What are Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins (varicose veins) in the rectal area. They’re usually small and cause itching, burning and sometimes rectal bleeding. In severe cases, they’re very painful. Hemorrhoids can happen as a person strains their bowels. In pregnancy they’re very common as increased blood flow puts added pressure on veins. Pregnancy hemorrhoids feel the same as regular hemorrhoids and treatment is similar.
With constipation comes hemorrhoids. So the best way to avoid hemorrhoids is to avoid constipation. There are three main things you can do to avoid constipation.
- Eat plenty of high fiber fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
- Get about half an hour of exercise most days of the week.
- Drink plenty of water or healthy liquids.
Prenatal vitamins high in iron can cause constipation. Speak to your care provider about changing prenatal vitamins if think this is a culprit for your constipation.
Doing kegel exercises can help keep pelvic floor muscles strong, which can also prevent constipation.
Sitz Bath and Hemorrhoids
A sitz bath is a great way to deal with hemorrhoids. A sitz bath is a small bath for just the hips and buttocks. You can purchase a sitz bath at a pharmacy that sits over the toilet, or you can simply run a shallow bath in your bathtub. You’ll want to use warm, almost hot water and sit for a good 20 to 30 minutes a few times a day.
After sitting, pat the area dry with a clean cloth. If you have time, you could also let the area air dry.
Keep the Area Cool
Sitting on an icepack or a cool compress can soothe hemorrhoids during pregnancy. A cool compress will help reduce some of the swelling, helping to heal the area. You could use witch hazel on pads as well to keep the area and cool. Many experts recommend storing the witch hazel in the refrigerator to make sure it’s extra cold.
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This post is part of the series: Natural Cures for Pregnancy Discomforts
While pregnancy is a joyous time, it also can be a time of headaches, morning sickness, sciatic pain and other common discomforts. Luckily, there are many natural cures that you can use to ease these discomforts and that won’t involve chemicals that may injure your baby.