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Piles… Pregnancy and Beyond

Right, I'm back, and this time it's going to be a blog post all about Piles before pregnancy and beyond. My piles have been in my life for such a long time that I've named them “Giles” … yes, I know, very weird, but I am weird, haha! Anyway, piles are a complete pain in the arse… literally.

I know some people are embarrassed to talk about piles, but this is why I am here — to reduce your embarrassment and talk for you and reassure you that it gets better! Piles are not embarrassing to talk about; they are a completely common part of pregnancy, just like backache and hip pains!

So first of all, let's start off with what piles are. Piles are swollen veins located in the lower area of the rectum and anus. They can be internal (formed in the lining of your anus and lower rectum) or external (formed under the skin around your anus).

External Piles during pregnancy can cause discomfort. Symptoms of external Piles include: Itchiness in the anal area, Lumps around the anus, Pain around the anus. Internal piles are generally well hidden inside the rectum and tend to be painless. They do make themselves known in two key ways: prolapse and blood. Piles can happen during pregnancy due to many reasons, including weight gain, the pressure of your growing uterus, and the pregnancy hormone progesterone, as well as constipation. Honestly, there’s never a dull moment when you are pregnant, haha!

I had piles from a young age as I had always suffered from constipation issues. However, I would say from 14-18 years it improved massively, but when I turned 18, I decided I wanted to start weight training, which in all honesty made my piles worse, and they continued to disappear and come back every couple of weeks. I was put on stool softener and prescribed pile cream, and it 100% made it better, but then I got pregnant and wow. My piles went from small peas to grapes, and it all became quite uncomfortable, and during pregnancy, you can’t use certain medications, so it does become hard to minimise the size of them.

If you’re dealing with this uncomfortable pregnancy issue, here are a few safe-for-pregnancy ways to get relief:

  • Soak in warm water a few times a day. This is also known as a sitz bath. You can purchase a small basin that fits over your toilet seat, which is quicker and easier than pouring a bath.

  • Apply cold packs or ice packs to minimize swelling. The perineal ice packs you buy now will not go to waste as they can be used after labor; I bought mine off Amazon!

  • Use witch hazel pads. This can alleviate pain, itching, and swelling. For extra relief, pop them in the freezer before use.

Once I gave birth, they were by far the biggest they had ever been, and by now I am talking plum size. I couldn’t even relax while sitting down. I spent a lot of time sitting on a doughnut cushion. However, because they had been through so much trauma, I don’t think anything else would top it and make them worse, so I just kept saying they can only get better, right?

Two weeks went by, and they were tons better. I highly recommend a stool/poo step. It helps you pass your poo a lot easier, and it's a lot less strain on your muscles, meaning your piles will be less aggravated! This is another thing I bought off Amazon! If you haven’t realised by now, I'm slightly addicted to Amazon Prime, haha! Every week they got better and better. I just made sure I kept on top of my water intake, my vitamins, and nutritious eating.

Well, then I fell pregnant again, and they came back with a vengeance. My pregnancy with Aubrey was tarnished by my piles. Week 35 and onwards, I was on bed rest as much as I could be with a 21-month-old toddler. It was so hard, but quite frankly, I was finding it so difficult, and by this point, I thought ah, it's ok, I only have a few weeks left, as I honestly thought I would be early, but boy I was wrong, haha! 41 weeks I went… 6 weeks of hell with my monster piles. During labor with my boy, my midwife even told me ‘’yeah, your piles are bad’’… yeah, thanks hun for the heads up LOL.

I was then booked in for banding, and all I can say is GET IT DONE! It's changed my life! It does get better, ladies, I promise.

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