Sweatiness During Pregnancy - Is It Normal?
- This article has no external links.
As you are no doubt discovering, there are lots of things to be excited about during pregnancy, but there are also plenty of irritating side effects too. Increased sweating during pregnancy may be another one of those annoying side effects to add to your list.
Why am I sweating more?
When you are pregnant, your body creates, and circulates more blood. This increased blood flow can increase your body temperature. On top of this, the changes to your hormones exacerbate the problem of sweatiness during pregnancy. There is an area of your brain called the hypothalamus which is responsible for regulating your body temperature. The hormone imbalance associated with pregnancy prevents this from functioning properly which can lead to you become over heated. Hormones are also responsible for the blood vessels near the skin becoming dilated, enabling the heat to be released through the skin. In response to all of this your sweat glands are much more active during pregnancy. Remember that sweating is an important way of cooling your body down, so while it may be embarrassing or uncomfortable at times, it is by no means a pointless exercise.
Some pregnant women find that they are only affected by sweatiness at night. Night sweats are quite common, but they are often very uncomfortable and frustrating if they keep you awake. If night sweats are repeatedly keeping you up and preventing you from getting adequate rest during pregnancy then speak to your GP or midwife.
What can I do about it?
Whilst increased sweatiness during pregnancy is common, there is plenty that you can do to reduce its severity. You need to do as much as you can to regulate your own body temperature, which is easier said than done if you live in the UK with very unpredictable weather! The key difference you can make is in how you dress. Make sure that you dress in layers so that you can quickly and easily adapt to changes in temperature by stripping off or layering up as necessary. Also, make sure that the clothes you wear are not too tight, and that they are cotton or another breathable fabric.
Adjust your behaviour where possible. Exercise during pregnancy is very important, but try to make sure that you exercise in a well air-conditioned gym or that you take your exercise either early or late in the day to avoid the daytime heat. Swimming is a good way to exercise without overheating. The same goes for eating big, hot meals as some women find that this can make them sweat suddenly. Instead, go for salads or lighter meal options if you are eating out with friends or if the weather or venue is particularly warm.
Having a cool shower or bath will help to cool you down, or you can lie down with a cool damp flannel on your forehead. Obviously, stay out of the sun and opt for either the shade, or even better, air-conditioned rooms during hot weather. Dehydration is the biggest risk associated with heavy sweating, so make sure that you are particularly vigilant in making sure you get at least 8 glasses of water every day.
If all this increased perspiration is getting you down a little then take heart, while to some extent sweatiness is inevitable during pregnancy, the usual smell of sweat does not go hand in hand. The sweat that causes body odour is known as apocrine perspiration and the production of this actually slows during pregnancy - so look on the bright side!