Dealing with Hemorrhoids during Pregnancy
Hemorrhoids are one of the more annoying side effects of pregnancy. The good news is that not every pregnant women will get hemorrhoids during every pregnancy. The bad news is that hemorrhoids are not particularly fun and can even be painful.
Hemorrhoids are a part of your body that is located in your anal canal. They can become swollen or inflamed causing itching, pain, or bleeding. This sounds worse than it is. It feels like little bumps around your anus that are sensitive to the touch. Straining to go to the bathroom may actually make it hurt more.
Keep Your Stools Soft
Hemorrhoids can be healed by keeping your stools soft. If you are suffering from constipation, you should drink more water, increase your fiber intake, and get physically active. Straining on the toilet should also be avoided. And while hemorrhoids can obviously be encouraged by poor lifestyle choices, they are more prevalent during pregnancy. The reason for that is that your extra weight is also pushing down on your anal canal.
Try a Sitz Bath
In addition to keeping your stools soft, you can try a sitz bath. Incidentally, you don’t have to purchase anything special to do this. The word “sitz” comes from the German word “sitzen” and just means to sit. Simply fill your tub with warm water and sit in it for 20 to 30 minutes. The water should be warm but not hot. Afterwards, you should feel a little better, but you can repeat a sitz bath as often as you like.
Hemorrhoids can appear several months before your baby is born. Unfortunately, they don’t disappear immediately at birth, but instead, they tend to stick around for a few more weeks. Even though hemorrhoids are quick to appear and slow to go, you should probably consult a doctor if your hemorrhoids don’t get any better down the road.
Harms, Roger W., M.D. (2011). “What can I do to treat hemorrhoids during pregnancy?” Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/pregnancy-week-by-week/expert-answers/hemorrhoids-during-pregnancy/faq-20058149.