If you wake up in the middle of the night feeling like you just jumped into a swimming pool with pj’s and all, then you may be experiencing postpartum night sweats -aka hot flashes. It may seem like your hormones are playing you another prank, but yet again, this is a perfectly normal ‘postpartum treat.’
- Are Night Sweats Normal After Pregnancy?
- How Long Do Night Sweats Last After Delivery?
- What Causes Postpartum Night Sweats?
- How To Get Rid Of Postpartum Night Sweats
- 1. Dress In Layers Of Breathable Clothing
- 2. Keep A Towel Handy Or Place It On Top Of Your Sheet And Pillow
- 3. Use A Fan, Open The Window Or Turn On The Air-Con
- 4. Drink Heaps Of Water
- 5. Healthy Habits
- 6. Spatter Talc-Free Powder
- 7. Run Cool Water On Your Wrists
- When You Need To See Your Doctor
- Wearing Postpartum Girdles to Improve Your Overall Health
In this article, we answer your most frequently asked questions about postpartum night sweats, causes, symptoms, and how to deal with these wet bursts taking over your sleep!
Are Night Sweats Normal After Pregnancy?
Yes, they are! According to this study, 29% of women experience hot flashes after giving birth. The study also shows how even though night sweats have always been linked to menopause, the abrupt hormonal changes a woman goes through after childbirth can also cause these annoying episodes.
How Long Do Night Sweats Last After Delivery?
Night sweats are estimated to peak after 2 weeks of childbirth. Women who are exclusively breastfeeding may experience hot flashes for longer, as this keeps the hormones producing milk and can even stop ovulation. In this case, your hormones may not settle until you stop breastfeeding.
What Causes Postpartum Night Sweats?
Although there are not many conclusive studies on this specific topic, experts agree that low, high, or sudden changes on the levels of estrogen and progesterone after pregnancy can cause abrupt swings in body temperature.
It’s also important to know that during the first days after childbirth, your body needs to get rid of excess fluids through urine, perspiration, and post-pregnancy bleeding. This means that hot flashes can also be a vehicle for your body to get back to normal.
Although there are no conclusive studies directly linking diet and night sweats, some experts believe certain foods can influence the intensity of these. Coffee, alcohol, highly refined foods, and hot spices lead the chart of triggering foods.
Finally, some over-the-counter drugs can induce night sweats. From antidepressants to even ibuprofen and aspirin, you may want to chat with your doctor and find out if this applies to you.
As you can see, the main underlying cause that affects women that have just gone through childbirth is just your hormones doing their job!
How To Get Rid Of Postpartum Night Sweats
It’s not rocket science to guess how waking up during the night drenched in sweat is incredibly annoying! The thing is, even though you can do some things to help prevent uber-hot-flashes, these are just part of the ‘postpartum game.’
Your best bet is to plan ahead and know what to do when the time comes.
1. Dress In Layers Of Breathable Clothing
Wear loose layers of cotton or other breathable natural fabrics like linen for sleeping. You can also sleep naked, but if you’ve just given birth, keep your mesh undies and pads on, and maybe even your sleeping bra. If you are wearing a medical-grade postpartum girdle, you can leave it on as long as you are comfortable. Bellefit’s girdles are made from breathable fabrics that won’t irritate your skin and will keep you protected -one less thing to worry about!
2. Keep A Towel Handy Or Place It On Top Of Your Sheet And Pillow
Again, if possible use cotton or linen sheets as your bedding as these will let your skin breathe and will help regulate your body temperature. Having a towel near your bed or between you and your sheets is a great way to absorb your perspiration -and also avoid having to change the bedsheets way too often!
3. Use A Fan, Open The Window Or Turn On The Air-Con
Try not to overuse your AC as it can cause your throat to dry due to a lack of humidity in the air. But hey! If you need it, go for it -just place a bowl of water in your room to keep the air moist. Having a newborn at home tweaks and bends your sleeping patterns in crazy ways, so a bit of fresh air to take you through the night can be a godsend.
4. Drink Heaps Of Water
As your body sheds the fluids it doesn’t need anymore, staying hydrated is extremely important! Did you know that humans lose 1 pound every night while sleeping through sweat? So, add to a regular sleeping pattern postpartum night sweats, and bum! you have a recipe for dehydration. Keep your water bottle handy and fill it up every night before you go to bed.
5. Healthy Habits
Cutting coffee, saturated fats, processed foods, spices, and excess sugar can have a huge impact on your overall health, including night sweats. Exercise, yoga, and meditation can also help regulate emotions, ease anxiety, and improve your well-being from a holistic point of view. Even though these may not be directly connected to your hot flashes, they are huge allies to navigate both the physical, emotional -and even spiritual- aspects of your postpartum recovery. Talk to your doctor, consultant, and/or find a nutritionist to learn and understand what you can do.
6. Spatter Talc-Free Powder
Just a little bit of talc-free powder will assist in getting rid of excessive moisture and keep your skin soft and dry.
7. Run Cool Water On Your Wrists
If you can’t or prefer not to take a shower after a night sweat episode, just try running cold water on your wrists. As blood running through your wrists is close to the skin’s surface, fresh water will help cool down your body temperature.
When You Need To See Your Doctor
Fever or extreme shivering, dizziness, trouble breathing, a sudden drop in levels of sugar, excessive anxiety or fear can also trigger different responses in your body -including hot flashes!
Even though postpartum night sweats after childbirth are common and inoffensive, if you experience symptoms of getting sick, by all means, consult with a doctor or healthcare professional.
Wearing Postpartum Girdles to Improve Your Overall Health
One of the best things you can do right now to get your body and system back on track is wearing postpartum girdles. Wearing these religiously will help you lose the excess inches fast whilst also balancing your hormones in the process. This will in turn help you get rid of the postpartum night sweats and you’ll start feeling better within no time!