Have you heard of the postpartum night sweats?
If you’re a first-time mom, probably not.
What I want to know is why the postpartum sweats are such a big fricking secret.
Seriously, no-one tells you about these bad boys.
Perhaps it’s the taboo, icky, sweaty grossness that nobody wants to admit to.
Well, not me.
It’s my mission in life to tell unsuspecting pregnant moms about the postpartum night sweats.
Because they can make you totally miserable after you’ve giving birth.
That’s right, I’m saying you’re gonna get as little sleep as possible with a new baby. And the sleep you do get, you’ll wake up drenched in sweat!
Postpartum sweats are the worst.
But know that you don’t have to deal with this issue alone.
I created this guide for you to learn about the postpartum sweats, and how to cope with them.
Remember and pin it, so you can come back to it later. You know like when you wake up soaked during the night!
Let’s do this.
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9 Ways to Cope with Postpartum Night Sweats
1. The right Pajamas
You might consider sleeping in the nude to keep cool, but that’s not the best solution during postpartum.
The problem is you’ll be bleeding and probably leaking breast milk. You ’ll, At least, need underwear and a sleep bra.
If you wear pajamas, you’re gonna want to opt for a sweat-wicking fabric. Usually, you think of cotton as the first natural option, but I think bamboo fabric is a better choice. It’s super soft and very comfortable to sleep in.
I love this set by Pajama Heaven. They don’t look like your grandmas nightwear and the cami top is easy to breastfeed in.
2. Cooling Bed sheets
As with your bed clothing, your sheets are a layer that’s gonna cover you during the night. You want to opt for natural fibres such as cotton or bamboo sheets. I love these ones.
Try to avoid using synthetic fibers or microfibers. They don’t allow the air to circulate and cause you to heat up during the night.
Keep your bedding as light as possible. You may want to keep any extra pillows or blankets off your side of the bed during the night.
3. Use a Bed Pad
I’d highly recommend getting a bed pad to protect your mattress during postpartum. Not only does it stop those nasty yellow sweat stains, but prevents staining from your bleeding or breast milk leaks.
Now, you can use an old towel, and although it will keep you dry, it isn’t waterproof for your sheets and mattress. Using disposable chux are another option, but I found these made my night sweats so much worse.
My favourite postpartum item of all time was my quilted bed pad. These are amazing for keeping you cool and dealing with the sweat drench. I’d even recommend getting more than one so you can use one while the other is washed.
4. Get a Mattress Topper
Do you have a memory foam mattress? Well, it could be making your night sweats worse. This type of mattress can cause a rise in your temperature. The way it works is by using your body heat to mold the mattress into your shape.
Now you don’t need to get a new mattress just for a few weeks of discomfort. What I’d suggest is to buy a mattress topper as a buffer to the memory foam. This is a great inexpensive option.
5. Drink water
It may sound silly to recommend drinking water when your body is trying to get rid of fluid. The truth is that you need to keep hydrated, especially if you are breastfeeding.
If you don’t drink your body holds onto fluids for longer because it’s unsure if it will be replaced. That means you’ll cause your night sweats to last longer.
If your urine is dark yellow before bed or first thing in the morning, you are dehydrated. Make sure you drink more during the day. Try drinking a glass or two more than you normally would and see how it makes a difference at night.
6. Keep cool
Keep your sleeping environment as cool as possible before you go to bed and as you sleep. You can do this by
- Opening up a window
- Turning up the AC
- Using a fan in your room
This can be quite tricky as you need to make sure the room is warm enough for your baby. Oh yeah and maybe your partner too. Or feel free to tell him to suck it as your suffering after delivering his beautiful offspring.
The sweating can make it hard for you to judge the room temperature. Is it actually hot or really cold? A room thermometer like the GroEgg is a great way to make sure you’re following safe sleep advice for your baby.
If you’re able to splash the cash, consider using a bed cooling system like the BedJet. If you live in a hot climate it’s a good investment to get a better night’s sleep.
7. Use powder
Do you remember your Grandma using talc powder when you were younger?
That’s probably because it helped her control help menopausal sweating and stopped chafing.
Old ladies have got sweating tricks down. Using powder makes you much more comfortable during the night.
Now I’d recommend you don’t use a talc powder as these are found to be harmful, especially around your baby.
Look for a good modern ‘dusting powder’ like this one from Ora’s Amazing Herbal. I love the lavender scent one as it makes you feel even more relaxed during the night. Plus the lavender and clary sage is known to help night sweats.
A light dusting over your body before bed can help you feel much more comfortable during the night.
8. Avoid triggers
Be aware of certain trigger that can worsen your night sweats.
Common causes include:
- Spicy foods
- Excessive Stress
Try to cut down on these and see if it reduces the sweating overnight. If you notice a particularity bad night, you might want to keep a note of what you ate that day. You may start to notice a trend with particular foods.
9. Use a Spray
If you need instant relief, use a cooling spray. You can keep a can at your bedside and use it when you overheat during the night.
Another option is to make your own spray with essential oils. Popular choices are clary sage, lavender, and peppermint mixed with witch hazel as a carrier.
You can even spritz your homemade spray over our bed sheets to benefit from the oils overnight.
Postpartum Night Sweats FAQ
What are the Postpartum Night Sweats?
If you’ve just had your baby and find yourself sweating excessively in bed at night. You gots a bad case of the postpartum sweats.
For some reason, this sweating happens more as your sleep, hence the ‘night sweats’ title.
It’s important not to get the night sweats confused with a postpartum infection.
If you are sweating during the night, feeling slightly unwell and have a temperature, get help immediately. Postpartum infection is very common but needs urgent treatment. Don’t hang about.
What Causes the Postpartum Sweats?
Your pesky pregnancy hormones are the reason you sweat so much after you’ve had your baby. They have the task of getting rid of all the extra fluid you were carrying during pregnancy.
If you had a lot of IV Fluids during labor you may have it hard for the first few days. Plus you’ll be peeing like a racehorse.
Although we can’t give hormones all of the blame other causes of postpartum night sweats may be:
- Overheating in bed
- Existing medical conditions
- Current medications
- Using a memory foam mattress
How Long do postpartum Night Sweats Last?
Postpartum sweats can start as soon as your baby is born and last up to 4-6 weeks. After this time, your hormones should return to normal pre-pregnancy levels.
As your body gets rid of the fluid the sweats should lessen each night.
When Should I see a Doctor?
Postpartum night sweats are common and affect most women. You don’t need to see a doctor unless you notice any concerning symptoms.
You can read my guide to postpartum warning signs. Be vigilant, don’t fob all symptoms off as being hormone changes. If you have niggling doubts, get a check-up.
If you’re postpartum sweats last longer than 6 weeks you should tell your doctor at your postnatal check-up. The night sweats may be caused by medication or undiagnosed medical conditions such as thyroid disorders, diabetes or postpartum depression.
Postpartum night sweats are difficult to deal with.
You’re already sleep deprived and your healing body is making your sleep quality a whole lot worse.
It should only last a few weeks after birth. However, there are things you can do to make yourself more comfortable.
Follow my 9 tips for a more comfortable night’s sleep. I promise you’ll start to feel like yourself soon.
And until then, you’ve got this Mama.