Updated: May 23, 2022
Postpartum piles are a serious trend. Let's play the Piles Bingo
Piles of dirty laundry, likely soaked in milk or formula and for sure some baby poop and pee.
Piles of clean & unfolded laundry because, what's the point?!?
Piles of folded laundry that will never make it to the dresser + some regret for spending nap time folding when you could have showered or eaten.
Piles of dirty dishes, no explanation needed here.
Piles of casserole dishes and plastic-ware that belong to friends/family who signed up for your meal train and didn't quite think through the transport plan.
Piles of gift receipts that you had organized before baby came, but now they are just piled on the counter and you can't recall which ones are keepers.
Piles of returns: duplicate baby gifts, nursing bra that didn't fit, the 16 excessive outfits that your Great Aunt Susan sent that you find horrendous.
Piles of thank you cards to be written and some shame for not sending them out. Becky sent hers out with the percussion of a high level executive assistant just 4 days after her perfect baby was born along with a perfectly posed, professional photo of her spawn.
Piles of fucks that you just can't even. Oh look, there's the fuck I used to carry about wearing real clothes in public and it's right beside the fuck labeled "What Other People Think About Just About Anything At All"
Piles of unread emails, emails that were read and you don't have the energy to respond.
Piles of Amazon boxes and a deep curiosity and new respect for your own parents. How did they raise us without delivery diapers and food?
And finally, the post scary Pile of all.....
Piles of actual PILES, aka hemorrhoids, aka the bane of your existence. Please, give me all the other piles but take these piles away, I beg of you!!!!!!!
So, how'd you do? What's your score? You got a perfect score, didn't you? Yeah, so did we. Great, we can be friends.
And because we are now besties we can talk about that last Pile---- The Scariest Pile of all. The godforsaken hemorrhoid. (Insert scary sound effect here) They are the actual worst. NO JOKE, The Worst. And unfortunately, most postpartum folks seem to be ones who are cursed with them.
There are plenty of tips and tricks on good ol' internet, but these are the ones we have found work the best:
The most obvious and common advice, first: Increased fiber and hydration to reduced straining during bowel movements + squatty potty.
The best trick we have, second: The Lowly Potato---- yes, really! A thin slice of a russet or any white potato applied directly to the pile gives instant and alarming relief. You will be amazed, promise.
Donut pillow for your bum while nursing and attempt to master side-lying to reduce amount of time sitting. Lying down after a bowel movement can be helpful too, especially if you were hiding out in there reading our blog for a little too long.
Turmeric boost! It's a powerful anti-inflammatory + reduces pain and, as a bonus is very warming which promotes postpartum healing. If you are not a big fan of turmeric in your food, supplementation is an option: Curcumin supplements are easy to find. Talk to your provider about dosage.
Hamamelis 30C (a homeopathic solution)-you can find this in pellet form as well as cream to apply directly. Again, talk to your provider about dosage.
Coconut oil- this one is so good we are gonna have to list all of it's magical uses. It has all of the following properties which make it a delight: anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, analgesic (pain-reduction) and can relieve constipation! Hello, coconut oil, you sweet smelling postpartum companion.
Add it to your diet via foods you already eat. Cooking oil, baking and in our favorite energy bites.
Topically- melt it down and mix with witch hazel (alcohol free only!) apply as needed. Or mix with turmeric for added healing powers, but beware of staining! That giant postpartum pad should have you covered.
In the bath- 1/2 cup directly into a hot bath or sitz (see below}. Just make sure to spray the tub down so your toddler doesn't have an unexpected slip n' slid experience later on.
And finally, the holy grail of postpartum healing, The Almighty Sitz Bath. We could sing of our love for The Almighty Sitz, forever. Truly, it's a the most humble, well maybe the potato is more humble... ok so how about unassuming, postpartum tool in our toolkit. We will go full out on our sitz love story in our next blog.
Hope this was help and maybe even got a laugh. Piles, especially the hemorrhoid kind are a real pain in the you know what, all the other piles can start to build up quite quickly and soon enough you feel like your whole house/reality is one overwhelming stack of piles. This is where a postpartum doula can help! We can sort, consolidate, organize and toss the piles that are taking up space and clear the room for more joy and calm.
Here's to healing all the piles, one at a time, and hopefully with some support!