Written by Olivia Arrow

Pregnancy is a time when your body goes through a ton of changes, and your hormones can really mess you up. It’s pretty common for women to get things like varicose veins, haemorrhoids, and constipation during this time. While these aren’t usually serious, they can be uncomfortable and make it harder for you to enjoy your pregnancy. Let’s take a look at these annoying issues a little closer.

Let’s Talk About Varicose Veins!

One of the most common issues a woman will experience in pregnancy is varicose veins, which happen when your veins become swollen and twisted, usually on your legs. This is caused by the extra weight and pressure on your veins from your growing belly, as well as the increased blood flow during pregnancy.

While varicose veins aren’t usually serious, they can be uncomfortable and make you feel pretty uncomfortable. Some of the symptoms you might experience are:

  • Feeling achy or heavy in your legs
  • Swelling
  • Cramping
  • Itching
  • Burning

Here Are A Few Things You Can Do To Help Manage Varicose Veins:

Wear Compression Stockings: These special socks help improve blood flow and reduce pressure on your veins.

Prop Up Your Feet: When you’re resting, try propping up your feet on a pillow or something to help reduce swelling and improve blood flow.

Exercise: Regular exercise can help strengthen the muscles in your legs and improve circulation.

Avoid Standing Or Sitting For Long Periods: This can make varicose veins worse, so try to take breaks and move around every now and then.

Ice It: If you’re feeling particularly uncomfortable, try applying a cold compress to the affected area.

If you’re concerned about your varicose veins it’s always best to check with your GP. They are there to help and support you through this amazing journey!

Some Truths About Haemorrhoids

Haemorrhoids are basically just swollen and inflamed veins in your bottom area, either in your rectum or anus. They can happen because there’s too much pressure on those veins due to your growing baby, when you’re constipated, or if you strain too hard when you poop.

There are two types of haemorrhoids:

Internal: These are inside your rectum.
External: These are outside your anus.

Some symptoms of haemorrhoids include:

  • It can hurt a bit down there.
  • You might feel itchy.
  • You could get a burning sensation.
  • You might see some blood, either on the toilet paper or in the toilet bowl.
  • Sometimes you can feel or see a lump near your anus.

If you have any of these symptoms, don’t panic! Here are a few things you can do to help yourself feel better:

Take a sitz bath, which means sitting in warm water (like a shallow bath or a sitz bath chair) for about 15-20 minutes a few times a day. This can help soothe the area.

You can try using over-the-counter creams or ointments for haemorrhoids. These can help shrink them and reduce pain.

Taking fibre supplements or using laxatives can help make your poops softer and easier to pass, which means you won’t strain as much when you go.

In serious cases, your GP might recommend surgery to remove the haemorrhoids. Haemorrhoids are very common, especially during pregnancy, so don’t be embarrassed to talk to your GP or midwife about them if you’re worried. They’ve seen it all before!

Why Pregnancy Can Cause Constipation

Constipation is another one of the pesky pregnancy problems because of hormones changing and the growing belly putting pressure on your digestive system.

Sign that you might notice of constipation include:

  • Infrequent bowel movements (three times or less a week)
  • Your stools could hard and dry
  • Straining to pass stools
  • Bloating and abdominal pains

There Are A Few Things You Can Do To Get Some Relief:

Eat lots of fruits, veggies, and whole grains to bulk up your poops and make them easier to pass.

Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated and your stools soft.

Get some exercise to help your digestive system move.

You could also try over-the-counter laxatives if you need a little extra help. Check with your GP that this is okay first!

While it’s not always possible to avoid some of these common issues that come with joy of being pregnant, there are some things you can do to help lower your risk:

Maintain A Healthy Weight: Too much extra weight puts more pressure on your veins.

Exercise Regularly: Exercise helps blood flow and lowers the pressure on your veins.

Don’t Sit Or Stand For Too Long: Spending a lot of time sitting or standing can make varicose veins and haemorrhoids worse.

Elevate Your Feet: Prop up your feet to help with swelling and improve blood flow.

Eat A Balanced Diet: A diet with lots of fibre can help prevent constipation.

Drink Plenty Of Water: Staying hydrated helps soften your poops and prevents constipation.

So, just remember to keep moving, eat right, and stay hydrated. Your body will thank you!

Remember, if you’re having serious pain, bleeding, or any other worrying symptoms from varicose veins, haemorrhoids, or constipation, it’s best to go see your GP. These symptoms can sometimes be a sign of something more serious going on under the surface.