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    Hot Flashes During Pregnancy: How To Keep Your Cool

    By Lisa Hayden / September 29, 2018
    Hot Flashes During Pregnancy

    Hot Flashes During Pregnancy: How To Keep Your Cool

    When you think of hot flashes, chances are your first thoughts are menopause. But you can't be menopausal. You're pregnant. So, what's the deal? Before you stress out and experience another hot flash from thinking about this, rest assured what you're going through is normal. It's part of the beautiful, though at times annoying, changes you'll experience during your pregnancy.

    It might give you some comfort to know you're not the only pregnant woman who experiences hot flashes. However, you should be aware that unlike morning sickness, well, hot flashes can still occur after you've given birth. Even so, you might find it comforting to know that the percentage of new mothers who do go through drops by 6%. 

    • It happens to about 35% of pregnant women
    • 29% of new mothers experienced hot flashes after giving birth as the hormones in your body return to their normal state

    The problem with hot flashes is it can strike at any moment. Some women experience it as early as their first trimester. But then, others only get it during the latter part of their pregnancy. When it does, you feel restless and confusion all at once. So, what's causing it?

    Is there a reason for hot flashes during pregnancy?

    The answer is yes. Well, to be more precise, it's a list of what can trigger a hot flash. The exact reasons for it remain a mystery. Even so, knowing what can set it off in the first place is a start.

    Your hormones are jerking you around

    • When your estrogen levels drop, it causes you to stress out easily
    • In response, your body pumps more epinephrine and norepinephrine into your blood
    • It's the reason why you feel an increase in body heat

    You're not drinking enough water

    • Your aware of the fact that you're supposed to get 3 liters of water daily when you're pregnant, aren’t you?
    • Your body temperature during pregnancy increases to 37.8 degrees C due to increased metabolism
    • Drinking water can help regulate it so you won't overheatYou've gained too much weight

    You Have Gained Too Much Weight!

    • It's another reason to stick to your pregnancy diet
    • Your body temperature during pregnancy increases to 37.8 degrees C due to increased metabolism
    •  It's advisable to minimize carb intake, avoid spicy foods, and eat protein

    Stressful situations can also trigger hot flashes. Likewise, the clothes you're wearing can set it off. Hence, the reason why you might want to strip naked when it does

    Are Hot Flashes Normal?

    Is it a hot flash or a fever – how do I tell them apart?

    The intense heat you feel during a hot flash can make you wonder whether you have a fever. However, unlike fevers, a hot flash won't give you a temperature. Moreover, the sensation is fleeting. At best, it will last for a few minutes.However, it's possible for you to experience both at the same time. So, be sure to have a thermometer handy to take your body temperature on occasions when a hot flash strikes. If your hot flashes last longer then let your doctor know about it at once. Likewise, if your temperature goes beyond 100 deg F. Notable symptoms of hot flashes you can experience:

    • Sweating
    • Increased heart rate
    • Blushing
    • Unexpected warm feeling notably from the chest area towards the neck and up to your face
    • Chills

    How to keep your cool?

    No doubt, you're concerned if your hot flashes are affecting the baby. Well, you have nothing to worry about that because it won't, according to Helen Taylor, who is an independent midwife at Midwife Care. Thus, it means you can focus your efforts on addressing the discomfort it brings you.

    Consider your clothing

    • Go for layers of loose-fitting clothes so in case you start to feel hot, it's easier just to strip off a layer at a time so you won't be tempted to go au naturel
    • Stir clear of synthetic fabrics, choose breathable materials like cotton and linen so that you can get better air circulation

    Manage your environment & Watch What You Eat!

    • Consider opening the windows at night to let fresh air in
    • If necessary, add an electric fan or an air conditioner, so you don't have to bother fanning yourself manually
    • For your greater comfort, turn down the temperature but advise your family beforehand so they can dress appropriately for it◦ Keep two types of blankets handy – use a thick one if it's cold or get the thinner one on nights when you feel hot
    • A spray bottle with water also helps for quick, cool spritzes
    • Look into your diet◦ Remember to drink often and as much as 3 liters a day to help manage your body temperature
    • Keep a water bottle within reach at all times.
    • No matter how much you love spicy foods, for your sanity, stay away from it while you're pregnant as it can set off hot flashes
    • If you want flavor then opt for seasons like basil, chives, and other gentle spices
    • Cut down on carbohydrates
    • Eat every four hours or three if you feel hungry sooner

    Get Some Exercise Or Try Meditation

    • A bit of workout can minimize the build-up of body fat during your pregnancy, remember excess fat dissipates its heat
    • Always check with your doctor before engaging in any physical activity
    • Exercises like yoga is also great for reducing stress
    • Get into meditation and practice deep breathing exercises when you start to feel stress
    • If you don't need to go out, then stay home – crowded places can stress you out, moreover, sitting on a crowded bus or train can make you hot

    Conclusion

    Hot flashes, chills & head aches are unpleasant, but they're part of the crazy yet wonderful experience of pregnancy. Rest assured you're not alone as other pregnant women experience this discomfort. However, your ability to manage its symptoms and causes can help you enjoy every moment of your pregnancy. Remember, the hot flashes will pass. However, if your hot flashes continue and hinder your everyday life then be sure to consult with your doctor right away.

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