The body regulates temperature through sweat glands in the skin. Sweating, or perspiration, can be triggered and increased by temperature changes outside the body or in specific body parts (such as muscles during exercise), and also by hormonal changes, your emotional state, some drugs, and various medical conditions, including diabetes, thyroid problems, certain infections, and anxiety disorders. Hormonal changes are a major part of both pregnancy and menopause, and heavy sweating (hyperhidrosis) is common during pregnancy, but some women sweat more than others. Expecting mothers often experience heavy sweating, even in cool climates.
What causes heavy sweating in pregnant women?
As with most experiences during pregnancy, hormonal changes figure prominently when it comes to sweating. Changes in the hormonal environment, plus increased blood flow, trigger the body to cool itself through sweating. If you are hyperthyroid, this too can provoke sweating during those crucial months. Experiences differ, but most pregnant women feel heavy sweating during the first and last trimesters of the pregnancy. In both trimesters, hormones fluctuate, triggering the brain to cool the body through sweating. Some women also experience excessive sweating during the postpartum period.
Should I see a doctor for my heavy sweating?
In most cases, heavy sweating doesn’t require medical intervention. However, if you feel very uncomfortable and uneasy, it is a good idea to see a doctor. In rare cases, heavy sweating can be accompanied by other symptoms, such as rapid heartbeat (tachycardia) and fever. Do not ignore your physical discomfort, especially if you have thyroid disorders or other medical conditions.
What should I do about heavy sweating during pregnancy?
Here are some simple tactics that can alleviate heavy sweating, or its consequences, during pregnancy:
- Drink more water. Water is your best friend during pregnancy. Keep a bottle of water handy at all times, and take a few sips every few minutes. Don’t wait for until you feel thirsty. To remain hydrated while pregnant, you need to increase your intake of liquids, especially water. Juices can help too, but be aware that they are loaded with sugar, so drink juice in moderation. Read the actual numbers of grams of sugar per volume of juice on the back label. Be aware that juices marketed to appear healthy, especially with words like “natural”, “organic”, and “non-GMO” often contain more sugar than the comparable juice for which it is designed as a “natural” alternative. Do not fall for this marketing scam. Also be aware that certain juices –notoriously tomato juice and processed vegetable juice– often contain huge amounts of sodium. Avoid carbonated drinks.
- Keep your house cool. If you do not have air conditioning at home, go to a mall, a movie theater, or a shop and enjoy theirs. Stay in a cool and calm environment as much as possible, when it’s hot outside.
- Sleep in light bedding. During pregnancy, you may experience frequent fluctuations in body temperature, even when you sleep. Keep just one blanket on your bed to adjust the temperature when needed.
- Try to wear lighter fabrics that feel good and are easy to change (see an article about this here). And, finally, try to eat good meals .