Updated: Aug 26
Let's get into it. Hemorrhoids are no fun, especially during pregnancy, but darling there's no need to be embarrassed. About half of pregnant people are affected by hemorrhoids and some women have reported them appearing after their birth. Hemorrhoids occur when the walls of blood vessels near the anus weaken and swell, becoming painful and sometimes itchy.
Most hemorrhoids clear up on their own within a few weeks, though some may stick around for months. The most common triggers are pregnancy, and a diet that lacks high fiber leading to constipation. Fiber is one of the most essential nutrients that pregnant women require throughout pregnancy. High fiber promotes heart health, healthy weight gain, and can prevent constipation and hemorrhoids.
Nutrition, nutrition, nutrition. If you have access and the means to consume more high fiber rich foods PLEASE do so.
Here's a sample list of HIGH FIBER FOODS I share and recommend for my very own birth clients seeking nutritional information and natural stool softeners to increase their fiber intake and eliminate constipation.
Nuts & Seeds:
Also, INCREASE FLUID INTAKE ESPECIALLY SINCE FIBER IS INCREASING. I would consider 8-10 glasses or bottles of water daily, if not MORE. Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider before beginning any treatments.
There are practical ways you can ease the discomfort and itchiness associated with hemorrhoids.
Apply ice. Postpartum moms swear by cold gel pads for recovery relief. Apply an ice pack wrapped in a cloth or towel or cold gel pad several times a day as needed for up to 30 minutes.
Cold Witch Hazel for the win. (You can refrigerate your witch hazel). Yes, cold witch hazel applied to a cotton ball or pad is very helpful, offering a cooling sensation while reducing swelling.
Sitz Bath. Soaking in water at a mild temperature can help speed up the healing process by boosting blood flow. It won't cure your condition, but it will soothe irritation. You might choose to add healing herbs or essentials oils. Earthside with Evonna Birth Services provides herbal sitz baths in the 'Help A Sista Out' Postpartum Self Care Kit - ijs.
Myself or your doula can help you prepare for hemorrhoid relief in your pregnancy and even in the early postpartum period. Just reach out, I got your back!