Hot Flushes in Early Pregnancy

Pregnancy induces a series of changes in your body due to hormonal imbalances. And hot flushes, occurring in 50% - 70% of pregnant women, even though uncomfortable, are usually nothing to worry about. Hot flushes can be experienced in the very early days of your pregnancy and are most common after the first trimester sets in. You can experience them at any time of the day, including the middle of the night in the winter season! It is impossible to avoid them, but the only comfort lies in the fact that these flushes last for barely 5 minutes and can be braved by dressing lightly or wearing easily removable layered clothing.

What Do Hot Flushes During Early Pregnancy Feel Like?

  • Hot flushes, early pregnancy's one symptom, are sudden bouts of extensive sweating accompanied with an unquenchable thirst.
  • You may experience hot flushes affecting your scalp, face, neck and breast regions or you may experience it all over the body.
  • Besides profuse sweating and a dry throat, dizziness, heart palpitations and headaches may also be felt during such episodes.
  • Most women get over these flushes relatively easily while a few suffer badly.

Hot flushes and fever: It is also important for you to understand the difference between a hot flush and fever. Hot flushes will not result in temperature elevation unlike fevers and usually disappear in a matter of minutes. High fevers are dangerous during pregnancy and medical aid is required if your temperature crosses 100°F.

What Causes Hot Flushes During Early Pregnancy?

Although the exact mechanism of operation of these hot flushes in early pregnancy is yet to be understood, here are the explanations of that hot flushes experienced during early pregnancy:

  • Hormonal Changes: During the early stages of pregnancy, your body experiences a drastic change in hormonal levels which may increase the blood flow to the skin. This increased blood flow may elevate the surface temperature of your skin and render it with a red and blotchy appearance. This phenomenon results in hot flushes.
  • Mood Swing: Another cause can be emotional turmoil in your mind. Exposure to stressful situations or frightening experiences may also disturb the hormonal equilibrium, resulting in hot flushes.
  • Hot weather conditions or a spicy diet may also be another cause; both make you feel uncomfortable and may disturb your hormonal levels.

Hot flushes may also continue into the second and third trimester of pregnancy and even prevail after the baby is born because of fluctuating hormonal levels during the entire period of pregnancy.

How to Deal With Hot Flushes During Early Pregnancy

Hot flushes may be difficult to explain as they do not elevate your body temperature, yet make you feel extremely hot. Extreme care should be taken during such periods to avoid medical complications. As for hot flush, early pregnancy is the crucial period of time; take the following measures to keep cool your body:

  • Sleeping in a cool place: If you tend to experience hot flushes in the middle of the night, then it is advisable to sleep in a cooler place. However, ensure that you do not catch a cold under such conditions.
  • Staying in the shade: Avoid exposure to the sun as much as possible and do not indulge in sunbathing. Wear a wide brimmed hat when going out in the sun to protect your face and shoulders from the sun.
  • Drinking lots of water: Water helps keep you cool and hydrated. Always drink a lot of water and carry a water bottle with you when you travel to avoid dehydration.
  • Healthy diet: Avoid alcohol, caffeine, hot and spicy foods. All these can a trigger a hot flush and other pregnancy related complications. Smoking is also a strict no-no during pregnancy.
  • Using cooling tools: Try to keep cooling tools handy during your pregnancy. A mini battery driven fan, spray bottle or moist baby wipes can help you feel cool during sudden bouts of hot flushes.
  • Taking frequent showers: Keep your body cool by taking frequent showers, use wet tissues to wet your face and neck, and keep your feet and wrists cool by dipping them in water. However, take care not to overdo this and catch a cold.
  • Maintaining calm: Avoid panicking during hot flushes. Practice yoga, meditation or breathing exercises to keep your mind and body calm. Herbal remedies or acupuncture treatments can also help.
  • Dressing in layers: Try to dress in layers so that you can remove layers quickly during hot flushes. Also wear material like cotton or linen that allows air to circulate freely around your body.
  • Taking medications: If home remedies have no effect on you and you continue to suffer from episodes of hot flushes, seek the help of professionals for low dose medications like mild sedatives or antidepressants will alleviate your symptoms. Never try to medicate yourself without professional advice during pregnancy.
  • Keep a healthy weight: You tend to gain weight easily during pregnancy. However, it is very important to maintain a proper weight during pregnancy. It has been proven that weight reduction decreases the episodes of hot flushes by 33%.
 
 
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