Your body goes through many changes during pregnancy. One of those changes can be the development of hemorrhoids. Many women get hemorrhoids during pregnancy and childbirth. One in five women who is pregnant or has recently delivered gets hemorrhoids.
There are a variety of reasons pregnancy may cause hemorrhoids. For one, a pregnant woman's enlarged womb increases pressure in the hemorrhoidal veins. Another reason—a pregnant woman's blood supply actually increases during pregnancy, raising the pressure within her veins. Additionally, a pregnant woman's hormones tend to relax the anorectal area's supporting muscles as the baby presses more and more on the veins below it. Add to all of this the fact that pregnancy often causes constipation (a trigger of hemorrhoids), it is no wonder why pregnancy may cause hemorrhoids.
Get some exercise
A little physical activity can aid in digestion and tone the supporting muscles of the anal and rectal area as well as the abdomen. With your healthcare provider's approval, walk or do other non-strenuous activities.
Do Kegel exercises
Kegel exercises help strengthen the pelvic floor plus anal and rectal muscles after childbirth. This can aid in digestion and prevent constipation. To do a Kegel exercise, tighten your vaginal muscles (as you would if you needed to stop urinating midstream), hold it for a few seconds, release and repeat several times. It's a discreet exercise you can do almost anywhere.
Go as soon as you have the urge
Holding it in may contribute to chronic constipation. As a mother, it's hard to find a few quiet minutes for yourself. That said, it's important to set aside time to use the bathroom—preferably when you can be uninterrupted. See more tips on using the bathroom.
Maintain a healthy weight
Extra weight can put more pressure on your abdomen, which increases your chances of getting hemorrhoids. Try to stay within the weight guidelines your healthcare provider sets.
Try not to stand or sit for long periods
Sitting or standing can put pressure on your rectum and cause hemorrhoids or make existing hemorrhoids worse. If you are sitting and nursing for long periods, try other positions, such as reclining, or sitting on an O-ring cushion.
Always check with your healthcare provider before starting any diet or exercise plan.
“After my daughter was born, I knew something was wrong down there but I didn’t know what it was. My nurse told me I had hemorrhoids from delivery. When I came home, I couldn’t sit, lay down or stand without being in extreme pain.” Read more about Danielle’s Relief Plan
Did You Know?
Q: Why do pregnant women and new moms get hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are caused by pressure in the hemorrhoid veins. There are several reasons pregnancy may cause extra pressure. For one, a pregnant woman's enlarged womb increases pressure in the hemorrhoid veins. Read more.
True or False? “I use more than one Preparation H® during a flare-up”