How to Deal With Hot Flashes During Early Pregnancy
Have you been feeling random hot flashes since you found out that you’re pregnant?
Hot flashes are something that is typically associated with menopause, but they are not uncommon during a pregnancy. In fact, nearly 75 percent of all pregnant women experience hot flashes while they are pregnant.
They can occur at any time of the day, but in most situations, they tend to be something that happens at night. These hot flashes, which are also commonly called hot flushes, occur the most during the first and second trimester.
In this article, we will discuss what a hot flash feels like, why they happen, and how to get relief from them.
What Causes Hot Flashes?
The main reason that you experience hot flashes during menopause is that the hormones in your body are in fluctuation. The precise reason that you have hot flashes when you are pregnant is unknown, but during this period of time, your body experiences a lot of similar hormonal fluctuations to menopause.
During this roller coaster ride, your body uses hot flashes to cope.
In addition, when you are pregnant, your basal body temperature rises a bit during the first and second trimester, which means that your overall body temperature is a bit more than what you are used to. This will make your skin more sensitive to temperature changes, which could result in hot flashes.
What Does a Hot Flash Feel Like?
Hot flashes vary based on the individual, but in general, a hot flash is a warm feeling that spreads across your body. You will suddenly feel hot and very flush, especially if the upper part of your body is affected. Typically, a hot flash will last anywhere from a few seconds to about five minutes.
More than one hot flash can occur in a day, and they can fluctuate in intensity. Sometimes a hot flash feels like the sun on a warm summer’s day, while other times it feels like you are standing in a forest fire, surrounded by hot flames.
Hot flashes can cause a rise in your heartbeat, so you may sweat or become flush like you’ve been exercising. If for some reason the hot flash turns into a fever, you should contact your doctor. This could indicate an infection in your body, which could be harmful to the baby.
How to Deal With Hot Flashes
When you are pregnant, being overly hot is uncomfortable. Drinking water is a great way to reduce your overall body temperature, which will help fight hot flashes.
If you are going out, put some ice water in a water bottle so that you can cool off or at least feel refreshed whenever you feel a hot flash coming on.
Being stressed can affect your body temperature, so the more that you are able to relax, the better you will feel. Taking a yoga class is a great way to help you reduce the amount of stress in your life.
If you are not able to find a class that fits your needs, then taking part in meditation at home can help you learn how to maintain control of your breathing when a hot flash hits.
The best way to beat hot flashes is to keep your body cool. Since they occur while you are sleeping more often than when you are awake, sleeping in a cool place is important. Do not have a massive amount of blankets on your bed.
During the summer, consider having a fan in your bedroom to help you keep cool. When you are outdoors, you can try to stick to the shade. Being in the direct sun could cause a flare up, so if you are planning to be in the sun, wear a hat or use an umbrella to shade yourself from the sun.
In addition, you can carry baby wipes in your purse. When you feel a hot flash coming on, you can simply wipe your face with the wipe to cool down. Using one of those misting fans that you see people carrying around at amusement parks could also be a great way to keep cool.
Another option for keeping cool is to take frequent showers. If you are at home and you feel overwhelmed because of hot flashes, take a cool shower or a relaxing bath. You can also go for a swim.
Your will feel energized and refreshed after a good swim because you effectively cooled yourself off, and you reduced your anxiety in the process.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
Your diet is one of the things that you can control during your pregnancy. Some foods can trigger hot flashes.
You should already be avoiding caffeinated and alcoholic beverages during your pregnancy, but spicy and hot food could also be a trigger. If you avoid foods that are hot and spicy, then you will be able to decrease the number of hot flashes you are experiencing.
In addition to spicy foods, you should avoid overeating while you are pregnant. Of course, you will need to eat more to feed your baby, but overeating can increase the hot flashes that you experience.
Diets that contain a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables are better than a carb-heavy diet when you are having hot flashes. Talk to your doctor before making any drastic changes to your diet to make sure that it is safe for your baby.
Foods that contain soy like soy milk and tofu contain isoflavones, which bond estrogen to your body to help reduce the number of hot flashes that you experience. Black cohosh is also an effective ingredient at controlling hot flashes, but it should never be taken when you are pregnant because it is dangerous for the baby.
Choose your Clothing Carefully
When you have a hot flash, the first thing that you want to do is take your clothes off. If you wear layers, you can do this easily.
Wearing a few breathable cotton shirts is going to help you regulate your body temperature much more easily than wearing knitted sweater. (Related: check out our guides on maternity jeans [link], maternity leggings [link], and pregnancy shoes [link]).
Stay Out of Crowds
Being in a crowded space can make a room hot, especially if being in a crowded space gives you anxiety. Avoiding overly populated locations while you are pregnant can help you control your hot flashes a bit.
If you are going to a place that may be warmer because of the amount of body heat in a room, bring an ice pack with you so that you can use to cool off.
Hot flashes are annoying and uncomfortable, but unfortunately for many, it is something that you will experience during your pregnancy. It most likely will not last through your entire pregnancy, and the way that it affects each person will vary.
If you are experiencing hot flashes, here are some tips that may help you:
- Wear breathable clothing.
- Wear layers that are easy to remove.
- Stay out of hot and humid locations that will make you hotter.
- Protect yourself from the sun.
- Use mist fans to keep cool.
- Take showers frequently when you feel hot.
- Drink a lot of cold water.