Are you a new mom? Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night to find your clothes and bed sheets completely soaked with sweat?
You overcame fatigue during pregnancy and swollen feet from water retention now this. Are you wondering why you have to deal with postpartum sweating along with a host of other unpleasant postpartum symptoms? How do you deal with night sweats and when should you call your doctor?
Read on to find out!
Postpartum Recovery: What is Happening to Your Body?
Even if you are a seasoned pro, you might find yourself asking this question in the weeks after you give birth to your baby.
Although a lot of changes occur during pregnancy, many women expect that things will go back to normal immediately after childbirth. Well, we are sorry to inform you dear mama that that is not always the case.
Even as you try to adjust to the life of a new mom, your body still has a lot of things going on. Therefore, you should expect to deal with a number of uncomfortable physical and emotional changes like:
- vaginal soreness and discharge
- occasional painful contraction of your womb
- leaking urine from time to time
- digestive problems
- breast soreness, engorgement and discharge
- hair and skin changes
- mood shifts and depression
- struggling to loose weight
In addition to all this unpleasantness, night sweating is also another thing that new mothers complain about in the few weeks after childbirth.
Why are You Sweating at Night?
Your body will gradually try to return to it’s pre-pregnancy state after you give birth. During pregnancy, there were a lot of changes to your hormone and fluid levels. Therefore, your body will try to adjust to new hormone levels after pregnancy.
In addition to this, it’d also try to get rid of all the excess fluids that sustained your body & baby while you were pregnant. Therefore, it’s normal to experience excess sweating in the days and nights after you give birth. Asides sweating, you may also notice that you urinate more often. This is another way your body tries to get rid of all that extra fluid.
At times, sweating at night may also be due to other reasons. You may find yourself waking up all warm and sweaty simply because your room is too warm or your blankets are too thick. Excessive night sweats can also be a side effect of some medications.
On the other hand, your night sweats can be a symptom of an underlying medical issue like anxiety, hyperthyroidism, obstructive sleep apnea, tuberculosis or menopause.
How Long Will The Sweating Last?
You should expect to experience night sweating in the few days and weeks after childbirth. It is usually no cause for concern. However, if your sweating lasts for too long, please contact your doctor.
What You Can Do:
Waking up warm and sweaty may be very uncomfortable. However, it is comforting to know that this unpleasant postpartum symptom will not last forever. Your hormones and fluids should regulate on their own in due time and the excess sweating should stop.
Meanwhile, here are a few tips to help you feel better when your night sweats are at their worst:
- Stay Hydrated: Sweating so much can leave you dehydrated. Your body needs all the fluids it can get now, especially if you are breastfeeding. Pay attention to the colour of your urine; if it is dark or yellow, you need to drink more water.
- Change Your Nightwear: You need comfortable pyjamas. Go for one that is loose, light and made from cotton and other natural fibers. This will provide room for your body to breath and bring the sweating down a notch.
- Cool Down Your Room: You are bound to wake up sweaty if your room is too warm. So open your windows and put on a fan. You can also try an using an air conditioner to keep your room cool at night.
- Use Powder: Sweating a lot can make you prone to heat rashes and other skin issues. Try using some talcum-free powder on your body just before you go to bed. This will help prevent rashes from forming.
- Wipe Yourself Down : Try a warm bath before bed or wiping yourself down with a wet face towel. This is can be refreshing and help you cool down.
When to See Your Doctor
You should contact your doctor if your night sweating lasts for several weeks after delivery.
Also inform your doctor if you notice any of the symptoms below:
- fever over 38oC
- unusual or smelly vaginal discharge
- heavy bleeding that may contains large clots ( lumps of curdled blood) for more than 3days after delivery
- pain or burning while urinating
- pain, redness, or drainage at stitch or incision sites
- warm, reddened breasts
- severe abdominal cramping
- difficulty breathing
- dizziness, or lightheadedness
- feeling depressed or anxious
- excessive weight-loss ( over 10%) despite a healthy appetite
- cough lasting over 3 weeks
As you try to adjust to your life as a new mom, you may have to deal with a lot of unpleasant changes.
We understand that having to wake up at night to feed, change, and soothe your baby is not easy. Not to talk of when you have to do it while you are all hot and sweaty. Good news it, this will not last forever.
Your body will be back to normal soon and then you can say goodbye to sweaty nights. Till then, you may have to keep your fan close and your air-conditioner, a little closer.
Are you having
- Mayo Clinic Staff. (2018). Night sweats.
- Physical changes after delivery. (2016).