How does your body change after giving birth? An easier answer would be to list the handful of things not affected by your pregnancy and delivery. But if you're thrown for a loop by a sudden increase in perspiration, you're probably interested in finding out what you need to know about postpartum sweats and how to deal with them. Let's be honest, soaked sheets and permanent pit stains aren't exactly cute or fun to deal with — especially when you're a mom with a new baby. Right after I had my son, I thought I could compensate with extra deodorant but quickly realized that postpartum sweats are more intense than your average post-workout glow. Before you start dousing yourself in perfume or carrying back-up clothing with you, it might help to understand what is actually going on in your postpartum body that's causing the increase in sweating.
So why do you suddenly become drenched at the drop of a hat after you have recently given birth? "Your body increases its blood volume by 160 percent during pregnancy for the placenta and baby's circulation," physician Dr. Aditi Gupta. Jha tells Romper. "After delivery, this volume needs to return back to its original state and one way is to lose water in the form of sweating." Thankfully this is completely normal and is just one method your body sheds the excess fluids. From a higher blood volume to the fluid retention, these were just some of the ways your body stored necessary nutrients during your pregnancy. According to Healthline, "along with sweating, you may notice you’re urinating more frequently, which is another way your body flushes out extra water weight." This makes sense since there are only so many places your body can rid itself of all the fluid you retained during pregnancy. So, sweating and even increased urination are, again, totally normal.
How long does this clammy calamity last? As the medical experts at Baby Center noted, "postpartum sweating can last several weeks after delivery [or] longer if you're breastfeeding — possibly because of a lower estrogen level." A few weeks may seem like a lifetime when you're counting down the days until your sweaty days and uncomfortable nights are a thing of the past. If your perspiration continues to persist beyond the average time frame or you're simply concerned that there may be a more serious underlying cause, you're not alone. As far as when you should start to worry about your sweats, What To Expect reported that, if your temperature is above 100 degrees while sweating postpartum, you should immediately consult your doctor since this could be a sign of an infection. As always, trust your gut and don't hesitate to reach out for help. Even if a medical physician determines that your sweating is caused by something more serious, like an infection, it's still a fairly easy condition to treat.
In the meantime, don't lose hope just yet. There are actually quite a few ways that you can comfortably cope with the potentially annoying excess fluid loss. One solution to dealing with postpartum nights sweats is, "to lie on a towel or two while you sleep," OB-GYN Dr. Laura Riley told The Bump. This way the moisture is being absorbed by the towel, not your bed, and clean up is significantly easier. Additionally, Dr. Jha tells Romper that increasing your water intake is another way to offset the sweating. Staying hydrated can be even more important if you are breastfeeding, since your body has to burn energy to produce milk. Keeping the house comfortably cool, prepping your bed, and drinking plenty of fluids are all great ways to navigate your postpartum sweats with ease.
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