Have you recently welcomed a new baby into your family? You might be wondering what changes you’ll face after birth as you adjust to life as a mom for the first time, or even if you’re a seasoned pro. After pregnancy, many women frequently complaints brought by postpartum night sweats or hot flashes.
What can you read in this article?
- What are postpartum hot flashes and night sweats?
- Causes postpartum hot flashes and night sweats?
- Signs of Postpartum hot flashes and night sweats
- How to deal with postpartum hot flashes and night sweats
What are postpartum hot flashes and night sweats?
After pregnancy, your body undergoes several changes, including changes in hormone levels. Hormonal changes can trigger postpartum hot flashes and night sweats in many women.
Hot flashes, often known as hot flushes, strike without warning. They commonly appear in the weeks following your baby’s birth. You may feel hot on your face, shoulders, neck, and chest, causing you to sweat abundantly. This is often accompanied by redness in the affected areas. A small chill may accompany the overwhelming heat, making you feel both hot and chilled.
Night sweats are hot flashes that occur during night. This is when you wake up in the middle of the night feeling hot and drenched in perspiration. Even though they’re frequent, they can be bothersome and make getting a good night’s sleep difficult.
Pregnancy-related hot flashes are prevalent, according to a 2013 study by University of Pittsburgh researchers, affecting 35 percent of women during pregnancy and 29 percent of women afterward. Postpartum hot flashes are at their worst two weeks after birth, after which they usually subside. Hot flashes (daytime sweats) and night sweats are characteristic menopausal symptoms, but they can also occur during pregnancy and after childbirth.
What causes postpartum hot flashes and night sweats?
During pregnancy, the body produces large levels of two important hormones: progesterone and estrogen. A rise or fall in body temperature might be caused by changes in these hormone levels.
Low estrogen levels after pregnancy can lead to postpartum hot flashes and postpartum night sweats. As a woman’s body adjusts after pregnancy, her hormone levels, especially estrogen, change.
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The sudden decline in estrogen during the postpartum period causes postpartum hot flashes and night sweats, which may persist while breastfeeding because the ovaries, which make and release estrogen, are inhibited during lactation.
Women may also sweat more after giving birth in order to rid themselves of excess fluid. According to the American Pregnancy Association, during pregnancy, a woman’s body absorbs 50% more blood and bodily fluid to support the baby’s growth. After birth, this fluid is no longer essential, and the body eliminates it through sweat and urine, which may both rise after labor.
On the other hand, several medications can cause night sweats, including:
- Antidepressant drugs (antidepressants)
- Hormone replacement therapy
- A medication used to treat opioid addiction (methadone)
- Drugs used to treat diabetes-related low blood sugar (hypoglycemic agents)
Signs of Postpartum hot flashes and night sweats
If you’re experiencing postpartum night sweats, you’ll be able to know right away. The most evident sign is excessive sweating while sleeping. You may also encounter:
- Excessive body odor
- Frequent waking up
- Feeling damp or soaked
Hot flashes are most severe during the first two weeks after childbirth, after which they usually subside. The postpartum period, or the time following childbirth, is generally agreed to last 6 weeks, though some symptoms may persist longer. Women’s bodies go through a lot of changes during this time, and side symptoms like night sweats, diarrhea, and exhaustion are frequent.
How to deal with postpartum hot flashes and night sweats
It might be really unpleasant to wake up soaked. When your postpartum night sweats are at their worst, there are a few things you may do to feel better. First and foremost, keep in mind that this is just a transient postpartum symptom. Soon enough, your hormones and fluid levels should normalize on their own.
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1. Drink plenty of water.
You may become dehydrated as a result of all the sweating. It’s important to drink plenty of water, especially if you’re breastfeeding. How do you determine whether you’ve had enough to drink? Your urine should be a light or clear color, and you should use the restroom frequently. If your urine is black in color, you aren’t getting enough water.
2. Wear loose clothes and natural fabrics.
Wearing flexible, light layers instead of heavy pajamas can help you stay cool even before you start sweating. Wearing moisture-wicking clothing, such as cotton and other natural fibers, can also be beneficial.
3. Lower the temperature in the room.
Lowering the temperature in your bedroom by a few degrees, whether you use a fan or an air conditioner, or open a window, should help you avoid sweating.
4. Cover your sheets.
Are you concerned about the state of your mattress? You can use a rubber sheet below your usual bedding to protect it or sleep on a sweat-absorbing cotton towel. Covering your sheets with a towel or putting a rubber sheet below your bedding will help you to reduce the number of times you change your linens. You may also switch to moisture-wicking bedsheets if you sweat a lot at night.
5. Consider using powder.
If your night sweats are causing you to break out in rashes, consider sprinkling some talc-free powder on your body.
6. Avoid trigger foods
Postpartum hot flashes and night sweats can be made worse by certain foods and beverages. Keep track of your symptoms to discover if any foods cause you to have hot flashes, and then try to avoid them. Common trigger foods are:
- Spicy Foods
- Large Meals
- Hot foods or liquids
7. Relaxation techniques
Postpartum hot flashes and night sweats may be relieved with paced breathing exercises, meditation, or mindfulness. Practicing relaxation techniques before bedtime may be beneficial; yoga, for example, has been proven to enhance sleep in people who have postpartum hot flashes.
Pilates exercise, back massage, foot reflexology, and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) have also been reported to assist postpartum women sleep better and feel less fatigued.
8. Eat more soy
Although there are few studies on hot flashes in pregnancy and postpartum, a 2017 Trusted Source study of 50 perimenopausal and postmenopausal women found that eating soy supplements could help menopausal women with flashes.
The people who took soy isoflavone supplements for 12 weeks saw significant improvements in their hot flash symptoms, according to the study. People can boost their soy consumption by taking supplements or consuming high-soy meals such as tofu, mempeh, miso, and natto.
Always consult your doctor before changing your diet or adding supplements, especially if you’re breastfeeding.
When to see your doctor
Schedule a visit with your physician if night sweats:
- Take place on a regular basis
- Sleep deprivation
- Are accompanied by a fever, weight loss, localized pain, cough, diarrhea, or other troubling symptoms
- Begin months or years after the onset of menopause symptoms.
- High fever (over 38°C or 100.4°F)
- Breasts that are hot or pink
- Breast lump that hurts
- Discharge, discomfort, or redness that persists or worsens
- Uterine discomfort (in your lower abdomen)
- Lochia with a foul odor (vaginal discharge)
- Urinary discomfort or burning
- Irritability, anxiousness, anger, hunger and sleep disturbances, guilt, humiliation, or hopelessness, lack of interest, joy, or pleasure in activities you used to like, and possible thoughts of harming the baby or yourself are all symptoms of depression.
- Anxiety symptoms include nausea, dizziness, continual worry, racing thoughts, and the inability to sit still.
- Thyroid-related symptoms include constipation or frequent bowel motions, weight fluctuations, trembling hands, swollen face, dry skin, and weariness.
Your body is most likely still experiencing its major shift from pregnancy to postpartum. Take good care of yourself and your developing child. You should soon feel more like yourself again.