Post Pregnancy Night Sweats

Submitted by Pregnancy and Baby Care team on April 16, 2012

Night sweats, as the name suggests, are episodes of excessive sweating during the night, where you may wake up to find your clothes and bedding soaked in perspiration, even when your room is not particularly warm. These episodes can interfere with your sleep patterns and can cause fatigue and lethargy. You may experience night sweats after pregnancy and while it can be uncomfortable, it is not a serious cause for concern.


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Causes of night sweats after pregnancy

Night sweats after pregnancy is a perfectly normal occurrence, though it is still not clear why some women experience it and others don’t. During pregnancy, your body retains a lot of water and the extra fluid is stored in your hands, ankles, face and other parts of the body. After childbirth, there is a significant change in hormones, which causes your body to get rid of the extra water.

You may also experience excessive sweating in the day or the urge to urinate more often. Though no connection has been established between the two, several surveys suggest that breastfeeding moms experience night sweats for longer than those who don’t.

Treating night sweats after pregnancy

Doctors rarely suggest medications as part of a postpartum night sweats treatment plan and instead they suggest simple methods to help you sleep soundly.

You could try a few simple steps at home, to reduce night sweats.

  • Drinking water: A common misconception is that drinking less water can reduce the severity of night sweats. However, this theory is not based on scientific fact. Never cut down on the amount of water you drink, in the hopes of perspiring less. Drink an adequate amount of water each day so that your body to gets rid of the extra fluid easily, without the risks of dehydration.
  • Maintaining a proper sleeping temperature: Not everyone prefers to sleep in cool temperatures; however, maintaining a temperature between 66 and 68 degree F can cause you to sweat less. You could either keep a window open at night or keep your air conditioner on a lower temperature to make sure that your room remains cool while you sleep.
  • Wearing the right clothing: Make sure that you wear loose-fitting and lightweight clothing during the day and especially when you sleep. You can also choose to sleep au natural!
  • Absorbing the excess moisture: Place a soft towel on your pillow and, if possible change your bed-covers each night. This will soak up the sweat and may keep you from waking up in the middle of the night. You could also sprinkle some talc-free powder on your skin, to absorb the moisture and reduce the risks of a heat rash.

There is no specific time limit to how long postpartum night sweats can last. Some women do not experience this problem at all, whereas others may suffer from night sweats for weeks or even months after pregnancy. Night sweats after pregnancy could be a cause for concern, if it is accompanied by –

  • Fever
  • Unexplained weight loss

Do speak to your doctor in case you happen to experience any of the above symptoms, in addition to night sweats. Explore more about night sweats during pregnancy.

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