Being pregnant comes with all types of complications, emotions, and experiences. In fact, you could say it is one of the most dynamic and ever-changing experiences you could ever go through in life.
When you are pregnant, you are going to experience a whole range of changes in your body. This will include significant physical and emotional changes. One of the most common experiences you will have when pregnant is likely hot flashes.
Having hot flashes pregnancy experiences is nothing abnormal. In fact, you stand with around 30% of other pregnant women who also have claimed they too feel changes in their body temperature.
For some women, they describe it as feeling like their stomach has actually turned into an oven. Others feel overheated and develop glowing skin as a result.
And then there are those who feel sudden temperature changes that are so drastic they feel like they are sweating. There are even those who say that the hot flashes from their pregnancy feel really similar to their hot flashes later on in life during menopause.
Physical Changes During Pregnancy
One of the most common reasons that pregnant women experience hot flashes is because their body is having a literal change in their levels of estrogen and progesterone. As these levels increase in your body, your internal temperature may experience sharp changes in temperature. In fact, this may still continue even after you give birth!
But body temperature is not the only physical change that pregnant women go through. In fact, there are other physical changes that are equally normal.
This includes your uterus changing shape and size, which also produces the body to experience internal heat. The same applies for the breasts changing as well and the amount of metabolism being used to produce breast milk.
Most surprisingly, your body will also change in terms of blood volume. One study even showed that many women who reach their third trimester will end up having an increased blood volume of nearly 50%–that is a big change in your red blood cell production! This, in turn, means that your heart rate will naturally increase and you may also feel overheated for this reason.
How to Deal with Hot Flashes
Having hot flashes during pregnancy is nothing to be ashamed of. It is also something that should definitely be normalized. But it is also sometimes a bit challenging to deal with and can feel really all-consuming. Especially because your hormones are constantly in flux, changing both before and after you give birth. So hormone therapy is not always the correct solution.
Of course, you will want to consult your doctor or OBGYN if the hot flashes become too much or it feels like it is getting out of hand.
There are also numerous triggers that you should be aware of when pregnant that can make the hot flashes become more aggressive and it feels even hotter. This includes drinking caffeine, eating spicy food, wearing tight clothes, feeling stressed, and being exposed to warm temperatures.
But if you ever do actually have a high fever, feel like you are having the flu, or have especially achy muscles, then you should absolutely go see a doctor as soon as possible.
However, if your hot flashes do not seem abnormal, then you could try these strategies to help make hot flashes not as uncomfortable.
Tip 1: Wear Layers
You never know when a hot flash is going to come. In fact, it often comes when you least expect it. This is why you should always dress in layers. Wear a thin and breezy tank top on the bottom and layer it up with a long sleeve shirt or sweatshirt. That way you can easily strip down and cool off when the hot flashes arise.
Tip 2: Bring a Fan
Thanks to the innovation of the world we live in, it is super easy to bring a portable fan with you. Carrying a small one in your purse will allow you to cool off easily and instantly manage the spiking temperatures you are feeling. Some even come with water misters too.
Tip 3: Stay Healthy and Active
The healthier of a lifestyle you have, the easier it will likely be to manage your weight and be less at risk for hot flashes. Studies have shown that women who are considered overweight often experience hot flashes more frequently than those who have a standard body composition.
Tip 4: Practice Mindfulness
The brain is a really powerful tool that we all have. Studies are showing that the likes of hypnotherapy and mindful meditation can proactively help decrease the frequency of hot flashes that you experience.
There is a weird stigma around pregnant women and hot flashes. But it is completely normal and something that you can manage—with the right life approaches and medical support.