Pregnancy brings along a multitude of symptoms and bodily changes. Pregnant women undergo tremendous physical and mental changes. It becomes difficult to deal with all of it at once. But we are here to keep you updated about every little detail that you might need to know during pregnancy. In this article, we will discuss hot flashes during pregnancy and whether it is okay to experience them during pregnancy.
A Guide for Hot Flashes During Pregnancy
What is a hot flash?
A hot flash is a feeling of intense heat, not caused by external sources. Hot flashes can appear suddenly or you may feel them coming on. You may experience tingling in your fingers, your heart beating faster than usual, your skin feeling warm suddenly, your face getting red or flushed, sweating, especially in the upper body.
Hot flashes often come on suddenly, but how long any single hot flash lasts will vary. Some hot flashes pass after a few seconds, while a long hot flash may go on for more than 10 minutes. On average, hot flashes last about four minutes. The frequency of hot flashes also varies. Some women experience a few hot flashes per week, while others may have several hours. Depending on where you are in perimenopause, which can change. There is a range of treatments and lifestyle changes that may help lessen the symptoms and frequency of your hot flashes.
It’s not exactly clear what causes hot flashes. Multiple studies are attempting to understand them. There is clear evidence that hot flashes result from hormonal changes in the body. Their connection to other health problems, such as diabetes, is also being studied. Obesity and metabolic syndrome are thought to increase the incidence of hot flashes. Some women barely notice hot flashes or consider them a minor annoyance. For others, the intensity may affect their quality of life in a rather negative way.
Each woman’s triggers for hot flashes may be a little different, but some common ones include:
- drinking alcohol
- consuming products with caffeine
- eating spicy foods
- being in a hot room
- feeling stressed or anxious
- wearing tight clothing
- smoking or being exposed to cigarette smoke
- bending over
You may want to start keeping a journal about your symptoms. Write down what you were doing, eating, drinking, feeling or wearing when each hot flash began. After several weeks, you may begin to see a pattern that can help you avoid specific triggers.
Are hot flashes normal during pregnancy?
Yes, it’s perfectly normal to experience hot flashes during pregnancy. They are very common at night, affecting about one in three pregnant women. Your changing hormone levels can increase blood flow to your skin, making you feel warm and flushed. The blood surging to your skin raises its surface temperature, making your skin look red and blotchy. Hot flushes usually affect your head, neck and chest. You may only feel flushed for a few seconds or the flush may last several minutes. You may find that you sweat more as your body tries to cool down. Generally, hot flushes are more common in the second trimester and third trimester. Flushes may also continue after your baby arrives, especially if you’re breastfeeding.
Try these tips to keep cool
- Wear layers of loose clothing. You can then remove layers if you feel too hot.
- Wear clothes made from natural fibres such as cotton and linen which allow more air to circulate near your skin.
- Keep your bedroom cool to help you sleep better through night-time flushes. If it’s hot during the day, leave the curtains closed so your room doesn’t warm up.
- Buy a spray bottle and fill it with water. Spritz your face regularly to cool you down. Or keep a hand-held mini fan in your bag.
- Take an extra shower a day to help you feel fresh. Pop some wipes in your bag to freshen your face while you’re at work.
It is important to note that hot flashes are common to both pregnancy and menopause. So, in case you are middle-aged and experiencing hot flashes, please keep in mind the fact that you may or may not be nearing menopause. So, it is important to keep track of that. If you are a young woman, then hot flashes might not be that dangerous. However, in case you feel something unusual, you should immediately consult the doctor.