In this blog we are going to talk about one of the many pregnancy ailments, namely sweating and hot flashes. We hear you thinking: this is part of menopause, right? Correct, but this physical discomfort is also common among pregnant women. We call it physical discomfort because at the most unexpected moments you can break out in a cold sweat. And let's face it, no one feels comfortable when you're blowing yourself cold like crazy. Unfortunately, we can not make it better than it is and hot flashes and sweating just belong to it.
Causes of sweating and hot flashes
Everyone sweats, that's just part of being human. Sweating has the function of cooling the body when you're hot. Sweating ensures that your body temperature drops and you feel more comfortable. But hot flashes ... not everyone experiences hot flashes in normal life. But pregnant women do. The sweating and hot flashes are especially common during the first and third trimesters of pregnancy and can be caused by the following:
Increased blood flow - pregnant women's blood vessels become thinner and they produce about 1.5 litres of extra blood. The blood flow to the body is increased, which makes you warm up more quickly and causes you to sweat.
Hormones - Yes, there they are again, the hormones. Pregnancy hormones fluctuate in all directions and can seriously upset your physical thermostat.
Lower blood sugar - During pregnancy, blood sugar levels can drop, increasing the likelihood of sweating. Rapid metabolism - Your metabolism goes to Speedy Gonzales mode during pregnancy, which also causes you to sweat more and faster (Pregnancy Portal, 2020).
Sweat consists of 99% of moisture and 1% of salts. As a result, sweat itself has no odour. Smelly sweat only develops when it comes into contact with bacteria. These bacteria are often found in warm areas of the body such as the armpits. And that's exactly where the largest sweat glands are. You can help fight bad odours by washing every day and wearing clean, airy clothes - preferably cotton ones (People and Planetary Health, s.d.).
Many pregnant women find that they sweat a lot, especially at night, and sometimes have to change their bedding. You may have to figure out what works for you, but try wearing light nightwear and choosing the right bedding. You can also put a thin sheet under your bedding that absorbs most of the nightly sweat and protects your mattress (Human health, 2010).
Giving birth and still sweating?
Unfortunately, the sweating and hot flashes will continue for a while after you give birth. This is because your hormones need to balance again. Breastfeeding also encourages sweating (Pregnancy Portal, 2020).
Unfortunately, as of yet, no magic solution has been found for excessive sweating and those pesky hot flashes. If we find this solution, you will be the first to know!
Man and Health. (s.d.). Sweating and pregnant. InfoNow. Accessed on July 12, 2021, from https://mens-en-gezondheid.infonu.nl/zwangerschap/114314-zweten-en-zwanger.html
Pregnancy Portal. (2020). Sweating and hot flashes during pregnancy. https://www.zwangerenportaal.nl/zwanger/kwaaltjes-en-klachten/zweten-en-opvliegers-tijdens-de-zwangerschap