Postpartum Night Sweats
As a normal part of the postpartum process, sweating is common during sleep. Although this uncomfortable period might affect your sleep and make you cranky, it is totally normal and has some very common causes.
Pregnancy hormone is responsible for this phenomenon. During pregnancy, your body was taking on and holding more fluid to nourish your baby. This was great for keeping you and your baby hydrated, but now your body doesn’t need to keep all those extra fluids. Postpartum night sweats are getting rid of them through sweating, usually at night.
This is a natural process that will eventually taper off, so there’s nothing to worry about. Eventually, the extra fluids from your pregnancy will be gone and the hormone will settle down. It can take a little while for this process to finish, but there’s nothing to worry about as it is completely normal and should be expected.
Is there anything I can do?
If you want to make yourself a little more comfortable or manage the night sweats you're experiencing, there are a few things that can help, and more that are pretty important for your overall health during this period.
Lower The Heat
Make sure the area you are sleeping in is cool and comfortable for you. Although you will continue sweating, a cool environment will help the sweat to dry and it will be less uncomfortable.
Remember that you are expelling excess fluid by sweating, and that means you are losing hydration. Being dehydrated can be dangerous, and it isn’t healthy. Track your drinking habits and try to drink immediately after you wake up if you have been sweating during the night to start your day off right. Keep drinking plenty of fluids, especially if you’re breastfeeding, as this is important for breast milk production.
Soften The Experience
Putting a soft towel or a pad on your pillow or under your sheets can help absorb some of the moisture leaving your body. Additionally, this will lessen the effect of the sweating on your bedsheets and you won’t need to change them as often during this period.
Keep an Eye Out
While night sweats are totally normal, if they become abnormal you should seek some help from your doctor. You’re feeling the heat, but you shouldn’t be feeling it so much that your temperature is over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. Night sweats are a sign that something is going fine, but a fever might mean that you are sick.
This Too Shall Pass
While it can be uncomfortable for a while, this is a normal part of the postpartum process and will eventually pass. There is nothing to be worried about, and when it is over you will have the relief of getting back to normal (except for that demanding baby!).
Any other discomfort you might be experiencing could be the result of something else, and you should ask your doctor about that, but if your night sweats are the only problem, that’s great.
The Long Haul
Try to remember that this is one stage in a long haul process while nursing your baby that will eventually finish. You’re now in the middle of an incredible moment for your baby and you; enjoy it! If you’d like more information about night sweats or other topics related to nursing and postpartum recovery, take a look at our site.