Hemorrhoids refer to the swollen veins in the anus and rectum. These are very common during pregnancy, especially in the third trimester when the enlarged uterus puts pressure on the veins. Hemorrhoids can be itchy, may sting or bleed, and may be extremely painful, especially during or after a bowel movement.
Hemorrhoids are not harmful to your health or that of your baby, and are usually a short-term problem. Pushing during the labor can worsen hemorrhoids but they go away on their own after giving birth.
CAUSES OF HEMORRHOIDS DURING PREGNANCY
The growth of your fetus may put a lot of pressure on the veins near your anus and rectum, causing them to become swollen and painful. Increase in the hormone progesterone can also contribute to hemorrhoids as it relaxes the walls of your veins, making them more prone to swelling. Apart from these, these are some other common causes of hemorrhoids during pregnancy:
- Straining during bowel movements
- Straining from carrying extra pregnancy weight
- Sitting or standing for long periods of time
It may also be remembered that hemorrhoids are most common in pregnant women who suffer from constipation. A lot of women get constipated during pregnancy. One of the causes of constipation may be the growing uterus pushing against the bowel. Taking iron supplements may also lead to constipation.
PREVENTING HEMORRHOIDS DURING PREGNANCY
You can prevent hemorrhoids during pregnancy by avoiding constipation. Here are some tips to do that:
- Eat high-fiber foods
Try to incorporate your diet with more fiber. Include foods like pears, berries, avocados, broccoli, oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, popcorn, beans, lentils and green peas. You can also include nuts and seeds in moderation.
- Drink plenty of fluids
Keeping yourself hydrated throughout pregnancy is very important. Aim for around 8-10 glasses of water every day. Also, remember to use the toilet as soon as you feel the urge. Holding it in can also contribute to constipation.
- Avoid sitting or standing for long periods
If you sit down at work, make sure to get up and walk around every few minutes. When at home, try to get some rest by lying down on your side when reading or watching TV. This helps relieve downward pressure on your rectal veins.
- Ask about using a stool softener
If all other methods fail, ask your doctor to prescribe stool softeners to ease your medication. Certain laxative pills are not recommended during pregnancy as they lead to dehydration and can stimulate uterine contractions. Therefore, always consult your doctor about it.
- Try Kegels
Kegels exercises are known to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles that help support your rectum and can improve circulation in the rectal area. You can do Kegel exercise anywhere and at any time. Make sure that you’re isolating and contracting the correct muscles.
Hemorrhoids are nothing to worry about. Your doctor can recommend the right treatment for you if you suffer from hemorrhoids during pregnancy. Talk to our experts at KIMS Cuddles for ways to ease hemorrhoids.
*Information shared here is for general purpose Please take doctors’ advice before taking any decision.