At some stage or another, you may have had to deal with the painful problem of hemorrhoids, especially when you were pregnant. You can, however, prevent and treat hemorrhoids during pregnancy naturally.
Hemorrhoids have a lot of different names and aliases and are very common in the third trimester when pressure and blood flow can be restricted.
Here Are Some Of The Many Names Of Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy:
- Bunch of grapes
Whatever you like to call them, they do frequently occur with some people but can dealt with easily.
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What Are Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are swollen and blocked veins that are a part of the rectal passage.
When you are constipated, for example, there is added pressure on these veins because the fecal matter is hard and has been sitting for longer in the rectal area than normal.
This blocks the flow of blood in the veins and they not only swell and engorge but they also may bleed.
Veins take blood back to the heart and any added extra pressure makes transporting the blood back to the heart more difficult.
How Do I Know If I Have A Hemorrhoid?
You will know if you have an internal hemorrhoid if there is bright blood in the stool or on your toilet paper. Those are the most common symptoms.
However, if you are not sure, it is always wise to consult your doctor or medical professional.
You may also feel increased pain or pressure when trying to have a bowel movement in the pelvic area or around the anus itself.
Expectant Moms should be cautious with rectal bleeding and be sure to let your health care provider know of the change.
What’s An Internal Hemorrhoid?
Internal hemorrhoids are engorged veins that remain inside the rectal passage.
They can bleed and they can be painful.
What’s An External Hemorrhoid?
External hemorrhoids are engorged veins that protrude outside of the anus. You can feel them as painful lumps – this is why they are comically referred to as “a bunch of grapes.”
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Why Do We Get Hemorrhoids?
We get hemorrhoids from a few different factors.
- Constipation. As mentioned above, will put pressure on the rectal veins and cause engorgement. They’re common when you’re trying to push out the hard stools for long periods of time.
- Pregnancy. Being pregnant puts added pressure on the entire pelvic region, which adds to the pressure of the pelvic venous system. Hemorrhoids are very common in pregnancy, in the first trimester, second and third trimester– just the whole time with all the changes in hormones can change anything in the pelvis up. It’s important to make sure you’re getting enough fiber and taking your prenatal vitamins and a fiber supplement if your healthcare provider deems fit.
- Diet/Exercise. If you have a low fiber diet and don’t drink much water, then you will probably get hemorrhoids. Fiber is needed for healthy stools and water is needed for the stools to absorb and become slippery for easier evacuation.
How Do You Prevent Hemorrhoids?
Preventing hemorrhoids is easy. All you need to do is look at the causing factors of hemorrhoids and prevent or fix the situation.
These are the main things you need to do to prevent hemorrhoids:
Drink plenty of water each day. If you are active then you will need more.
This helps prevent constipation as most constipation is caused by dehydration.
If you are pregnant, then you will also need to drink plenty of water but also do gentle exercises to keep the blood flowing in the pelvic region.
Sometimes we take advantage of being able to eat more when we are pregnant, so you have to make sure your food choices are healthy ones.
Diet is a big factor in preventing hemorrhoids. Roughage is needed in the form of fiber for the stools to properly form and pass through the colon with no delay.
Fiber is found in all fruits and vegetables and seeds.
It is the indigestible part of the plants that helps add bulk to the diet and eases elimination.
If your diet is high in fat and low in water then you may have a problem with constipation and hemorrhoids.
How Do You Treat Hemorrhoids Naturally?
Your first step in treatment, and actually the best way to treat them is to follow the prevention steps of proper diet, water, and exercise, but once you have them, there are some natural things you can do to ease the pain. Plenty of fluids is always good for a growing baby and the overall health of your digestive tract.
During pregnancy, it’s important to check the labels on any over the counter medications or stool softeners to ensure that they’re safe for pregnancy. The good news is, there are plenty of home remedies to help heal them.
Calcium – Take a dose of 1000mg per day of calcium, this will help strengthen the blood vessels so they don’t become weak.
Silica – This trace element is also needed for the integrity of blood vessels. The most abundant natural source of silica is from the herb Horsetail.
Witch Hazel -the hemorrhoids, decreasing pain and the size. It’s also great to have these on hand for postpartum healing or any possible postpartum hemorrhoids.
Ice Packs– While this is not a permanent fix, it can help ease the pain so the area can heal.
Sitz bath- Use a sitz bath with epsom salts to help the swollen veins return to normal size around the anal area.
High-Fiber Diet– Whether you’re pregnant or not, you need to eat a high fiber diet to ensure you have regular bowel movements.
Also know that using baby wipes can feel better on any hemorrhoids than traditional toilet paper.
What Do You Do If Hemorrhoids Keep Returning?
If your pregnancy hemorrhoids persist and you’ve been doing all you can to treat and prevent them, you may have a bigger issue than you realize and may need medical treatment.
Please see your doctor as sometimes when there is pain and slight bleeding, this can be caused by anal fissures which are slight tears in the anus and any other affected area that just can’t be treated as well with natural remedies or home treatments.
Make sure you’re ready for your postpartum recovery by having all of your essentials on hand.