Common Pregnancy Woes

Hemorrhoids

Why It Happens

Hemorrhoids -- painful, itchy varicose veins in the rectal area -- are caused by the extra blood present in the pelvic area as well as the pressure of the uterus on the veins.

What to Do

  • Ward off constipation by drinking lots of fluids and eating a high-fiber diet.
  • Avoid gaining too much weight. Keep your gain within the range suggested by your doctor.
  • Move around instead of standing still or sitting for long periods of time.
  • Apply ice packs or witch hazel pads to the area to relieve pain and reduce swelling.
  • Soak hemorrhoids in water a few times a day.

When to Be Concerned

Hemorrhoids aren't dangerous, but they are uncomfortable. They may improve during your pregnancy, but straining during labor can bring them back. Your doctor may be able to suggest creams or suppositories that are safe.

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