Pregnancy’s Biggest Pain

Creative Commons License photo credit: Rob & Jules

One of the most common (and most annoying) symptoms of pregnancy can be hemorrhoids. While not every woman will have hemorrhoids during pregnancy, many do. In fact, many women who’ve never experienced hemorrhoids before will suffer from them significantly when they’re expecting. Understanding what causes them and what you can do to treat them, however, can reduce the level of frustration that they cause you.

A hemorrhoid is, essentially, a swollen or “varicose” veins in the rectum. These swollen veins are typically very painful. Hemorrhoids during pregnancy occur most often during your third trimester. In many cases, hemorrhoids are caused when you’re constipated. When you combine the pressure of constipation with the pressure that your growing baby is putting on your body, it’s no surprise that you may have hemorrhoids during pregnancy.

Fortunately, there are some things that you can do that may help to give you some relief from hemorrhoids when they break out:

  • Avoid sitting down for long periods at a time, as this can make for more pressure in the rectal area.
  • Consider using witch hazel medicated pads to offer some relief when hemorrhoids are flaring. They can also help reduce swelling.
  • Take a warm bath using baking soda in order to help treat hemorrhoids during pregnancy.

There are even some things you can do that may help you from getting hemorrhoids during pregnancy, or at least help to reduce their frequency. These include:

  • Avoid straining during bowel movements
  • Make sure you get a sufficient amount of fiber during the day
  • Drink enough liquids and stay hydrated
  • If you don’t mind the taste, have a glass of prune juice each day
  • Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, especially leafy green vegetables.

Talk with your doctor if your hemorrhoids during pregnancy are particularly severe or painful. Try to stay away from hemorrhoid medications unless you talk to your doctor first and know that they’re safe to be used during pregnancy.

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