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What is Postpartum Night Sweats and How Long it Causes & Treatment For it

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postpartum night sweats

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Do you have a new baby at home? While you are adjusting to life as a mother for the first time, or even if you are a seasoned pro, you would be wondering what changes you are likely to experience after birth.

Postpartum night sweats are a common complaint from moms in the weeks after the baby is born. Here is more information about the unpleasant postpartum reasons, symptoms, how to deal with them, and when to call the doctor.

Postpartum Night Sweat Recovery: What Happens In Your Body?

Your body is likely to go through remarkable changes during and post-pregnancy. After the baby is born, things will not necessarily go back to normal immediately, either. You will experience various emotional and physical changes which may make you uncomfortable.

There will be a lot going on, this includes:

  • vaginal soreness and discharge
  • uterine contractions
  • urinary incontinence
  • bowel issues
  • breast soreness and engorgement
  • hair and skin changes
  • mood shifts and depression
  • weight loss

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night after being soaked through your clothing or bedding? Along with some other postpartum complaints, you can also be experiencing postpartum night sweats.

Why Do You Sweat At Night?

You might be wondering what causes postpartum night sweats, sweating in the night could be happening for several reasons. Sometimes, when you wake up warm and sweaty, that is not considered “night sweats” at all. Instead, it can mean that you’re too hot or just snuggling with too many blankets.

At times, postpartum night sweats might also be a side effect of some medication or a symptom of any medical issue like hyperthyroidism, anxiety, menopause, or obstructive sleep apnea.

New moms might also face excess sweating in the days and nights post-delivery. Your hormones have tasks that help to rid your body of excess fluids that support your body and the baby during pregnancy.

Along with sweating, many women may notice that they are urinating more frequently, which is yet another way the body flushes out all the extra water weight.

How Long Do Postpartum Night Sweats last?

Night sweating is quite common in the first few days and weeks after birth. It typically does not signal any more serious medical issues. But if the sweating persists for a longer time, contact the doctor to rule out infection or any other complications.

Treatment For Postpartum Night Sweats

Waking up drenched in sweat may be extremely uncomfortable. Thus there are a few things you could do to feel better when the night sweats are at their worst. Firstly, try to remember that the postpartum symptom is a temporary thing. The hormones and estrogen levels should be regulated on their own, soon enough.

Prevent Postpartum Night Sweats: Some Easy Hacks You Can Try

Drink Plenty Of Water

All of that sweating could leave you dehydrated. It is important to keep up with the fluid intake, especially when you’re breastfeeding. But how can you possibly tell if your water intake is enough? You must be using the bathroom frequently, and your urine should be a light or clear color. If at all your urine is dark, then you are probably not drinking enough water.

Change The Pajamas

Even before you start sweating, you must help in keeping yourself cool by wearing loose, light layers instead of heavy pajamas. Cotton or other natural fibers are better than synthetic fabrics as they let your body breathe.

Cooldown The Room

You may turn on the fan or air conditioner or even open a window, just lower the temperature in the bedroom a bit and it should help ward off some sweating.

Cover Your Sheets

You may feel the need to change clothing often, but you can limit sheet changes by simply covering your sheets with a towel. Are you worried about the mattress? You can even protect it with a rubber sheet under your regular bedding.

Consider Using Powder

If the postpartum night sweats are causing various skin issues, then you can prevent rashes by sprinkling some quality talc-free powder on your body.

When To See The Doctor?

There is a common question as to, how long does postpartum night sweat last? You must contact the doctor if you notice that the night sweats are lasting longer than several weeks post-delivery, or if they are being accompanied by fever or other symptoms. A fever can be an indication of an infection, so it is really important to get checked out.

Complications After Childbirth Might Include

  • wound infection (at the cesarean delivery site)
  • blood clots, specifically deep vein thrombophlebitis
  • womb infection (endometritis)
  • breast infection (mastitis)
  • excess bleeding
  • postpartum depression

Some Symptoms Of Infection Due To Postpartum Night Sweats

  • fever over 100.4°F
  • unusual or foul vaginal discharge
  • large clots or bright red bleeding for more than three days post-delivery
  • pain or burning during urination
  • pain, redness, or drainage at the incision or stitches site
  • warm or red areas on the breasts
  • severe cramping
  • trouble breathing, dizziness, or fainting
  • feeling particularly depressed or anxious

You may also keep your 6-week appointment post-delivery so that your doctor can ensure you are healing properly. This appointment is also an ideal time to discuss birth control, postpartum depression, or other concerns you may have.

Hot Flashes Due To Postpartum Night Sweats

The cause of postpartum night sweats is the decreased level of estrogen and progesterone hormones. Your body requires a high level of these hormones during pregnancy but does not need them post-delivery. Hot flashes are a common symptom of night sweats and are quite normal. These are quite usual and your body temperature increases by half a degree when breast milk comes in which is the main reason for hot flashes.

Postpartum Night Sweats: Final Conclusion

Waking up at night to feed, change, and put your baby to sleep may feel difficult even weeks after delivery, and sweating can make it worse. If you think your night sweats are unusually heavy or have lasted long, you must consult your doctor.

You don’t need to suffer alone. That being said, your body is likely just continuing its tremendous transition from pregnancy to postpartum. Take care of yourself and your growing baby. You should be back to feeling more like yourself soon.

Postpartum Night Sweat FAQs

1) How long do night sweats last after giving birth?

Postpartum night sweats are at their worst in the first two weeks post-delivery. They should gradually decline after that time. If some of the symptoms last for a longer time one must consult the doctor.

2) Is experiencing postpartum night sweat normal?

Postpartum night sweat is common and physiological, almost 80% of women face night sweats, along with common symptoms like hot flashes and fever.

3) What symptoms should you be on the lookout for consulting the doctor?

When you experience sweat in the middle of the night, it is absolutely normal. However, if you face, warm or red areas on the breasts, severe cramping, trouble breathing, dizziness, or fainting, and feeling particularly depressed or anxious, you must see your doctor.

4) Could any other existing medical conditions cause night sweats?

There are various reasons that could cause night sweats, like menopause, or even due to infections. In severe conditions it may be caused due to leukemia or lymphoma, therefore it is always good to see a doctor.

5) Could any of the medications cause night sweats?

The main reason for night sweat in your body is increased estrogen levels after giving birth. However, several medicines can also cause similar symptoms, various medicines that you intake post-birth may lead to excessive sweating.
Dr. Abby Morris

Dr. Abby Morris

As a postpartum doula, Abby helps birth givers navigate parenthood in their postpartum period by providing infant and maternal care. She is also a sleep consultant for families who struggle with all thing sleep from newborn to toddlers.

On behalf of the editorial team at Parenthoodbliss, we follow strict reporting guidelines and only use credible sources, along with peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and highly respected health organizations. To learn about how we maintain content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.

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