Excerpt from Asking for a Pregnant Friend: 101 Answers to Questions Women Are Too Embarrassed to Ask about Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Motherhood
During my third trimester I would frequently awake to a pillow so drenched with sweat it was squishy. (And it made all the squishy sounds.) My night sweats and, heck, my all-day sweats were out of control. I looked, smelled, and felt like a Swamp Mama. It was really sexy.
Not surprisingly, it’s believed the intense sweating many women experience during pregnancy is due to the spike in estrogen and progesterone. (Those buggers seem to tinker with everything.) In addition, an increase in body temperature and blood flow to the skin contributes to the pregnancy glow, or for ladies like me, the pregnancy drench.
What to do
Let you care provider know. Although the sweats are likely just a side effect of growing a human, it’s wise to rule out circumstances like infection or thyroid issues. After you’ve determined all is well (besides the whole waking up in a swimming pool thing), minimize your excessive glisten by trying the following:
- Exercise. It seems counterintuitive, but whether you’re pregnant or not, exercise has been found to reduce sweatiness (at least after the exercise).
- Stay hydrated. While drinking water won’t make you sweat less, it will minimize overheating. It also helps you replace all the fluids you’re losing, which is crucial, as those fluids impact amniotic fluid levels, blood volume, new tissue production, nutrient delivery, digestion, and removal of wastes and toxins (bye, constipation). Hydration is crucial.
To ensure your sweating doesn’t impact your vitality, shoot for drinking your body weight in ounces every day. For example, a woman who weighs 140 pounds would drink 70 ounces every day. It’s a lot. But if you’re a sweating-overachiever, the extra fluids will be worth the effort. If your care provider is concerned about the electrolytes you’re losing via sweat, consider getting some of your fluids from coconut water and noshing on bananas, watermelon, and avocado.
You can also put a dash of pink Himalayan sea salt in your water.
- Be cool in the bedroom. Minimize night sweats by lowering your thermostat to around 65 degrees Fahrenheit, turning on a fan, having a cup of cold water by the bed, and sleeping in sheets and pajamas made with breathable natural fibers like organic cotton, linen, or bamboo. (Percale is another cool option for sheets.) In addition, have an extra pair of pj’s and a clean sheet you can lay on top of your half of the soiled sheet at the ready, in case you still wake up soaked in the middle of the night.
- Wear loose, breathable clothing. Nothing inspires sweat glands like a tight polyester dress or some snug rayon pants (hello, sweaty crotch). Do yourself a favor and swap the tight for the flowy, and the impermeable for the breathable. And just like the pj’s mentioned above, look for duds made with organic cotton, linen, or bamboo.
- Powder your undies and thighs. You can prevent the heat rash or chafing that can be caused by an abundance of moisture in your nether regions by sprinkling organic talc-free powder (or corn starch!) in your undies and dabbing some on your thighs before putting on your bottoms. While there’s no evidence that talc-free powder in the vaginal area is harmful, it’s still wise to check with your care provider before your inaugural sprinkle.
- Carry a folding fan. Look like the chic lady you are by keeping a folding fan in your purse and whipping that baby out whenever you’re feeling flushed.