Excessive Sweating During and After Pregnancy?
Increased sweating after pregnancy and childbirth is a common postpartum symptom reported by many women all over the world. It can last up to 12 weeks after childbirth or even longer in mothers who are breastfeeding.
There are a few reasons that have been put forward as responsible for (or contributory to) this increased sweating women experience after childbirth:
- During pregnancy, the body produces around 50% more blood and bodily fluids to meet the needs of the developing baby. Sweating is one of the ways the body gets rid of the extra fluid after childbirth (Micturition being the major way this is done)
**This is perhaps one of the most substantiated reason for this issue.**
- There’s a theoretical suggestion that the dramatic hormonal and metabolic changes that occur right after the birth also contribute. This is especially relevant if the mother is breastfeeding.
The emotional stress associated with being a new mum is also a contributing factor. Common feelings that occur during those first few weeks after delivery such as being under pressure (to breastfeed, entertain guests, etc…) including anger, may lead to emotional stress which causes a release of stress hormones that increase your heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature which would then cause an activation of the sweat glands.
- Extra spicy foods routinely given to new mothers in some cultures can also contribute. Spicy foods fool our body into thinking it’s hot by stimulating the same nerve receptors that respond to heat – sweating is a way our bodies try to eliminate heat in order to maintain a regular body temperature.
- Sweating is a side effect of certain medicines such as Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS) – e.g Ibuprofen, Diclofenac, etc..This could also be a contributing factor as any one of these drugs are commonly prescribed after childbirth for pain relief.
If the sweating is accompanied by high body temperature/fever, contact your doctor or midwife.
There may be other serious causes for the excessive sweating such as an over-active thyroid gland. If the sweating goes longer than 6months or becomes very disruptive to normal daily activities, contact your doctor.
What can be done?
- You should drink plenty of fluids (water preferably) to avoid getting dehydrated.
- Wear lightweight cotton clothing and avoid synthetics – or sleep in your birthday suit *wink*
- Use talc-free powder to absorb excess moisture and help prevent heat rash
Contributed by Mrs A Sokunbi RGN RM DipHe BSc (Hons) MSc. For more information about care before, during and after pregnancy, contact FOCUSIMS® on 01-7629779 or 08188192011, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website www.focusims.com
photo courtsey stopsweats.org