Tips For Preventing And Relieving Hemorrhoids During And After Pregnancy

There are some pregnancy symptoms you might actually enjoy while you await the birth of your child – I’m thinking of those indulgent food cravings, and missing out on your monthly period. But, more than likely you’ll amass a long list of symptoms that are not so pleasant, like say those mood swings that come out of nowhere and the stretch marks that seem to appear overnight. Still there are some symptoms that are not only uncomfortable to deal with, but may be impossible to talk about – hemorrhoids.

by Tracy B. McGinnis


pregnancy discomfortWhy do some women get hemorrhoids?

As your baby grows inside of you so does the pressure on your lower abdomen. This pressure causes strain on the veins near the rectum resulting in hemorrhoids. While you can develop hemorrhoids at any time, many women may notice them during their 3rd trimester.

According to the American Pregnancy Association's website,, the main reason pregnant women get hemorrhoids is from constipation, pressure on the rectum, and standing for long periods of time. Other factors can include changing hormones and an increase in blood circulation during pregnancy.

Hemorrhoids can vary in severity and may be internal or external. They can be painful, itch, bleed or a combination of all of these symptoms.

Tips for preventing hemorrhoids

Professionals agree that avoiding constipation is helpful in preventing hemorrhoids. Constipation can occur for a variety of reasons, some of which include: a lack of fiber in your diet, dairy, medications, and a lifestyle change like pregnancy.

Drinking plenty of fluids daily and including high fiber foods in your diet, along with fruits and vegetables is a good start. Experts also suggest going to the bathroom as soon as you feel the urge, as well as avoiding heavy lifting.

The March of Dimes, Pregnancy and Newborn Health Education Center's website,, also suggests exercising regularly as a way to keep your digestive system moving in the right direction. They also suggest watching how much weight you gain during your pregnancy, as added weight increases the pressure on your abdomen.

Finding relief

There are many options out there when it comes to finding hemorrhoid relief. Through trail and error one or a combination of some, should offer some relief. Home remedies include a sitz bath, where you soak in warm water several times a day to help keep the area clean. Applying a cold compress to the area may also help in reducing your level of pain and the swelling around the affected area. Experts also suggest incorporating kegel exercises into your routine. Kegel's help to strengthen your pelvic floor and increase circulation in the rectal area. Talk to your doctor and visit sites like the one provided by the Mayo Clinic, for detailed information on kegel exercises.

If you're not getting relief from home remedies or safe over the counter solutions, or if you see blood contact your doctor so that you can access how severe your case may be, and find the right treatment for your specific needs.

Hemorrhoids should start to go away after the pregnancy, but even after baby is born you may have concerns.

In her book, Pea in a Pod: Your Complete Guide to Pregnancy, Childbirth & Beyond, RN and author Lind Goldberg says, "Many women are concerned about their first post-delivery bowel movement, especially if they have stitches or hemorrhoids. Your bowel movements should resume within two to three days. Hemorrhoids will gradually shrink over time."


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