Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Horrible Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids - harmless but hated!

ACOG's Michelle Brown, MD (OB/GYN) says "the main causes of hemorrhoids are the extra blood flow in the pelvic area and the pressure that the growing uterus puts on veins in the lower body. Constipation can make hemorrhoids worse because straining during bowel movements traps more blood in the veins."

Hemorrhoids usually improve after the baby is born though they can get worse before they get better because of the pressure of the baby at delivery. It is always recommended that you talk to your doctor about over-the-counter creams and suppositories but topical treatment is usually acceptable in pregnancy.

Prevention and Treatment of Hemorrhoids

Eliminating constipation and having softer, bulkier stools that pass easily will often result in the prevention of a recurrence of hemorrhoids.

These tips can help prevent or soothe this painful condition.

  • Increase your fiber intake, including eating more fresh fruits, leafy vegetables and whole-grain breads and cereals.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, but avoid alcohol.
  • Keep your weight gain within the limits your doctor suggests.
  • Exercise regularly and avoid sitting for long periods of time. Get up and move around.
  • Go to the bathroom as soon as you have an urge for a bowel movement - don't wait
If in spite of your best efforts at prevention you still get hemorrhoids:
  • Apply an ice pack or witch hazel pads such as Tucks to the area to relieve pain and reduce swelling.
  • Try soaking in a warm (not hot) tub a few times a day.
  • Use OTC hemorrhoidal creams topically (we always recommend this with your doctor or midwife's approval in case you have special concerns, but they are safe in pregnancy when used as directed). An easy application is to put the cream on one of the witch hazel pads (generic pads work great and cost less). This reduces mess and gets it where it's needed. Some creams contain pain reliever and some contain cortisone that may reduce swelling and help the itching. You may even alternate between the two types or use a little of each on the pad.
Finally, resolve to do more to help prevent this painful problem in the future, so re-read and apply the first list. Don't be surprised if you have this problem after delivery, but treatment and prevention is the same so just keep at it. Best Blogger Tips

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