From the late night bathroom emergencies to the strange cravings and hormonal acne in the most unlikely places, pregnancy is nothing if not full of surprises. And while those surprises occur for a reason, they're usually uncomfortable and unpleasant. One of the worst "revelations" is pregnancy boob sweat. It's the worst and can lead to embarrassing public experiences and painful rashes. But rest assured, you don't have to suffer. There are ways to treat boob sweat during pregnancy, if you're willing to do some prevention work.
Alexes Hazen, MD, associate professor in the Wyss Department of Plastic Surgery at New York University Langone, tells Prevention the boob sweat is common among those with "large or ptotic (a.k.a droopy) breasts." Because an increase in blood volume and pregnancy hormones can increase breast size by upwards of two cup sizes, Dr. Hazen says "an overhang of skin tends to get sweaty." As a result of the "wet" environment created by your sweat, bacteria can form and lead to a rash. At that point treating the sweat itself will be harder, because your already delicate area might feel particularly painful. That's why prevention is first, and foremost, the key to treating this annoying side-effect of pregnancy.
So, if you're dealing with pregnancy boob sweat, here are some easy remedies to combat the discomfort. And if all else fails, wear black. In my experience, at least it conceals the sweat spots.
Deodorant serves a multitude of purposes aside from keeping your underarms dry. So while the website Gurl.com suggests using a dry oil spray, — one that goes on clear and won't leave white residue — Shape recommends a clear stick to keep wetness at bay from the start.
It might sound strange, but the whole purpose of anti-perspirants is to prevent the sweating before it happens. When you're pregnant, the sweat can feel almost constant. To treat boob sweat effectively, Dr. Shereene Idriss, MD, a cosmetic dermatologist in New York City, adds that despite no clear evidence connecting the aluminum to breast cancer, it's always a good idea to be extra cautious during pregnancy (and the New York Times agrees there isn't a clear, factual link, so there's no need for concern). Therefore, if safety is a concern, look for an aluminum-free antiperspirant.
When it comes to picking a powder that'll stave off the sweats, your options are bountiful. But does a powder meant for, say, your feet actually have the ability to help your boobs? Your best bet, according to Healthline, is to use a powder like Gold Bond to prevent a rash from happening under your breasts, unless it's caused by a yeast infection (the corn starch can make it worse). Before trying a medicated powder, talk to your doctor to get the OK.
A Better Bra
A good bra you can wear during pregnancy goes a long way. A sports bra is a little too padded and, as a result, can trap more heat which leads to excess sweat. You should avoid padded bras and wires which, essentially, do the same thing.
Consider the purchase of a specialty bra that prevents under boob sweat, as it is great for sensitive nipples and absorbing leaking breast milk. The Ta Ta Bra, for example, is a solid choice many pregnant women enjoy. If you don't want to go that route, at least splurge on a bra that correctly fits your ever-expanding breasts, and isn't made with synthetic materials. CakeMaternity.com also says to make sure your girls aren't compressed, as that will provide for another source of heat and, well, sweat.
If you're up for it, there's a range of bra inserts that can catch some of that excess moisture. Bra liners, tissue, toilet paper — even paper towel or small patches of cloth — might feel a little weird at first, but if it keeps you from sweating through your shirt, it's worth a try. Cosmopolitan suggests a DIY your panty-liner as an inexpensive, disposable bra insert.
Argan oil is one of those do-it-all oils. It's anti-microbial, revitalizes the skin, and in some cases, is said to be a great anticarcinogen, which protects your skin's barrier from the sun's rays. If you're on the hunt for something natural that actually works, Women's Health says users swear by it. It might seem counter-intuitive to rub an oil in a place that breeds sweat, but at this point, what do you have to lose (except sweat)?
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.