Struggling with heat rash during pregnancy? You're not alone.
Are you constantly wet, damp, and uncomfortable these days? Even when the thermostat is turned down, many pregnant women experience excessive sweating, especially at night.
Excessive sweating is a common symptom of pregnancy, and there are plenty of ways to stay cool even when the mercury soars.
Why Am I Sweating So Much During Pregnancy?
Excessive sweating is a normal pregnancy symptom, and the suggestions for staying cool above will help you control your internal oven temperature.
Pregnancy can be a bumpy, wet ride. You'll probably feel extra sweaty during the first, third, and postpartum trimesters, all of which are marked by more extreme hormonal swings. Sweating should gradually decrease as your hormones begin to regulate themselves, usually around the time you resume ovulating a few months after giving birth.
Excessive Sweating During Pregnancy: When Does It Begin?
If you were a hot potato prior to pregnancy, or if you experienced high temperatures and night sweats before your period, buckle up! Pregnancy is likely to be a bumpy, wet ride.
You'll probably feel extra sweaty during the first, third, and postpartum trimesters when you're experiencing more extreme hormonal swings (good news: hormones are pretty even in the second trimester).
Excessive Sweating During Pregnancy: What Causes It?
1. Changes in hormones
The culprit is those raging pregnancy hormones! The hormones cause your body to sweat, which is designed to keep you cool when the temperature rises.
2. Higher Body Mass Index
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Other potential causes include a higher than recommended Body Mass Index during pregnancy (so consult with your doctor and try to gain the recommended amount of weight, eating for two is no longer the prescription although you do need some extra calories) and the extra weight you are carrying - your baby-to-be, who is very comfortable, can make you feel the heat for both of you.
3. Increased blood flow
When compared to pre-pregnancy, a pregnant woman's blood plasma volume increases by up to 40 per cent. By the end of the third trimester, it has risen to 60 per cent (or more).
Your blood vessels then dilate (widen) to deliver more blood to the surface of your skin. And presto! There's your constant feeling of being "warmer."
It's possible that the natural increase in peripheral skin temperature during pregnancy interferes with the body's normal mechanism for lowering core body temperatures while sleeping. This could even result in that unexpected wake-up from being drenched.
4. Thyroid issues
Thyroid hormones aid in the regulation of metabolism and body temperature. You may feel overheated in general or while sleeping if you have too much thyroid hormone.
TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) decreases at the start of the first trimester and then increases again before the second trimester begins.
Pregnancy can also cause an iodine deficiency, which can further alter thyroid hormone function.
Normal thyroid hormone fluctuations during pregnancy, as well as those caused by more serious thyroid disorders and diseases, can cause temperature regulation problems and, as a result, night sweats.
If you have persistent night sweats or a history of thyroid problems, we recommend that you see your OB-GYN for further evaluation.
Night sweats may indicate a more serious infection or condition. It's a classic symptom of tuberculosis and lymphoma, both of which are extremely rare causes of night sweats during pregnancy.
However, pregnancy can increase a woman's risk of certain infections, which can cause night sweats due to normal changes in the immune system and other physiological changes.
Certain organisms can make pregnant women more vulnerable to – and severely affect – them. Some examples are:
- Influenza virus (flu)
- Hepatitis E virus
- Herpes simplex virus
- Malaria parasites
Foodborne infections caused by the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes are also more common during pregnancy.
If your night sweats are accompanied by other troubling symptoms, such as muscle aches, fever, flu-like symptoms, nausea, and diarrhoea, you should contact your doctor right away.
6. Medication side effects
Many drugs, ranging from antidepressants to over-the-counter cold, acid reflux, and decongestant medications, have the side effect of excessive sweating or night sweats. If you're pregnant and taking any medication or supplement, talk to your pharmacist or OB about your risk of night sweats.
Ondansetron (Zofran), which is commonly prescribed during pregnancy to help relieve nausea, is one medication to be aware of. Consult your doctor if you are taking Zofran and have persistent night sweats.
7. Low blood sugar
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During pregnancy, your metabolism goes into overdrive to provide your baby with all the nutrition he or she needs to grow from the size of a seed to the size of a watermelon. That means that if you don't consume enough calories or calories that are evenly distributed throughout the day, you may feel a little depleted.
If this is the case, you may develop hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Night sweats, or nocturnal hypoglycemia, can also be a warning sign.
Excessive Sweating During Pregnancy: When Should I Expect It To Stop?
You should expect to be extra warm and toasty right up until and after the birth. The sweat effect will most likely fade gradually as your hormones begin to regulate themselves — most likely around the time you begin ovulating again a few months after delivery.
Your basal temperature should return to normal after delivery. However, anecdotally, many women report that they never returned to their pre-pregnancy selves in terms of temperature (which is great news for those of you who were always complaining about the cold!). Everything is fine and normal!
What Can I Do If I'm Sweating Excessive Sweating During Pregnancy?
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When you're sweating profusely, there's no magic solution — but there are a few things you can do to feel more at ease:
- Stay hydrated.
- Avoid direct sunlight and stay in air-conditioned environments.
- Avoid working out during the day.
- Dress comfortably in light clothing.
- Use blankets to cover your bed.
- Rest on a towel
- Avoid hot beverages and spicy foods.
- Keep a hand-held fan handy.
- Apply talc-free powder.
Heat Rash During Pregnancy
Prickly heat or heat rash can appear anywhere on the body, typically as a result of excessive sweating. Because pregnancy causes your body temperature to rise, you may be more susceptible to heat rash during this time.
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Heat rash appears on the skin as pink or red bug-bite-like bumps that itch, feel prickly, or are sensitive. It can resemble pimples at times and even develop whiteheads.
Heat rash is a common pregnancy symptom that includes:
- Between and beneath the breast crease
- In the crease where the lower abdomen bulge rubs against the top of the pubic area
- On the back
- On the thighs' inner thighs
- Under the armpits
- In the crease between your elbows
Heat Rash During Pregnancy Treatment
There are numerous pregnancy-safe methods for soothing itchy skin and aiding in the healing of heat rash:
- Dress in light, loose-fitting cotton clothing.
- Use a cool, damp compress.
- Rinse thoroughly
- Sprinkle with powder
- Use calamine lotion.
- Switch on the air conditioner or a fan.
- Go naked
There are numerous over-the-counter heat rash treatments available, many of which contain hydrocortisone, a common anti-itch ingredient. However, before applying or ingesting any medication, consult with your dermatologist or pharmacist to ensure that the ingredients are safe to use while pregnant.
When you have heat rash during pregnancy, you should avoid the following treatments and products:
- Avoid using skin irritants. Avoid perfumes, scented lotions, and harsh soaps.
- Stay away from petroleum-based ointments and mineral oil creams. Heavy body creams or oils can aggravate heat rash by further clogging your pores.
If a rash or irritation persists for more than a few days, consult your practitioner about the next steps.
Home Remedies For Itching During Pregnancy
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Antihistamines, which are available over-the-counter, can help with hives, herpes gestationis, and other conditions caused by an increase in histamine. Antihistamine use has not been linked to birth defects in recent studies. However, note that you shouldn't take any medications without the advice of your doctor.
Pine tar soap should be lathered
Although pine tar soap has a strong odour, its antiseptic properties make it a popular choice for treating a variety of skin conditions, including psoriasis.
Consider using the soap on affected areas while bathing in lukewarm water up to four times per day. According to some users, this method relieves itching within a few hours.
Consider taking an oatmeal bath
Take an oatmeal bath to help relieve itchy skin. Oatmeal moisturises the skin. For the best results, soak in the tub for about 20 minutes. Simply pour 1 cup of rolled oats into the centre of a piece of cheesecloth and secure with a rubber band. Put it in a tub of warm water and squeeze to get the milky, oat-infused water out.
It's essential to keep your skin hydrated, especially in sensitive areas like around stretch marks. Select fragrance-free formulas and liberally apply after bathing or showering. You may even want to keep your moisturiser in the refrigerator for added cooling relief.
Keep your cool
Cooling down is critical for conditions like heat rash, as it prevents sweating and overheating. These suggestions may be useful:
- Dress comfortably in natural fibres such as cotton.
- Keep your bedding light and breathable.
- Shower and bathe in cool water rather than warm water.
- Drink water and other non-caffeinated fluids to stay hydrated.
Heat Rash - When To Call A Doctor
Inform your doctor if you develop a rash or any new symptoms during your pregnancy. In many cases, symptoms will respond well to home treatment, and the condition will resolve itself after your child is born.
Other symptoms, such as intense itching, skin yellowing, pain, or fever, are warning signs of conditions that require medical attention.
When you have concerns about your or your baby's health, you should contact your doctor.
Here at theAsianparent Singapore, it's important for us to give information that is correct, significant, and timely. But this doesn't serve as an alternative for medical advice or medical treatment. theAsianparent Singapore is not responsible for those that would choose to drink medicines based on information from our website. If you have any doubts, we recommend consulting your doctor for clearer information