Preventing Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy:

Your Comprehensive Guide

written by Michela Nelson, ND

June 2023

Pregnancy is a beautiful journey marked by joy and anticipation, but it can also bring some uncomfortable symptoms, one of which is hemorrhoids. These swollen blood vessels around the rectal area can cause discomfort and pain. Research suggests that up to 15-41% of women may experience hemorrhoids during pregnancy. However, the good news is that you can take steps to prevent them before they even start.

Understanding Hemorrhoid Risk Factors:

Hemorrhoids are more commonly seen in the third trimester due to increased blood volume and organ enlargement. Other risk factors include age (older pregnant individuals are more prone) and parity (more pregnancies past 20 weeks increase the risk). Importantly, constipation is a significant risk factor, but it's modifiable.

Early Prevention: The Key to Comfort

Preventing Hemorrhoids: Lifestyle and Dietary Changes

1. Avoid Constipating Foods: Reduce consumption of low-fiber options like meats, eggs, and processed foods.
2. Hydration: Aim for at least 1.5 L of water daily to prevent dehydration in the bowels.
3. Regular Meals: Eating at consistent intervals establishes a rhythm in your digestive tract.

4. Exercise: Engage in daily exercise or walking for 30-60 mins to promote bowel consistency.

5. Respond to Nature's Call: Don't ignore the urge to defecate, especially after eating.
6. Short Toilet Time: Spend less than 3 minutes on the toilet to minimize pressure on blood vessels.

7. Fiber-Rich Foods: Include whole grains, fruits (like prunes and kiwis), vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes in your daily diet.


While prevention is the best approach, we understand that it might not be much consolation if you're already experiencing this discomfort. Let's start by exploring a natural and cost-effective treatment option: the sitz bath.

Sitz Bath for Relief:
A sitz bath has been shown to provide more comprehensive healing compared to using rectal creams alone. Here's what you'll need and how to do it:

  • Sitz bath (available in most drugstores)
  • Warm water
  • Commercial salt (epsom salt works well)
  • Time for yourself

How to do it:

  • Place the sitz bath on your open toilet seat.
  • Fill the accompanying bag with warm water (not too hot or cold).
  • Add some salt or a tablet in the basin to create a healing solution.
  • Sit in the sitz bath for about 15-20 minutes, ideally 3 times a day.

Additional Support:
For more comfort during bowel movements, consider using glycerin suppositories. Also, incorporating psyllium husk into your daily diet can encourage healing.

Conclusion: A Holistic Approach to Comfort

Preventing hemorrhoids during pregnancy involves a holistic approach that combines healthy habits and dietary choices. By avoiding constipating foods, staying hydrated, being active, and responding to your body's cues, you can significantly reduce the risk of hemorrhoids.

Incorporating fiber-rich foods into your daily diet also plays a crucial role in promoting digestive health.

Remember, every pregnancy is unique. If you're experiencing discomfort or have concerns about your dietary choices, consult your healthcare provider for personalized guidance. A healthy pregnancy is not just about the growth of your baby, but also about nurturing your own well-being.

#PregnancyWellness #HealthyPregnancy #NourishingChoices

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