Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are such a hushed up pain for mothers during and after pregnancy. How many pregnant women suffer from hemorrhoids and

  • Don’t know what they are?
  • Don’t want to talk about it because they are embarrassed?
  • Don’t know how to treat them properly?

Hemorrhoids are swollen veins, similar to varicose veins but in the rectal area.

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Hemorrhoids can appear around the anus or inside the lower intestine. They are painful, itchy and can even bleed. They can hurt or itch for hours on end after a visit to the toilet. It really is not a pleasant experience, so make sure you know how to deal with them and get them tackled sooner rather than later.

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Why does it happen?
  • During pregnancy, the rectal veins can get swollen and pushed out
  • Increased weight putting extra pressure on the intestines
  • Changing position for the intestines; as baby grows, the intestines get pushed closer together to make room for baby
  • Increased blood volume by up to 50% during pregnancy, means there is more blood flow to the rectal area than before
  • Increased blood volume means the body has a higher requirement for water and therefore more water may be drawn out of food, leaving waste more solid and dry
  • Constipation
  • Straining the bowels due to constipation – the more pressure you put on getting the waste out of your body, the more force you are exerting on to the rectal veins, which are carrying more blood

In the case of over-sized and painful hemorrhoids during pregnancy, consult your doctor.

Recommendations

    • Keeping your muscles down below toned and trained up, helps to keep hemorrhoids in check. It is important to focus on the pelvic floor muscles as these muscles are the most affected during pregnancy and birth.
    • A high fibre diet and plenty of water will also help reduce symptoms. Introduce prunes and figs to your diet. I love the way foods visually describe what the are good for – even if physically eating prunes is not so much of an appetiser, just remind yourself of the good they are doing you.
    • One of the best methods to relieve hemorrhoids I found was to go to the toilet the traditional french way, which means standing or squatting instead of sitting down. Let gravity do its work instead of sitting on the toilet and putting extra pressure in the wrong places.

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