Constipation and Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy

Pregnant woman

Many pregnant women complain of constipation. Signs of constipation include having hard, dry stools; fewer than three bowel movements per week; and painful bowel movements.
Higher levels of hormones due to pregnancy slow down digestion and relax muscles in the bowels leaving many women constipated. Plus, the pressure of the expanding uterus on the bowels can contribute to constipation.

Also pregnant women are highly likely to experience Hemorrhoids (HEM-roidz)-are swollen and bulging veins in the rectum. They can cause itching, pain, and bleeding. Up to 50 percent of pregnant women get hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are common during pregnancy for many reasons. During pregnancy blood volume increases greatly, which can cause veins to enlarge. The expanding uterus also puts pressure on the veins in the rectum. Plus, constipation can worsen hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids usually improve after delivery.

Remedies for Constipation and Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy

For constipation;

~> Drink eight to 10 glasses of water daily.
~> Don't drink caffeine.
~> Eat fiber-rich foods, such as fresh or dried fruit, raw vegetables, and whole-grain cereals and breads.
~> Try mild physical activity.
Tell your doctor if constipation does not go away.

For Hemorrhoids;

• Drink lots of fluids.
• Eat fiber-rich foods, like whole grains, raw or cooked leafy green vegetables, and fruits.
• Try not to strain with bowel movements.
• Talk to your doctor about using products such as witch hazel to soothe hemorrhoids.
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