There are so many exciting things to look forward to when you're pregnant. Hearing heart beats, feeling fluttery kicks, eating and resting a little differently than you normally would — all of these count as pregnancy perks. But there are some annoyances that come with pregnancy too. One not-so-pleasant part of pregnancy? Those pregnancy hemorrhoids that are bound to pop up at some point. If you've been pregnant before, pregnancy hemorrhoids may be old hat. But if this is your first go-around with them, there are a few things you need to know about pregnancy hemorrhoids.
Pregnancy hemorrhoids — also known as piles — are, obviously, just like hemorrhoids that you can get when you're not pregnant. They're swollen veins in the rectum, according to WebMD, which, as I'm sure you can imagine, can be quite uncomfortable. According to What To Expect, pregnancy hemorrhoids most often appear in the second or third trimester and can sometimes look like grapes or marbles, which just might be why they're so uncomfortable. But why are they so common in pregnant women? Well, there's more blood circulating through your body than normal. There is a chance you can avoid pregnancy hemorrhoids. But if you're unlucky enough to get them, here's what you need to know.
1. They're Common
Chance are you know someone who had to deal with pregnancy hemorrhoids, even if you weren't aware at the time. According the What To Expect website, hemorrhoids affect more than half of all pregnant women, so know that if you have them, or end up with them, that you're far from alone.
2. They're Harmless
Although potential symptoms of hemorrhoids, like rectal bleeding, can be signs of more serious conditions, the hemorrhoids themselves aren't dangerous, according to What To Expect's website. Depending on their severity, however, they may require medical intervention, so be up front with your healthcare provider if you think you may have them.
3. They Won't Hurt Baby
That's a mom-to-be's fear, right? That something that's negatively affecting you will hurt your baby? It's only natural. According to The Bump, however, pregnancy hemorrhoids should not harm your baby. So keep calm mama.
4. You Didn't Cause Them
If you end up with hemorrhoids while you're pregnant, you may start asking yourself what you did that caused them. As it turns out, they're not really your fault. According to the previously mentioned article from The Bump, the extra blood flowing plus pressure on your nether regions from your growing uterus, combined with pushing from childbirth can result in hemorrhoids.
5. They Can Be Aggravated By Constipation
The best way (maybe the only way) to prevent hemorrhoids before they develop is to try to avoid constipation, which is often a problem during pregnancy. According to the American Pregnancy Association, preventing constipation and consciously avoiding straining while pooping can help prevent hemorrhoids from forming.
6. There Are Things You Can Do For Relief
So, despite all your best efforts, you're now dealing with hemorrhoids. Although it's a major bummer, there are things you can do to ease the discomfort and pain associated with them. You can cut down on pain, swelling and discomfort from hemorrhoids by soaking in a tub, applying cold compresses soaked in witch hazel, or asking your healthcare provider for guidance on a safe over-the-counter treatment, according to the Baby Center website.
7. They'll Go Away
This is definitely the best news of all. Unlike chronic hemorrhoids, pregnancy and childbirth-associated hemorrhoids will likely go away soon after delivery, according to Parents. Pregnancy hemorrhoids, though terrible and awful, are temporary. So hang in there mama.