It’s nothing to be ashamed of.
May my struggles and learnings from my lovely hemorrhoids only help others!
This is why I’m posting about hemorrhoids. I never would have dreamed of talking about this publicly in the past, but these little buggers have been such a part of my life and I’ve learned so much from having them, that I’m here to say: “You’re not alone in having hemorrhoids! And here’s what might help!”
Of course the pregnant, birthing, and post-partum body can be largely susceptible to hemorrhoids. Hence why I’m posting about this now. I’m using many of these remedies everyday to keep my hemmies at bay. Mamas, listen up!
1. A cool shower, or even better – alternating between hot and cold in the shower. This stimulates your lymphatic system and can help with ‘closing’ things (veins, sphincters, etc.) up, the opposite of solely heating and thereby opening up the body. Do you see what I mean?
2. Topical Treatments: Venoforce, Geranium Essential Oil & Witch Hazel – A. Vogel makes a product called ‘Venoforce’ which can help. I have the gel as opposed to the tablets in this link. Geranium Essential Oil has been known to help as well. I use both everyday. Both products are also good to improve venous return in the case of varicose veins which can also be common in pregnancy.
Also of course, you can buy witch hazel. Please do not go to Shoppers Drug Mart for this! Their products are watered down and not effective. You can get Thayers Witch Hazel from your local health food store. Don’t get one of the scented ones, rather the original or aloe vera.
Alternatively, you can buy the witch hazel herb and steep it like you do tea. Cool it and use that topically. Post-partum mamas often like this sprayed onto a cotton reusable pad and then frozen before putting on their lady parts. So refreshing right after birth!
3. Eating healthy, whole foods – I often find that when I eat something unhealthy, or when I have a lot of wheat my hemmies act up. For example two nights ago we went out to a pub and I had a poutine. There was very little nutrition in it and the next day I could tell because of my bottom! Wheat also tends to ‘clog’ you up, back up your bowels, etc, so I find if I minimize my wheat intake I feel a lot better overall.
4. Pelvic floor physio/exercises – I wouldn’t have believed this in my first pregnancy, but it’s definitely true! Your pelvic floor extends all the way back to incorporate your anal sphincter, so if these muscles are toned, you may gain great help in the hemorrhoid department.
5. Hydration – The key to life. A healthy body is a hydrated body! Check out the app WaterMinder for a daily reading on your water intake and what you should be drinking. I have not used it much but my husband claims it has changed his life (and he is my inspiration!). Water keeps our bowels hydrated. Did you know if you’re dehydrated, your body will take it from your bowels? We want those bowels nice and hydrated so they will be eliminated from our bodies easily.
6. Breathing down bowel movements instead of straining – I learned about ‘breathing it down’ from my Hypnobirthing class! They have you practice before your birth by ‘breathing down’ your bowel movements. The key is to wait until you definitely have to go (you can’t do anything else) and then just sit down on the toilet. As you exhale, imagine you’re breathing down your bowels. It’s incredible!
7. Elevating your feet on the toilet – The Squatty Potty is revolutionary, but you can also just use a simple stool for $12.99 from Canadian Tire. Ours doubles for our son to get up to the toilet/wash his hands. Your body was made to eliminate while your spine is in flexion (like cat pose, chin to chest and tailbone drawing down). Our standard Western toilets do not support our bodies in this shape while we’re eliminating! It brought new meaning to when I went to China and literally had to squat most of the time – the way it was meant to be!
That’s all for now! All the best in your hemorrhoid prevention/elimination. Do not believe what people say – you don’t have to suffer forever, and your only option isn’t just surgery!
Much hemmie love,