During pregnancy, many women develop hemorrhoids for a number of reasons. Due to a sluggish digestion, brought on by hormones, constipation can be an issue. Constipation can lead to the formation of hemorrhoids. The additional weight in the abdominal area and the strain the growing uterus causes on the pelvic area can impair the return of blood flow from the arteries in the lower limbs, causing a heightened pressure on the veins. All these factors add up to a heightened risk to develop hemorrhoids.
Also during the birth itself, there is a great deal of pressure being exerted on the anal region, which can lead to hemorrhoids.
But there are ways of prevention, and they are quite simple:
- Drink lots of water - water is needed to keep the digestive system working. When you're pregnant, your need for water increases, so you should stay hydrated in order to keep the digestive system working optimally.
- Eating a diet high in fiber with lots of fruit and vegetables keeps the digestion running smoothly. Stay away from processed and sugared foods, as they slow digestion.
- Mild excercise (walking, swimming) keeps the circulation optimal
- If you're suffering from constipation, you could consider drinking prune juice, eating dried prunes or adding some agar agar to your diet. These are all natural remedies that aren't harmful to your baby.
- Don't push while on the toilet! A squatted position is better for the natural elimination of excrement. If you're having a hard time, you could consider putting a stepstool in front of the toilet, so you have a more natural position. The pushing of your legs onto your abdomen creates a natural massage that eases elimination.
- Don't hold it in: use the bathroom when you feel the need. Holding it will cause extra pressure on the anus.
- Don't sit or stand for long periods of time, this also increases pressur on the lower arteries.
- Don't sit on the tolet for hours, this position also causes strain on the anal region.
- During birth, applying counterpressure on the anal region not only offers relief, but can actively assist in the prevention of hemorrhoids. There are actual devices for this purpose, but plain manual pressure will do just fine.
- Birthing positions also have an effect on the pressure in the anal region. Obviously the stranded beetle is the one where anal pressure is the greatest and should be avoided.