by Justine Deputy, RN, MSN

Let’s talk about it, constipation and hemorrhoids are common during pregnancy. According to the American Pregnancy Association, constipation affects about 50% of women at some point during their pregnancy. Don’t hesitate to talk to your midwife about any symptoms you may be having. There are things you can do that may provide some relief. The following is an excerpt from the Birth Center Client Manual.

 Constipation and Hemorrhoids


  • Anatomic changes with uterus compressing lower intestine.
  • Decreased G-I motility and peristalsis (caused by progesterone).
  • 2nd stage pushing in labor causes temporary hemorrhoids in most women.
  • Decreased physical activity.
  • Reaction to iron.
  • Straining to move bowels.


  • Increase fluids, whole grains, fruits, and warm fluids to stimulate bowels.
  • Awareness of toilet regimen. “Take time” to have BM when the urge strikes.
  • Exercise.
  • Prune juice.
  • For hemorrhoids: sitz baths, witch hazel, ice, Kegel exercises, raw potato, Epsom salt, Preparation H.