Pregnancy Haemorrhoids during Labour

Haemorrhoids are swollen veins in the anus or lower rectum and downward pressure during labour has the potential for these swollen veins to pop!  In the immediate postnatal period symptomatic haemorrhoids (haemorrhoids that cause discomfort) can become even more inflamed which means more pain.  Don’t worry, here are some palliative measures to help you through:

Sitz Baths 

Fill your basin or bathtub to soak your bum in cool water. Some folks even use ice cubes in the sitz bathwater.  This helps haemorrhoids to shrink. You can do this between two to four times a day for about 15 min each time.

Apply a Cold Compresses 

Apply witch hazel to the haemorrhoids to soothe the area. It’s a good idea to keep the witch hazel cool in the refrigerator, then apply with cotton balls & place on the haemorrhoids.  You can even prep this by pre-soaking cotton rounds or cotton balls in witch hazel to grab-and-go.  Place them in a zip lock bag & keep them in the freezer until ready for use.  You can also find witch hazel pads in your local pharmacy such as this.

Stay Comfortable

Do things to relieve pressure on the rectum like sitting on a pillow or waffle cushion. Also sitting in a rocking chair or recliner may be more comfortable than sitting in a straight chair.

Medicated Remedies

Haemorrhoid creams, ointments, suppositories or sprays can offer short term relief.  Using these products to tuck external haemorrhoids back into the rectum & performing pelvic floor muscle exercises can also reduce the pain of haemorrhoids. For more information on these, click here for the HSE’s advice on pelvic floor muscle exercises.

You may be prescribed a stool softener, and this may take a few days to work. Magnesium supplements (400 mg daily) is a natural alternative to stool softening.  Consult your health care professional before initiating supplementation.


Increase dietary fibre and water intake. These steps will help keep stool regular & prevent constipation.  Constipation can trigger or aggravate haemorrhoids.

If the pain does not go away within a few days, contact your healthcare provider for further evaluation.