Hemorrhoids, also known as Piles, are swollen blood vessels located in the rectal and anal area. They manifest in a variety of sizes: as small as a lentil to the size of a grape. If they are inside the rectum, they are called internal hemorrhoids. These are usually painless but may bleed during a bowel movement. The piles that form around the anus are usually painful and are considered external hemorrhoids.
The discomfort can range from itchiness to intense pain, affecting mundane activities. Walking, sitting and even laying down can be painful or uncomfortable. Many women develop hemorrhoids during their third trimester of pregnancy or while pushing in the second stage of labor.
Why Are Pregnant Women Prone to Hemorrhoids?
As the baby and uterus grow, this puts pressure on the lower circulatory system. The blood flow in this area of the body is slower and there is more pressure on the veins under the uterus. These veins become more dilated or swollen. This is why women also develop varicose veins in their legs and even the vulva during pregnancy.
In addition, constipation during pregnancy can cause or Hemorrhoids. Straining to pass a stool causes hemorrhoids. People tend to strain when attempting to pass a hard bowel movement.
Finally, the increase in pregnancy progesterone causes the vein walls to relax and become prone to swelling. Progesterone also slows down the intestinal tract and contributes to constipation.
How To Prevent Getting Hemorrhoids While Pregnant
The most relevant factor in avoiding pregnancy hemorrhoids is to avoid becoming constipated. This can be addressed with a high fiber diet (whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables). Proper hydration is important while pregnant and more so to ward of constipation. Maintain a consistent exercise routine such as a short brisk walk or swimming. If you are constipated, ask your practitioner to recommend a fiber supplement or a stool softener.
Do not strain while having a bowel movement and do not linger on the toilet. That position puts pressure in the area and is conducive to the development of piles. Head to the bathroom when feeling the urge and do not suppress or delay the bowel movement.
Avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time. Moving about and changing positions regularly is important for overall circulatory health. While at home or sleeping, lie on the left side to relieve the pressure on the rectal veins. This position will also improve the blood return from the lower part of your body.
Be consistent about doing Kegel exercises on a daily basis. Kegels are recommended to strengthen and tone the muscles surrounding the vagina and urethra. This will aid in the post-partum recovery. They also strengthen the anal muscles and increase the circulation around the rectum, preventing hemorrhoids from forming.
How Can I Get Relief?
The following are a list of safe home remedies that can help alleviate the itching, discomfort and pain caused by hemorrhoids.
Apply cold compresses or a cotton ball soaked with Witch Hazel to the affected area. Change the compress several times a day until the piles shrink. Soak your bottom in a warm tub of water or sitz bath for 10-15 minutes daily. This reduces the inflammation. You can alternate between cold and warm treatments.
When cleaning the affected area, use pre-moistened wipes to avoid further irritating the hemorrhoids. Medicated wipes with Witch Hazel are more specific for this condition.
When pregnant the use of any OTC hemorrhoid relief products should be approved by a qualified medical practitioner. Also consult with your OB if you feel you need to take any pain relievers or medicated suppositories. If you are experiencing severe pain or bleeding, seek the advice of your doctor or midwife.
With the help of these home remedies, most women will experience relief after delivery within a few days. If symptoms persist we recommend the book Hemorrhoids No More by Jessica Wright. This book is one of the most extensive and comprehensive guides written on hemorrhoids. It offers additional insight, lists of foods to incorporate or avoid, and remedies that work. The treatment is based on scientifically proven steps and can cure your hemorrhoids in as little as 48 hours.
During pregnancy or while breast feeding it is best to seek natural cures – without drugs, surgery, side effects and complications. In such circumstances this book is a must. It explains how to cure your particular type of hemorrhoid and address the root causes to prevent reoccurrence. The book presents a step by step, easy to understand format that can be used almost immediately to start treating the problem.
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