Some women may be embarrassed to talk about it, but hemorrhoids in pregnancy are a common problem. They develop when blood vessels in the rectum become swollen. Symptoms include pain, itching and rectal bleeding. Usually hemorrhoids are due to straining while having a bowel movement. Hemorrhoids during pregnancy are especially common due to increased pressure and weight on blood vessels, which can lead to swelling. Constipation in pregnancy can also occur frequently, leading to hemorrhoids. So what can you do to prevent them?
As if you didn’t have enough to deal with. However, there are a few ways to keep things moving in the bathroom department. Avoid straining during bowel movements, which puts too much pressure on the veins. Drink enough fluids. Each day drink at least 8 glasses of water or other fluids, such as milk and juice. Be sure to eat fiber filled foods. Fiber helps reduce constipation. Foods, such as whole grain rice and cereals, vegetables and fruit are good sources of fiber.
Reduce Iron if Possible
Speak with your doctor about reducing iron supplements. Iron supplements may be in some prenatal vitamins and can contribute to constipation in pregnancy. If your iron levels are acceptable, it may be possible to reduce supplements.
Get some form of aerobic exercise
Unless otherwise directed by your doctor, exercise three or four times a week, for about 30 minutes. Exercise, such as walking or aerobic classes can stimulate the bowels and prevent constipation in pregnancy.
Consider taking a stool softener
Although stool softeners may be safe for most pregnant women, it is always best to ask your doctor before taking it.
Avoid sitting or standing for a long extent of time without taking a break.
Sitting or standing in one place too long puts increased pressure on your rectal veins which can lead to hemorrhoids.
Perform Kegel Exercises
Doing Kegels may help increase blood flow in the rectal area, which may help prevent hemorrhoids during pregnancy. Kegels can also help strengthen the muscles needed during childbirth. Contract the muscles around the vagina and rectal area. Hold for about 10 seconds and repeat a few times. Do a few sets of Kegel exercises each day.
Treat hemorrhoids as soon as they develop
If you do develop hemorrhoids during pregnancy, ask your doctor about ways to treat the condition before it becomes worse. A warm bath a few times a day and applying ice packs may help reduce discomfort. See a doctor if hemorrhoids are causing pain or bleeding during pregnancy. Speak with your doctor before using over the counter hemorrhoid creams during pregnancy.
American Pregnancy Association