Preventing and treating hemorrhoids during pregnancy
July 23, 2013
What are hemorrhoids, and why are we more likely to get them during pregnancy?
Hemorrhoids are a result of increased blood flow in pregnancy, particularly to those below your uterus. These veins can become dilated and swollen, and itch, burn, and bleed.
How can you prevent hemorrhoids in pregnancy?
The key to preventing hemorrhoids is avoiding constipation, which puts extra pressure on your rectum during bowel movements. To prevent or reduce constipation, you can:
- Push fluids. Increase your water take to at least 8-10 glasses a day.
- Increase fiber. Eat whole fruits and vegetables, and add other forms of fiber (flax seeds, chia seeds, oat or wheat bran, or other high fiber powder) to smoothies and drinks. How about a high fiber blueberry pomegranate flax seed smoothie?
- Eat anti-constipation foods. Some recommendations are prunes, apricots, papaya, peaches, pears, pineapple, and figs.
- Keep moving. Exercise (as your provider recommends) will keep things moving internally.
- Do Kegels. According to About.com, kegels are beneficial because they increase circulation to the area and because they strengthen vaginal and perineal muscles, which will help healing after delivery.
If you have hemorrhoids, what can you do to treat them?
- Avoid further constipation (see suggestions above)
- Take it easy - Avoid strenuous lifting, and lie down when you can to take the pressure off
- Keep the area clean - Using wipes instead of toilet paper will keep the area clean may be more comfortable
- Use a hemmorhoid balm - Use our Rhoid Balm during pregnancy and after for immediate relief for inflamed tissues. It’s an all-natural herbal balm with zero toxins and is made with 100% certified organic ingredients.
- Try a sitz bath - Try our Sitz Bath, or Sitz Bath Concentrate to relieve discomfort - and save some for after your baby arrives to soothe sore perineal muscles, too! Sit in the bath with enough water to soak the area, or on the toilet using a special sitz bath basin. Or use our Sitz Bath Spray directly on the area.
- Ice the area: Sitting on an carefully covered ice pack may provide some relief.
- And finally, don’t despair! Your hemorrhoids should start to go away once your baby arrives.
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons