Varicose veins (and haemorrhoids) in pregnancy are unfortunately very common due to the weight of the your growing baby, pushing down on the veins in your pelvis and major blood vessel called the inferior vena cava.
Haemorrhoids are varicose veins of the rectal area.
Thankfully they generally cease to be a problem once your baby has been born.
There are a couple of things you can do to avoid or minimise the severity including eating a well balanced and fibrous diet, drinking plenty of fluids and engaging in some form of exercise every day. This will help avoid putting on too much weight too quickly, keep the circulation moving in your body and help you avoid constipation, which haemorrhoids are often a bi-product of.
Avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time and don’t cross your legs or feet. Wherever possible, take a load off and elevate your feet.
You can also use compression stockings to help prevent blood from pooling in your legs.
If haemorrhoids become a real issue, you can try sitting in a warm sitz bath. In more severe cases, your doctor may recommend an over-the-counter preparation to help ease the pain and reduce the inflammation.
Most women are fertile two weeks before their period starts. However, breastfeeding can delay the return of periods, making it hard for women to know with any confidence when their ‘fertile window’ may be. This is why some women conceive again before their periods have come back.
An epidural is an anaesthetic procedure, where a local anaesthetic is injected into the epidural space near the spinal cord. An epidural anaesthetic numbs the nerves so pain cannot be felt in certain areas of the body.
An epidural during labour helps to block pain signals from contractions. If birth intervention is needed, e.g., caesarean or forceps, an epidural is a common form of anaesthetic.