Pregnancy and subsequent childbirth, being natural processes, still represent a “good jolt” for the female body. During pregnancy, the hormonal background of a woman undergoes significant changes. In the first few months after birth, the balance should be restored on its own. If, for some reason, it doesn’t happen experts begin to speak about hormonal disbalance. It’s a condition when progesterone and estrogen don’t return to a normal level. The disbalance can lead to various disorders, including the postpartum night sweats (hyperhidrosis).
The causes of postpartum night sweats
After childbirth, increased sweating, especially at night, is a common occurrence. This is one of the ways for the body to get rid of the excess water which is accumulated during pregnancy. As a rule, kidneys take part in this process, so a woman has an urge to urinate more often than usual during this period. Excess water is also expelled through the pores of the skin. If a woman doesn’t experience sweating problems during pregnancy she most likely will after childbirth (in 90 cases out of 100).
There is a theory that a sharp drop in estrogen in the body after childbirth has something to do with postpartum sweating. Hypothalamus regulates the temperature regime of the human body. It misinterprets the changes in the estrogen level and the female body begins to generate much more heat than normal. The body tries to reduce this excess heat by abundant perspiration which is the cause of hyperhidrosis, especially at night. When the body is at rest it accumulates more heat than during the day and, therefore, postpartum night sweats are more pronounced.
How long do postpartum night sweats last?
Postpartum sweating lasts from two to six weeks after childbirth. Nursing mothers usually experience it for a longer period of time. Breastfeeding increases sweating, that’s why nursing mothers sweat more than those who prefer formulas.
How to treat sweating after childbirth?
The increased sweating after childbirth is quite normal. The reason for it is an unstable hormonal background. With regard to the specific condition of a new mother during the postpartum period, it’s not recommended for her to take any medications as well as do medical procedures. The treatment for postpartum night sweats is a healthy balanced diet, lots of fresh air, and strict observance of the personal hygiene.
Helpful advice for new mothers:
1. Regular meals. Follow a healthy diet, so that your body can receive all the necessary nutrients. Healthy eating helps your body to recover after childbirth and has a positive effect on breastfeeding. A nursing mother should eat often – 4-5 times a day. After giving birth and during breastfeeding, the female body needs additional vitamins and trace elements, such as calcium, folic acid, iron, magnesium, vitamins A, B6, C, D, and zinc. Don’t eat fried food. Bake or stew the meat. Use the oven for cooking healthy food, for example, vegetables with cheese. It is necessary to eat sour-milk products which will provide the child with proteins and calcium for the formation of their bone system. At the same time, dairy products adjust the baby’s gastrointestinal tract to the right rhythm. Don’t forget to eat fruit and vegetables. But remember: red, orange, and yellow fruit can cause an allergic reaction.
2. Drink a plenty of water. All new mothers need to avoid dehydration in order to stay healthy. Don’t reduce the amount of liquid in hope that this way you will sweat less. The nursing mother’s daily need for liquid increases by 2-2.5 pints per day – such an amount of water is necessary for breast milk production. If you are breastfeeding, drink 8 to 12 glasses of water per day. Water will also help to prevent the clogging of milk ducts. Drink more liquid (but not caffeine and alcohol) and it will help to speed up the process of removing excess water from your body and at the same time prevent dehydration.
Postpartum night sweats are quite natural. They are not a sign of a disease if not accompanied by the following symptoms:
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