You might be prepared for the morning sickness, exhaustion and overall discomfort that pregnancy brings, but you might not have known about the hemorrhoids. An often-undiscussed pregnancy symptom, hemorrhoids can be a real discomfort to a mom-to-be who is likely suffering from other aches and pains thanks to her growing belly. Fortunately, there are treatments to help ease the discomfort, including hemorrhoid creams.
Hemorrhoids during pregnancy are caused by two factors. First, many pregnant women experience constipation, and constipation can, unfortunately, lead to hemorrhoids. Your growing baby belly also puts increased pressure on your bottom half; this pressure can result in the development of hemorrhoids. Long periods of standing — during work, for example — can increase your risk of hemorrhoids.
Over-the-counter hemorrhoid creams are typically safe to use during pregnancy. However, before you head to the drugstore, ask your obstetrician or midwife for recommendations. Your doctor might suggest an alternative treatment for your hemorrhoids, or she might be able to prescribe you something to help with the discomfort.
Soak in a warm bath to relieve the discomfort associated with the hemorrhoids. You can apply ice packs to the affected area to reduce swelling. If you experience itching in the area, you can apply baking soda to reduce it. Put witch hazel on a cotton ball or use witch-hazel-soaked pads to reduce swelling and discomfort.
Preventing hemorrhoids is the best solution, because then you don't have to deal with the discomfort associated with them. Avoid sitting or standing for long periods; alternate between the two if possible. Avoid constipation by eating a high-fiber diet and drinking water and prune juice. If these solutions do not eliminate your constipation, talk to your doctor about a stool softener, which can help with the constipation and hemorrhoids.