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Pregnancy Hemorrhoids During Labor

Pregnancy Hemorrhoids During Labor

Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the anus or lower rectum.  Pressure from the presenting part during labor has the potential for these swollen veins to pop out during the 2nd stage (the pushing stage).  In the immediate postpartum period symptomatic hemorrhoids (hemorrhoids that cause discomfort) can become even more inflamed which means more painful.  Not to worry.  Here are some palliative measures to assist:

Sitz Baths 

Fill your basin or bath tub to soak your bottom in cool water. Some folks even use ice cubes in the sitz bath water.  This will help hemorrhoids to shrink. Do this two to four times a day for about 15 min. 

Cold Compresses 

Apply witch hazel to the hemorrhoids to soothe. Keep the witch hazel cool in the refrigerator, then apply with cotton balls & place on the hemorrhoids.  You can even prep cotton rounds or cotton balls pre soaked in witch hazel.  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.

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 also be more comfortable than sitting in a straight chair.

Medicated Remedies

Hemorrhoid creams, ointments, suppositories or sprays are available over the counter and can offer short term relief.  Using these products to tuck external hemorrhoids back into the rectum & performing kegel exercises can also reduce the pain of hemorrhoids.  For more information on Kegel exercises, click here

(Just bear in mind that you don’t need to do kegel exercises by stopping your flow of urine.  This step just helps you identify which muscles to engage)

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. 

Prevention

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

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