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Pregnancy Problems

During pregnancy, your health is number one priority. That’s why we went straight to top pregnancy health experts for all the details you want to know about the most common pregnancy problems. In our pregnancy problems guide, you can read about a slew of pregnancy conditions – everything from hemorrhoids to gestational diabetes. Find out what any pregnancy symptom could possibly mean (are you swollen just because you’re expecting, or is it a sign of some complication?) and find out whether or not it’s worth a call to your OB. If you already know you’ve got a pregnancy complication or health condition, our comprehensive articles will give you the scoop on its causes and how it can affect you and baby. Plus, get treatment tips straight from medical experts and pregnant women like you. Yup, we've got answers to all your questions about pregnancy health problems right here!

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Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy

Hemorrhoids don't really need an introduction -- if you've got them, you know how much they suck. But are there ways to prevent them? Get rid of them? We've got the answers you're looking for.

What’s the best way to treat hemorrhoids during pregnancy?

Ease the pain with creams, suppositories, hot or cold packs (experiment to see what works best), witch hazel pads and sitz baths (soaking the area in a little hot water). If constipation is the big issue, talk to your doctor about stool softeners. Then, once you've found a bit of relief, rest easy with the knowledge that hemorrhoids tend to ease up and disappear as your body returns to normal after delivery.

What can I do to prevent hemorrhoids during pregnancy?

Though hemorrhoids sometimes (sorry!) just happen, there are ways to reduce your risk. To avoid trapping more blood in the veins, try not to strain when you're doing your business. Prevent constipation by staying hydrated and eating a well-balanced, fiber-filled diet (which you should be doing anyway). Since excess weight can also contribute to hemorrhoids, avoid gaining more than your doctor recommends, and get off your bottom often -- both during pregnancy and after delivery. Moving around eases the pressure on the veins in your pelvic area and gets your bowels moving. When you're feeling lazy, though, lie down and make yourself comfortable -- long periods of sitting or standing add hemorrhoid-inducing pressure. Kegel exercises can also ease hemorrhoids by increasing circulation to the area, along with helping to stop urine leaks and decreasing the chances of an episiotomy -- three pretty convincing reasons to give them a try.

What do other pregnant moms do when they have hemorrhoids?

“Another one moved in today, bringing the grand total up to five. I use witch hazel wipes/pads every time I go to the bathroom. I’ve been using creams (I now have tried every type of Preparation H and Tucks cream available), and I use the sitz bath at least three times a day. I’ve been wearing loose-fitting cotton granny panties; I lie on my left side as much as humanly possible during the day; I’m drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water a day and eating plenty of fiber.”

“They were really bad a couple weeks ago. The OB said I could take two Colace a day for the rest of my pregnancy. It doesn’t help with the hemorrhoids specifically, but it makes it not hurt so much when you poop. I was using Tucks pads or just soaking cotton squares in witch hazel.”

“Witch hazel, Tucks pads and my elderly aunt’s old remedy: one teaspoon of nutmeg a day. Oddly enough, taking half a teaspoon of nutmeg by mouth morning and night got rid of mine in three days, and they haven’t come back.”

Are there any other resources for hemorrhoids during pregnancy?

March of Dimes

Plus, more from The Bump:

Constipation During Pregnancy

10 Things They Really Should Warn You About Before You Get Pregnant

Pregnant and uncomfortable?

-- Paula Kashtan

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Reminder: Medical info on The Bump is FYI only and doesn't replace a visit to a medical professional.