Most expecting women report both, hot and cold flashes during pregnancy, which usually last for a few seconds to several minutes, and are believed to be caused due to imbalances in the hormonal levels.
From the time a woman conceives a baby, certain mental and bodily changes are experienced, such as mood swings, nausea, dizziness, morning sickness, and body temperature changes. Focusing on hot and cold flashes during pregnancy, they may last for a fraction of seconds to some minutes. In short, they come and go without causing major health symptoms. Nevertheless, those who experience night sweats should know the difference between hot flashes and fever caused by infections. The same is applicable for cold flashes and illnesses that mimic shivering and chills.
Is it Normal?
Though hot flashes during the early months are frequently reported, some experience cold ones in the similar manner. Often, night sweats are accompanied with coldness and chills. Thus, for first time pregnant women, a sensation of sudden change in body temperature is a common concern. While extreme cases are not healthy for both, the mother and the unborn baby, brief episodes are quite normal during this period. But, what causes them during the gestation period is mainly hormonal change, just like the other symptoms.
Estrogen, a pregnancy hormone, is responsible for controlling temperature regulation mechanism of the brain. After conception, the level of estrogen increases gradually till childbirth. As a result, change in the perception of chills and heat is expected while expecting. Another main cause is the malfunction of hypothalamus, which also plays a key role in maintaining body temperature. As a consequence of hormone imbalance, the normal function of hypothalamus is disturbed, leading to night sweats and chills. Other factors that trigger this condition are increased blood circulation, stress, and fatigue.
How to Deal With it?
- Be prepared for this condition while expecting. While it is not comfortable, avoid staying overheated for a long time.
- For chills, you can use an extra blanket anytime when you need it.
- But for managing hot flashes, keep the indoor temperature within the room temperature range.
- Also, you should wear comfortable clothes made with cotton or natural fibers. The best alternative is to wear layered clothes. That way, you can remove them whenever you experience heat.
- An effective approach to dealing with this is to balance the hormones by performing exercise and making lifestyle modifications.
- Last but not the least, consuming healthy diet helps to some extent. Do not indulge in the habit of taking coffee, tea, and spicy foods.
- In addition, taking alcohol is a major cause for sensitivity to temperature fluctuations. To be on the safer side, stay away from alcoholic beverages.
- As far as possible, do not participate in any type of therapy that involves exposure to extreme temperature, such as sauna, steam bath, cold bath, or hot bath (unless the doctor directs to do so).
- Similarly, do not let yourself exposed to extreme climatic conditions that may exacerbate the condition.
- In order to regulate adequate supply of blood and oxygen to the baby, develop a habit of sleeping on the left side or right side occasionally.
- Do not sleep on your back or belly after the first semester, as these sleeping positions are unsafe for the developing fetus.
In case of frequency in this condition, do not hesitate to consult a trusted doctor. Getting doctor’s attention is imperative if this condition is disturbing normal sleep. The doctor will suggest healthy lifestyle changes for managing the symptoms naturally. If required, nutritional supplements will be recommended.
Disclaimer: This HerHaleness article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.