To avoid hemorrhoids during pregnancy, BabyCenter recommends going to the bathroom as soon as the urge to have a bowel movement presents itself and remaining relaxed while on the toilet to avoid overexerting the bowels. Lifestyle changes also help to ward off hemorrhoids, such as eating a diet high in fiber with plenty of fruits and vegetables, exercising regularly and drinking adequate amounts of water throughout the day.
Sleeping on the left side of the body at night helps the body's blood to flow back up from the legs and relieves any strain that might be placed on the rectal veins. Strengthening the rectal muscles through daily Kegel exercises is a great way to keep the area toned, notes BabyCenter. If hemorrhoids have already occurred during pregnancy, a woman can take steps to ease the discomfort, such as using moist towelettes medicated with witch hazel to wipe the anus after a bowel movement. In order to decrease the swelling, a woman can apply a soft ice pack to the anus for a period of several minutes at different times throughout the day. According to BabyCenter, sitz baths are available at most drugstores and are designed to be placed over a toilet seat so that hemorrhoid sufferers can gently wash their anus or easily sit in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes for pain relief.