Sweating is at its peak when the hormones in the mother’s body are at their rampaging best. This makes them feel extra-sweaty in the first trimester, third trimester and postpartum – all periods when mothers experience more extreme hormonal swings (hormones are pretty even in the second trimester).
Sweat is produced by different glands in the body. For instance, apocrine glands (in the armpits, genitals, perianal regions) produce a distinct kind of sweat, characterised by a foul odour.
However, it is the eccrine glands that perform overtime during pregnancy. They are all over the body, concentrated in the face, chest, back, armpits, but do not give off any bad odour.
Some common tips to avoid undue sweating during pregnancy are:
- Keep yourself hydrated. One loses a lot of water while sweating, which can make one feel dizzy.
Cold liquids help the body regulate the temperature. Gulp down more water while working out when the weather’s warmer.
But stay away from soda and sweetened drinks to avoid empty calories, which can lead to excess weight gain.
Rule of thumb: If your urine is almost white or slightly yellow, it is a good indication that you are hydrated.
- Stay out of the sun and air-conditioned environments as much as possible, both night and day.
- Avoid working out during peak noon hours. Instead, opt for walks in the early morning or evening.
- Wear loose and light clothing. Layer it on so you can easily shed clothing or bundle up.
- Sleep on a towel if possible. It will help absorb excess sweat while you sleep.
- Avoid hot drinks and spicy foods. Especially if they trigger the sweat reflexes.
- Carry a hand-held fan if possible. Fanning yourself from time to time will help evaporate excess sweat in a pinch, cooling off the skin.
- Use talc-free powder. A bit of powder in areas prone to friction will absorb excess moisture and prevent heat rash.
Night sweating is also a common occurrence observed in many pregnant women. They are caused by a hormonal imbalance.
A woman experiences night sweats when her impaired hypothalamus ejects chemicals into her blood that dilate blood vessels and release body heat. It is common in pregnancy for a woman to experience night sweats accompanied by cold shivering.