Minor disorders of pregnancy and the puerperium can be debilitating, and have an impact on a woman's physical and emotional wellbeing during her transition into motherhood. Constipation and haemorrhoids are among the most common of these disorders and can arise or worsen during pregnancy and the puerperium. Due to the embarrassing nature of these disorders, women may be reluctant to seek midwifery or medical assistance and may perceive constipation and haemorrhoids as something normal to be tolerated. However, if left untreated these disorders could progress and worsen, becoming pathological and potentially leading to chronic lifelong impairment. As frontline practitioners, midwives are key in ensuring gastrointestinal wellbeing through enabling disclosure, educating women, swiftly referring when required and ensuring appropriate management. This review of relevant literature explores both constipation and haemorrhoids from the viewpoint of the midwife, including the importance of midwifery knowledge, recognition and management of the disorders in both pregnancy and the puerperium.
- midwifery management