We really need to talk about piles.... because no one ever does!

Ok my loves.

Nobody talks about piles. Or would you rather call them haemorrhoids? I'm not really fussed either way.

However, for many women they can become a real problem during pregnancy and post-birth.

What sets them off?

Well, usually hormones & the sheer weight that you are carrying when pregnant. But it can also be your diet as well as hormones causing constipation and thus straining to poo .

What do they feel like?

Sore, itchy, painful when you poo... or at the very worst like you've sat on something sharp.

How will I know that I have them?

You may just notice discomfort when on the toilet. You may see blood when you wipe. You may also be able to feel them as sometimes they can protrude from your bottom a little way.

Ok, that's horrible, what the hell can I do with them??

Firstly you need to ensure that you are not constipated. So for many women this can just mean altering their diet to include lots of water, water rich foods and fibre. However, for many this just isn't going to be enough so you'll need to pop to your GP to get them checked over (or at least discuss your symptoms) and get some Senna or a similar product to stop the constipation.

And what about the ones that I have??

Each time you visit the toilet use a wet-wipe to ensure that they are completely clean. Then apply a topical cream, either witch-hazel based or if advised by your GP a 1% hydrocortisone cream.

Will they go away??

The good news is yes, very probably. Don't strain on the toilet. Keep hydrated and avoid constipation and they will shrink and disappear. If they were particularly large and external then you may have a tiny bit of skin (a skin tag) left.

And if you are hypnobirthing remember to breathe your baby down and out working with your body rather than pushing or straining for hours on end.

Sometimes there are some rubbish side-effects to pregnancy and birth. Best we just learn to acknowledge and talk about them though eh?