Heavy sweating is very common following pregnancy. It’s a condition known as postpartum night sweats, and almost all new mothers will experience it.
The most confusing thing about the heavy sweating that follows pregnancy is that it can happen at any time, even when you’re sitting completely still. Yet the sweating is most likely to take place when you’re sleeping – or trying to sleep. This is why this condition is commonly referred to as postpartum night sweats.
In this post we’ll explore what causes postpartum night sweats and discuss how you can manage them. Though no two women are quite the same, we’ll be looking at what’s “normal” when it comes to postpartum night sweats, to help you decide if you need any extra help.
What Causes Postpartum Night Sweats?
During your pregnancy, your body retained extra water, which is vital for nourishing your baby in the womb. After you’ve given birth, your body no longer needs this excess water. You’ll get rid of this water either through more frequent urination, or through heavy sweating.
On top of this, following birth, you’ll be exhausted. And as you’ve a new baby to take care of, it’s only natural that you’ll feel stressed, too. This can further encourage your body to sweat.
Finally, as with many things related to pregnancy and birth, postpartum night sweats can also be linked to hormonal changes. Following birth, your estrogen levels can drop, which can cause fluctuations in your body’s temperature. This, too, can cause you to sweat.
When Do Postpartum Night Sweats Stop?
Postpartum sweats can last for a few weeks following birth. They’ll be most prevalent for the first couple of weeks after the delivery. During this time, you may also notice you’ll need to urinate more frequently.
This is just your body getting rid of all that excess water you stored during pregnancy. Once all this water’s gone, the postpartum night sweats should ease off.
Postpartum Night Sweats and Breastfeeding
If you’re breastfeeding, you may experience postpartum night sweats for a little longer. Doctors aren’t entirely sure why, but once again, it may be as a result of the hormonal changes in your body that breastfeeding causes.
How To Manage Postpartum Night Sweats
- Stay hydrated – Drink plenty of water. This won’t “top up” the excess fluid levels your body’s trying to shed. Rather, it will encourage sweating and urination, your body’s natural ways of disposing of unnecessary fluids.
- Stay comfortable – Wear loose-fitting and lightweight clothing in the weeks following birth. This will help you manage your body’s temperature fluctuations at night. Plus, wearing natural cotton instead of synthetic materials can be a lot more comfortable when you’re dealing with excessive sweat.
- Stay cool – Have a shower immediately before bed to help regulate your body temperature. You could also try sleeping with a cool towel on your pillow and with a fan beside your bed.
Postpartum Sweating – How Much is “Normal”?
As we mentioned above, it’s very common for new mums to sweat excessively following birth. However, if weeks have passed since delivery and you’re still sweating – or if your sweating is accompanied by other symptoms – then it may mean you have a fever, or an infection.
So if you have any concerns about your postpartum sweating, call your doctor or midwife immediately. Tell them about all of your symptoms. They’ll advise on the best ways to manage your condition, and they’ll also be able to check for any underlying conditions.
Staying Comfortable in the Days and Weeks After Birth
At the Conscious Parent, we can help make the first few weeks following delivery as comfortable as possible.
As well as postpartum sweating, it’s common for women to bleed for a few weeks following birth. Our postpartum pads can help you stay clean and comfortable throughout this process. They’re made from soft and natural materials, without any harmful chemicals. So they’re kind to your body while remaining absorbent enough to catch even the heaviest of postpartum flows.
We also stock eco-friendly reusable breast pads to help you stay clean and dry while you, your baby, and your body adjust to breastfeeding.
And don’t forget to check our Real Parenting blog for a range of resources to help you through the first weeks, months, and years of your baby’s life.