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Cynthia FlynnHemorrhoids During Pregnancy
by Cynthia Flynn, CNM, Ph.D.

Q. I have never had hemorrhoids with my last two pregnancies. I am 36 weeks and suffering with grapelike external hemorrhoids as well as internal I am sure. I have put Prep H cream on and am using suppositories, putting ice on the site, making sure to keep it clean by squirting warm water on the area after each bathroom visit, wiping with medicated wipes, etc. I even try to lie on my left side to take the pressure off those veins. I've had them for over a week and they seem to not be going away at all! Should I be concerned and how in the world am I going to push a baby through with these horrible things?

A. First, make SURE your stools are very very very soft and that you do not push at all to move your bowels. It should be as easy as peeing--just sit down and let it go.

Second, if it doesn't hurt too much, sit in a warm tub, push the hemorrhoids in, do strong Kegels and hold them in.

Third, lie on your side as much as possible--you're definitely on the right track there. Avoid any activity that seems to make them worse.

And fourth, take your meds, use your wipes, whatever.

Don't worry about pushing; your body will take care of that for you. If you can avoid an epidural (I don't know your history of dealing with labor pain), that would be a good idea. So would an "aqua-dural" (water birth) if that is an option. I'm so sorry for your pain, and hope you feel better soon. Fortunately, delivery is coming right up, and that's a cure for your problem!

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