Hemorrhoids are varicose veins, which are enlarged blood vessels, of the rectum. Pregnancy aggravates the problem of enlarged blood vessels due to blood volume expansion and the hormones that increase relaxation of the muscles. In late pregnancy, the weight of the uterus and the baby worsen hemorrhoids by increasing the pressure on the blood vessels. Hemorrhoids can either bulge out of the anus or stay inside the anal opening. You may not be able to get rid of hemorrhoids during pregnancy, but you can decrease their discomfort using a variety of techniques.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Eat a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables and whole grains to encourage regular, soft stools. You should avoid foods with high-fat content or drinks with caffeine that can constipate you and make stools more difficult to pass. Straining during a bowel movement contributes to hemorrhoids by exerting pressure on the rectum.
Change Positions Frequently
Sitting or standing for long periods of time can make hemorrhoids worse because of the constant pressure on the rectal veins. If you have a desk job, walk around a few minutes each hour to help increase circulation. If you stand for long periods, take a break and sit down for a few minutes each hour. When you get the chance, lie on either side to alleviate all rectal pressure.
Soak in Warm Water
Soak in a tub of warm water. This can alleviate the discomfort and inflammation of hemorrhoids. If you do not want to take a bath, you can prepare a sitz bath, a small basin filled with warm water, and soak just your bottom.
Use Witch Hazel
Witch hazel is an astringent herb that relieves discomfort by shrinking the hemorrhoids. Use witch hazel to soak some gauze pads and use them as a compress. If you don’t want to buy a bottle of witch hazel, you can buy witch hazel pads that are already prepared.
If your hemorrhoids are extremely painful, apply an ice pack. Grab a clean washcloth, dip it in witch hazel and wrap up a few ice cubes. Using a combination of ice and witch hazel can help speed the recovery.
Use White Toilet Tissue
According to BabyCenter, you should use white toilet tissue when you wipe because it causes less irritation than colored or scented toilet tissue. If your hemorrhoids are severe and it hurts to wipe, fill a bottle of warm water and use it to squirt your bottom clean after a bowel movement. Then, use white toilet tissue to pat dry.
Consult Your Doctor
If nothing makes your hemorrhoids less uncomfortable, it may be time to consult your health care provider. Several over-the-counter remedies like topical creams and suppositories are available for hemorrhoids, but you should not use these without asking your health care provider first.