Pregnancy is indeed an exciting time for a woman’s life. You feel as if you are in cloud nine the moment you knew that you are expecting. But there are days that this feeling slowly fades away as you face some unpleasant or not so hassle-free experiences. Being pregnant is a roller coaster ride. A lot of body changes occur because of raging pregnancy hormones. Excessive salivation, heartburn, and a demanding bladder are just some of the inconvenient conditions a pregnant woman must be dealing with. Well, coming up with a baby from scratch is totally not easy and your body surely knows that. Another symptom on the list which is lesser known is the sudden feeling of too much heat. When you feel as if you are in the pit of a sauna or you had just been flung in a furnace then you must be dealing with what they call hot flashes.
Do hot flashes normal during pregnancy?
Some pregnant women might be thinking how can hot flashes occur and is this related to menopause? Well, you are right, it’s related to menopause. However, it is also one of the early symptoms of pregnancy along with mood swings and morning sickness. Some women even experience it after giving birth and that is a fact. The process is triggered by the hormonal imbalance in your body. But do not fret! You are not the only one experiencing this. It is approximated that as many as a third of the women who are pregnant experience this.
What do hot flashes feel like?
When you suddenly feel a sharp rise in your body temperature without any signal then that is the main point of a hot flash. It is hard to predict the frequency and intensity of how you will experience as each episode is not the same. It usually lasts for a few seconds or may resume for a couple more minutes. It normally affects the upper parts of the body, specifically the head, neck, and chest. There are only rare instances where it can affect the lower body.
What are the causes of hot flashes during pregnancy?
The reasons behind this condition are not fully perceived despite countless research. Though some of the key grounds may include:
- Hormones. Fluctuations in the extent of estrogen are said to be the reason for hot flashes during pregnancy.
- Dehydration. Insufficient water content in the body may toss away the temperature control mechanisms in the body off balance.
- Increase in metabolism. Hot flashes happen as the temperature of the body increases because of metabolism.
- Overweight. Imbalance in the hormonal levels of the body occurs due to fat tissues creating its own estrogen supply.
Symptoms of hot flashes during pregnancy
Aside from the onset of sudden heat, accompanying symptoms may also be experienced such as:
- Blurred vision
- Redness on the face and neck
- Heart palpitations
- Subsequent cold chills
How to determine if you are getting hot flashes or fever?
Fever during pregnancy is usually an indication of a problem such as infection. The greatest sign that you are suffering from fever is an increase in body temperature. Whereas, a manifestation of a hot flash is when the heat is only felt in some parts of the body particularly the upper ones. This is far from the case of a fever rise in the temperature is present all over the body.
When do hot flashes stop?
As it said, hot flashes is one of the symptoms of pregnancy and as other symptoms, it gradually goes away on its own without any medical intercession. However, put in mind that there are other women who experience hot flashes after giving birth and continues on the phase of breastfeeding as well.
Dealing with hot flashes during pregnancy
It can really get unpredictable as hot flashes usually come without any warning. Nonetheless, you do not need to be filled with worry as there are lots of ways to contain and manage. These includes:
- Coldwater. Always put a glass or a bottle of water in your reach in order to cool yourself off when an episode attacks.
- Cool environment. Keep your environment cool such as making the room airy and well ventilated to prevent your body from heating up.
- Cold cloth. Pour some cold water on a cloth and apply it when you are going through a bad bout of hot flashes. This is a means of temporary relief.
- Doing exercise. A lot of experts suggest exercise because it aids to regulate the temperature of the body as contradictory as it may seem.
- Acupuncture. This can help in the rise of the production of endorphins which can help in regulating the temperature of the body.
- Performing yoga. Stress is considered to be one of the biggest triggers so executing a calming activity such as yoga will help you soothe from any sweaty episodes.
- Staying away from carbs. Known to be notorious in its ability to make a person gained weight, it is also one of the reasons for increasing the body’s temperature.
- Diet. Foods which are filled with sugar and saturated fats are best known to increase sweating. This is because of the blood sugar getting affected between each meal. Leaving this behind and switching to a diet that is fruit-based may help in the situation as it increases fiber intake.
- Clothing. Kinds of clothing may make a big difference in regulating the temperature of your body. Be certain that you wear loose clothing in order to have a proper circulation of air and that your body can breathe.
- Avoiding caffeine. As for others, drinking coffee is life. Well, you already know the drill with this one. However, it is known to be one of the reasons triggering hot flashes. Moreover, caffeine is not recommended for pregnant women in the first place.
- Cooling off. Well, you can take multiple showers in a day as it does not only keep your body neat but also helps cool the body. Of course, you need to avoid hot showers as in can totally increase the body temperature and adds up your chances of spontaneous sweating.
- Oral Rehydration System. During this time of hot flashes, fluids are your best mate. Continuous episodes of hot flashes may ‘lead to dehydration and an oral rehydration system can save you from everything. There are lots of these brands which sell small sachets so that it would come in handy.
- Carrying a cool kit. When you are on the go and suddenly gets up sweaty all over, it is great to find a way to have a breather. Just make sure you carry a spray bottle, wet wipes, and a cloth whenever you are out enough to be put in a bag and do their magic to manage hot flashes.
Do you need to consult a doctor?
As mentioned above, hot flashes do not require any medical intervention because it’s not a medical emergency. Yes, dehydration takes place as well as exhaustion but they are just normal. However, if excessive episodes of hot flashes occur where it may be an indicator of an underlying medical condition then might as well pay a visit to a doctor.
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Hot flashes are just one of the many difficulties that you must go through while being pregnant. The sudden unpleasant experience of feeling like a grill will linger you around is really a hassle. However, this will soon go away just like other pregnancy symptoms. You just have to deal with it as everything will be worthy once you witness that beautiful life you brought into this world.