8 Things Pregnancy Hot Flashes *Actually* Feel Like

Ad failed to load

I woke up in a puddle of my own sweat. As I got out of bed, waves of heat and nausea flowed over me. I ran to the bathroom to throw up and thought to myself: could I be going through menopause? I had no idea that pregnant people can experience hot flashes, too. I Googled my symptoms, took a pregnancy test, and sure enough, I was pregnant. I continued to have hot flashes throughout my pregnancy, but they didn't mirror the stereotype of a woman fanning herself dramatically. Pregnancy hot flashes actually feel so different. In fact, they feel worse.

According to BabyCenter, about a third of pregnant people experience hot flashes due to drops in hormone levels. The site makes it sounds so normal, but in my experience, hot flashes felt weird and markedly unpleasant. In other words, not normal at all. Sometimes I would get so hot at night I'd throw all the blankets on the floor, only to discover that it was freezing in our house. Then I'd end up doing this exhausting dance between wanting to be snuggled in all the covers and wanting absolutely nothing to touch my burning body. And trust me when I say that's a difficult dance to follow, dear reader, because I had a husband, cats, and sometimes children in my bed.

To make matters worse, I was lucky enough to be pregnant in the summertime, so getting cool was difficult all on its own. Hot flashes were literally the last thing I needed. I had hyperemesis gravidarum, too, and was so nauseated that I couldn’t eat. Did you know that having low blood sugar makes hot flashes worse? FML. I felt dizzy, unbearably warm, nauseated, and like I had no ability to control what was happening in my body. It really sucked.

Ad failed to load

So yeah, there are a few things that pregnancy hot flashes actually feel like, and none of them are particularly pleasant.

Ad failed to load

Puddles Of Sweat

I woke up so many mornings sure that I had either wet the bed or my water had broken. But no, it was just a puddle of sweat from my pregnancy hot flashes.

Like I Was On Fire


I felt like I was on fire. It was the kind of heat you feel when you go running in the summer sun — starting from your core, while the sun burns your shoulders. You feel like you can't cool down, no matter how many popsicles you eat or glasses of ice cold water you drink.


My hot flashes were accompanied by unrelenting nausea and vomiting, because apparently being hot and pregnant is not bad enough. Oh no, to complete the ensemble you also need to smell like vomit. And when my blood sugar would get low, my hot flashes would get worse, which made my nausea increase. Yes, this is by far the worst carnival ride known to man.

Ad failed to load



Have you ever seen an old cartoon of someone in the desert? You know, the one where that unfortunate person is so thirsty and dizzy they start to imagine a mirage, somewhere off in the distance? Yeah, it's like that, except I was imagining a frozen margarita and not being pregnant anymore.

A Pounding Head

My hot flashes made my head hurt, which in turn made me anxious that I was dying or there was something wrong with me. I called the nurse line at my midwife's office so many times. Ironically, I was later diagnosed with preeclampsia, for which headaches are a symptom, but at the time, nope, it was just the hot flashes.

Like A Heat Wave


I felt like waves of heat were flowing over me at an unrelenting speed. It was like they were rising off of hot pavement or I was in a giant ocean-sized hot tub. I couldn't get cool. I would park my giant pregnant self in front of the air conditioner or in a kiddie pool in our backyard the entire summer, and still feel like I was sitting on the surface of the damn sun.

Ad failed to load

Like I Was In A Sauna

Sometimes it felt like I was in a sauna past the amount of time that one should stay safely. On the bright side, I definitely sweat out any "toxins" in my body. On the downside, however and unlike being in a sauna, I couldn't leave.

Like I Was Hanging Out In A Hot Dumpster


Here's a truth bomb for you: when I'm pregnant, I smell bad. No matter how many times I showered or applied deodorant, I couldn't escape it. Hot flashes made my pregnancy stench so much worse. My husband assures me that it was just me, and my heightened pregnancy sense of smell. Gawd, I hope so. Because I am pretty sure I now know what a dumpster fire smells like.

Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherlode, 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.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

The Entire Family Can Enjoy These Movies & Shows Coming To Netflix In June

It's just one of those sad facts of life: every month, shows and movies vanish from Netflix, their varied excitements no longer at your fingertips. But luckily the streaming service is always prepared to fill that content void with lots of new things…
By Megan Walsh

The Reason Why Babies Smile At You Will Seriously Make You Smile

Whether you're currently the recipient of your own baby's sweet smiles or you just seem to be a magnet for baby grins in general, you might find yourself wondering why babies are always smiling at you. Sure, you could be a 'smile whisperer' but scien…
By Kate Miller

8 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say That, Yes, You Are Their Favorite

For a baby to show a preference for a specific person is not only normal, but an essential part of their development. Babies need to form strong attachments to their caregivers for their emotional, social, and physical wellbeing. Usually, but not alw…
By Kimmie Fink

10 Reasons Why I Won't Apologize For Giving My Toddler A Pacifier

My first child had no interest in a pacifier. I tried a couple times to get him to take one, but he always spat them out and gave me an incredulous, judgmental look. But my second? It was love at first suckle. And after a while, the incredulous, judg…
By Jamie Kenney

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at Names.org recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

8 Fascinating Facts About Babies Born In May, The Luckiest Month Of All

The height of all things fresh and springy, May is an excellent month to have a baby. It's a time of growth, graduations, and outdoor celebrations. And these fascinating facts about May babies will give you more reasons than ever to appreciate childr…
By Lindsay E. Mack

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills