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What Will Ease Painful Hemorrhoids After Giving Birth?

A new mother found that using a sitz bath was very soothing for her painful hemorrhoids after labor and delivery.

Women have to make a lot of adjustments right after giving birth. Their bodies change dramatically in that process. While many of the alterations are nature’s way of helping a mother nurture the infant, some aren’t helpful at all. The development of painful hemorrhoids is one such change.

What Can a New Mother Do About Painful Hemorrhoids?

Q. Right after I delivered my baby, I realized I had hemorrhoids. It felt like an entire bunch of grapes, and it made bathroom visits very painful-worse than childbirth.

The doctor recommended a sitz bath. It is a basin to put under the toilet seat, so that warm water can gently clean that area. It was wonderful.

He also prescribed lidocaine. I applied it once I had my bottom dry.

When I needed to sit, I used a hemorrhoid circle, like a big doughnut, to make sitting more comfortable. The other thing that helped while I was recovering from labor was stool softeners. They definitely made it easier while the hemorrhoids were healing.

I hope this helps other new mothers who find all that pushing brought out the hemorrhoids as well as the baby.

Soothing Sitz Bath:

A. Painful hemorrhoids are a common complication of pregnancy and delivery. Many women have found a sitz bath soothing. You can even get the benefits of soaking in warm water by sitting in the bathtub.

Lidocaine is a topical anesthetic, so we are not surprised that you found it helpful. Other readers have found relief from hemorrhoid pain with witch hazel or zinc oxide. Sometimes a dietary supplement such as horse chestnut may also ease the pain (MacKay, Alternative Medicine Review, April 2001).

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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