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Pregnant women often have hemorrhoids—painful, itchy varicose veins in or around the anus. Varicose veins are swollen, twisted veins often caused by poor blood flow. Hemorrhoids usually get worse right after delivery, then slowly get better during the postpartum period. Talk with your ob-gyn about using over-the-counter creams and suppositories. You also can try these tips to help prevent or treat hemorrhoids:

  • Eat a high-fiber diet and drink plenty of liquids to help avoid constipation.
  • Keep your weight gain within the limits your ob-gyn suggests.
  • Get up and move around to take weight off the veins of your pelvic area. Sitting for a long time puts pressure on these veins.
  • Apply an ice pack or witch hazel pads to hemorrhoids. Witch hazel helps relieve pain and reduce swelling.
  • Try soaking in a warm (not hot) tub a few times a day.

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Published: October 2020

Last reviewed: October 2020

Copyright 2020 by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Read copyright and permissions information.

This information is designed as an educational aid to patients and sets forth current information and opinions related to women’s health. It is not intended as a statement of the standard of care, nor does it comprise all proper treatments or methods of care. It is not a substitute for a treating clinician’s independent professional judgment. Read ACOG’s complete disclaimer.