Piles (also known as haemorrhoids) is a condition which is caused by the veins around the anus becoming inflamed; this is common in pregnancy because the hormones released during pregnancy cause the veins to become relaxed. Piles can be very painful and the veins may become itchy and irritated; there may also bleeding and it may be uncomfortable when going to the toilet. To ease the symptoms of piles, you should:
- Exercise frequently to improve your circulation and keep you fit and healthy
- Don’t stand up for long periods of time
- Eat foods that are rich in fibre
- Use an ice pack (covered by a cloth) to ease the pain of piles
- Ask a doctor or your midwife for advice
- High blood pressure: high blood pressure affects between 10 and 15 percent of pregnant women. Expectant mothers will have their blood pressure tested regularly during their pregnancy; high blood pressure can be a symptom of pre-eclampsia which can contribute to stillbirth so it important for blood pressure to be monitored closely throughout the pregnancy. Your GP and midwife may recommend ways to lower your blood pressure which may include a change of diet, gentle exercise and ways to reduce stress.