were screaming and crying. In fact, thankfully I did not have an anal fissure because it would be like pooping glass! It hurt bad enough with postpartum hemorrhoids. To add anal fissures on top of it all would’ve traumatized me.
Unfortunately, I’ve been told that once you have hemorrhoids, they can easily return.
For this reason, if you are pregnant and are giving birth for the first time, be prepared! Prevent constipation in pregnancy and continue to eat high fiber foods, exercise, and drink plenty of water. If you are one of the unfortunate souls that gets postpartum hemorrhoids from pushing, be prepared by taking care of yourself and having the right supplies on hand.
Here are some tips:
1. Take care of constipation (immediately!) while you are pregnant. Do not let it go on.
2. Take the stool softeners and ibuprofen given to you at the hospital and continue as recommended by your doctor.
3. Use preparation H, Tucks Pads, and other products provided to you at the hospital for relief.
4. Sitz baths are a MUST at least a couple of times a day.
5. Eat fiber rich foods every day and drink A LOT of water. Repeat: drink A LOT of water.
6. Stay away from caffeine, fast food, and drugs that may make things worse (i.e. narcotics).
7. Take a bath (if you can) to relax
8. Walk a little. Staying in bed all day without moving can make things worse.
9. Before you come home from the hospital, make sure you have it all! Stool softeners, ibuprofen, tucks pads, non-scented pads, and anything else you think may help. Prepare for the worst!
10. As a last resort, I hate to say this, but you may want to consider pooping in the Sitz bath. For real. Or really, if it is that bad, you may need to see a Doctor to get some additional help.
Please take my advice so you won’t endure the type of pain no on talks about after birth.
If you notice any type of infection AT ALL or unusual symptoms, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor immediately.
If any of you ladies have experienced postpartum hemorrhoids or a severe tear that may have made them worse, I’d love to hear your stories and advice! What is your best tip??