Night sweats are a common symptom experienced by many of those mothers who have just given birth. This article will give you information about post-partum night sweats, what causes it, how to deal with it, and when to see a doctor.
What happens in your body during the post-partum period?
Your body undergoes many changes during your pregnancy. These changes will not go back to the non-pregnant state soon after delivery of the baby. You may have to go through a number of physical and emotional changes post pregnancy, also called post-partum period. You may notice the following changes occurring within your body.
- Contractions in your uterus
- Urinary incontinence
- Changes to your skin and hair
- Vaginal soreness and discharge
- Breast soreness and engorgement
- Loss of weight
- Mood swings
- Issues with your bowel
In addition to the above changes, you may also notice night sweats. You may develop sweating at night, even when the surrounding temperature is cold. Sometimes you might even wake up in the middle of the night after totally soaking through your clothes and bed sheets.
Why do you sweat at night during the post-partum period?
Sweating at night can happen due to a number of reasons. If you wake up at night feeling hot and sweaty, then it is not considered as night sweats. It just means that the temperature maybe too hot or you are using far too many blankets. At other times, night sweats could be a side effect of some of the drugs you are taking or due to a medical condition such as anxiety, hyperthyroidism, or menopause.
You may also experience night sweats in the days following child birth. This is mainly due to the hormonal changes that take place in your body after pregnancy. These hormones will try to get rid of the excess body fluids that supported you during your pregnancy. Fluids may be lost by means of urination and sweating, which may manifest as frequent visits to the bathroom to urinate and as excessive sweating at night.
This may be really uncomfortable but it is not something serious. It is a normal change, and it will subside within a few days to a few weeks. However, if you continue to sweat for several weeks, then you should consult your doctor immediately as it could be a sign of an underlying condition.
How long will postpartum night sweats last?
Postpartum night sweats usually start after the delivery of your baby and can last for several weeks. If you are breast feeding your baby, then it is possible for postpartum night sweats to last for a longer time. Most women in their postpartum period have reported that postpartum night sweats have ceased after about 2 to 4 weeks. However, some have experienced night sweats for a longer time than this.
What is the treatment for postpartum night sweats?
Night sweats are only a temporary thing during the post-partum period but it can be pretty uncomfortable to live with. So here are some tips for you to try to feel better.
- Drink a lot of water
Sweating profusely at night can lead to loss of water in your body, which may then lead to dehydration. Therefore, it is important to drink a lot of water to replace the amount of fluid in your body. This is even more crucial if you are in the process of breastfeeding. All the more reason to drink lots of fluids to continuously replenish your system. Sometimes you might be wondering when exactly can you say that you're drinking enough water. A good indicator that you're drinking sufficiently is the frequency of your bathroom visits. If you're urinating regularly and your urine is more diluted or pale in color, you are most likely drinking fluids just the right amount.
- Wear light, loose clothes at night
You can keep yourself cool by wearing loose clothes instead of heavy pajamas. Cotton clothes are better than synthetic fabric clothes. Cotton clothes will not make you feel so sweaty and sticky. The lighter and cooler the fabric, the better. Whatever type of clothes you wear, prepare to wash them daily as they will get soaked up with sweat every night.
- Keep some warm dry clothes ready by your bed side
Night sweats aren't the only thing that might wake you up at night. Your hungry baby will most likely wake you up several times during the night, and if your clothes are soaked with sweat by this time, then make sure you have warm, dried clothes or a bathrobe right next to your bed for a quick change. You might feel cold due to night sweats. So to prevent yourself from catching a chill, make sure you have a set of easily accessible dry clothes near you to change into as you wake up and feed your baby.
- Keep your room temperature low
Let the room temperature cool down by turning on the fan or air conditioner. You can also have your windows open for more natural breeze to cool you at night. This will help keep the temperature cool all through the night, thereby reducing the occurrence of night sweats.
- Place a soft towel or a pad beneath your pillow to absorb some of the sweat and moisture.
This will reduce the discomfort caused by post-pregnancy night sweats. It will also save the time wasted on washing the bed linen every day. You can place some rubber sheets under your sheets and pillow to protect the mattress from getting soaked up with sweat.
You can also use a mattress protector to prevent your mattress from soaking up at night. There are two types of mattress protectors available: the cotton ones and the plastic ones. The cotton mattress protectors are similar to a thin quilt and it fits just beneath your sheets. This will prevent he moisture coming down to your mattress. The plastic mattress protectors are similar to plastic sheets. They are cheaper than the cotton mattress protectors, but they tend to make a noise every time you change position while sleeping.
- Apply some talc powder on your body.
Talc powder is a good way to keep yourself cool and dry. Apply talc powder all over your body to absorb the excess sweat. In addition, it will also help prevent heat rashes, as well as soothe your skin from other discomforts caused by excessive sweating.