Check out CEO Alli’s blog below on a topic we haven’t covered much at Wicked Sheets – breastfeeding and night sweats! This problem is much more common than you think. In fact, breastfeeding and night sweats among Alli’s friends helped to spark the creation of our AAFA certified Little Sleepers line!
Now that I’m at the age where most, if not all, of my friends have had at least their first child I have become quite well versed in discussions about bodily functions in and around pregnancy. And of course, most of my conversations involve SWEAT! In fact, the Wicked Little Sleepers baby line originated because my best friend, Kacy and I were discussing how much she sweat during pregnancy & breastfeeding, and then how her children (my Godchildren) were also growing up just like Aunt Alli did – as sweaty babies!
This topic has also been near and dear to my heart as my mom has been a Labor & Delivery nurse at Memorial Hospital in Belleville, Illinois for the past 40 years. It’s amazing to hear the stories of my friends whom she helped to deliver and now seeing those same friends give birth to their own children. She says she doesn’t feel old until that happens. Ha!
As a child, though, I can remember always getting calls at our house asking for “Nurse Nancy” to answer their questions about pregnancy, post-partum, breastfeeding, and lactation. The questions always ended with, “Is this normal?” So now that I’m in this role as founder and CEO of Wicked Sheets, I’m finding myself faced with similar questions about sweat.
Here are some common inquiries:
• “Alli, I stopped smoking a few weeks ago and my sweat production has seemed to double, is this normal?”
• “I just got over this nasty cold and I was sweating through my pajamas during that time, but now I seem fine. Is that normal?”
• “Alli, I take Bydureon BCise for my diabetes and I think it’s making me sweat. Is this normal?”
Most recently, however, with the baby boom amongst my friends, the question I’ve been getting constantly is, “Alli, we’re at month 3 of breastfeeding and I’m sweating like crazy. I sweat and leak through my clothes, my pajamas, and now onto my sheets. Is this normal? What can I do to stop it?” Of course, my response is, “First, we need to get you some Wicked Sheets! 😉 And then, once you’re sleeping better we can chat about JUST how normal breastfeeding and night sweats are!”
Why do I have increased sweat production while I’m breastfeeding?
The scientific answer is that your body is going through both a metabolic and hormonal influx and fall every single minute while you’re pregnant and breast feeding. Or as my friend Kacy puts it, “Your body is working so furiously to create food for your baby that you’re constantly in overdrive. It’s no wonder that you sweat like a pig for almost a year!”
Obviously, the science is very important to remember, especially when you’re a new mom and everything feels out of sorts. You likely will find yourself Googling to see what’s normal and not, or flipping through those pages of your “What to Expect” book. But the mental health professional in me is screaming, your sweat production during breastfeeding might also be a result of this oftentimes emotionally challenging activity.
Breastfeeding is tough.
The schedule, the latch, the amount, the falling asleep during (you), the falling asleep during (your baby), the people watching, the pump and dump, and the list goes on and on. Increased sweat production is a completely normal counterpart to anxiety provoking situations and emotionally stressful activities. So Mom’s: breathe. You’re sweating because of science and you’re likely also sweating because of stress. And it’s completely normal. Just like your kidneys are working overtime to eliminate that water weight, so are your pores.
A few tips that might help you cope while you’re experiencing breastfeeding and night sweats:
– Deep breathing helps tremendously. Count to 4. Hold for 4. Breathe out for 4. Repeat.
– Wear loose fitting clothing to bed (and breast pads to help with leakage).
– Choose moisture-wicking and cooling bedding when you can.
– Keep a glass of water next to your bed, the extra hydration will help you pee more which will eliminate a lot of that extra water weight you gained during pregnancy.
– Take a cool shower before bed if you’re having issues with overheating, but a warm shower if your breasts are tender or you’re experiencing mastitis.
The only other thing that’s worth mentioning is that although increased night sweats during of breastfeeding is normal, increased sweating accompanied by a fever is not. Fevers indicate infection, so if you have both symptoms, call your doctor.