Irritating but manageable, hemorrhoids during pregnancy are a natural occurrence for most moms-to-be in the third trimester, during labor hours or in the postpartum weeks. Many women experience hemorrhoids for the first time while pregnant, which can add to an already stressful situation for first-time moms. Fortunately, hemorrhoids that occurred during the pregnancy will go away on their own after the child is born, as long as you avoid constipation. In the meantime, there are easy-to-manage tips on avoiding (or not exacerbating existing) pregnancy hemorrhoids, and some are as easy as changing your daily routine.
One of the easiest ways to avoid hemorrhoids altogether is to limit constipation, which is one of the primary causes of the affliction. As a pregnant woman, you are more likely to be constipated because of the added strain on your pelvis, and the force on the blood vessels during a constipated bowel movement causes hemorrhoids to form. To avoid a constipated episode, try eating as much fiber as you can—such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits and beans—or add a fiber supplement to your diet. Check with your OB/GYN about how much you should add to your diet, and follow the directions. Plenty of water in your diet—8 to 10 glasses a day–will also help you avoid constipation while staying hydrated, an important part of any pregnancy. Water will also keep you on your feet as you visit the bathroom more often, which will help the constipation process.
30 Minutes A Day – Worth Every Minute
There are a million reasons to exercise while pregnant–from stress reduction to muscle relief–but avoiding hemorrhoids may be the most important for a woman who fears pregnancy
hemorrhoids. Studies show that any amount of light, low-impact activity—even walking for 30 minutes a day—will help alleviate constipation while promoting blood flow, which can help prevent a hemorrhoid outbreak.
Don’t Stay Put
If you work in a job environment that involves a lot of sitting or standing, try to move around as often as you can. Hemorrhoids are often found in women who stay in place for long periods of time. Moving around once an hour (or more) will promote blood flow and help alleviate your chances of developing hemorrhoids. You may also want to watch TV or listen to music on your side, instead of your back, which will increase your blood flow, lessen pressure and keep you comfortable.
Other Helpful Hints
If you’re experiencing constipation but have not developed hemorrhoids yet, ask your doctor about a stool softener. It’s a last resort, but it will help you avoid hemorrhoids in the long run and is a cost-effective solution. Another surprising tip is to try Kegel exercises, which promote blood flow and therefore, prevent hemorrhoids.
During pregnancy, treating hemorrhoids involves waiting out the worst and trying to avoid future outbreaks. If you already have developed hemorrhoids during pregnancy, talk to your OB/GYN about a treatment plan, which will help with any existing soreness, as well as frustration.