Night sweats and early pregnancy can mean you are sweating more than usual. Here are 5 reasons why:
Night sweats and Early Pregnancy:
1. Hormonal Influx
Especially in the first trimester, your hormones are on overdrive – meaning night sweats and early pregnancy are common. And you literally have no control over when, where, or how they’ll show up. But in most cases, sweat will accompany them. As bad as sweating through your shirt might be, or pitting out in public, the good news is that lots of hormones mean lots of fetal development.
Everyone knows about the most common pregnancy hormones: progesterone, prolactin, and oxytocin, but there are some others that are important to note and are likely contributing directly to your increased sweat production. Human chorionic gonadotropin (HcG) and thyroid stimulating hormone speed up your metabolism so that baby gets nutrients as fast as you do. Both of these very common and important hormones are making your body work double-duty so that your baby gets the nutrients it needs when you eat, sleep, and metabolize your food.
2. Internal Thermostat
If you considered yourself “one hot Momma” even before you were pregnant, meaning you sweat morning, noon, and night even without a human growing inside of you, then get ready…you’re in for a slip-and-slide sleeping experience. Especially those of us who experienced increased body temps and night sweats just before your menstrual cycle; pregnancy only exacerbates our temperature-regulating processes. Both night sweats and early pregnancy and night sweats during the duration of your pregnancy are common.
Hormonal shifts occur when the sperm meets the egg and that sends a signal to your hypothalamus that you’re hot, even if it’s not really hot where you are. Internally, your brain gets that signal and triggers your body’s sweating reflex to switch to “on” and start cooling you down. “Release the heat” is all your internal thermostat hears and then the sweat begins to flow.
3. Weight Gain and Increasing BMI
Gaining weight during your pregnancy is SO HEALTHY – don’t hear it any other way than this. It’s an absolute certainty that you will gain some weight during your pregnancy. This necessary weight gain will lead to a slightly increased BMI (Body Mass Index). BMI is simply a measure of your weight to height ratio that helps medical professionals tell if we’re heavier than our body and bone structure can support.
As your weight increases (15-40lbs is a normal pregnancy range), so does the fat and muscle tissue in and around our organs. That means your body is going to respond by telling it to burn more calories (and fat) so that we stay the lean, mean, fighting machines that our bodies were designed to be. Insert: not only night sweats and early pregnancy, but more sweat in general.
4. Lifestyle Changes
Let’s be honest, life before pregnancy probably involved a few cocktails, late night eating, and an occasional wicked hangover. Now, you’ve become a a little more “health conscious”. Am I right? In psychology, you’ve heard this transition be referred to as “replacement behavior”.
More often than not, pregnancy is a time where women start focusing more on what’s going into their bodies, as well as working on their bodies for the sake of both the baby and their postpartum body. Increases in exercises, such as walking, jogging, yoga, and Pilates are great ways to stay fit and healthy during your pregnancy. These exercises, however, will also speed up your metabolism so be prepared for more sweat. These changes won’t necessarily reduce night sweats and early pregnancy symptoms, but will help with overall health.
5. Anti-Nausea Medication
If you already know that you’re pregnant and you’re currently taking anti-nausea medicines, like antihistamines, Zofran, or Motilium, to help you deal with morning sickness – these may be making your stomach stay calm, but speeding up your sweat production.
Anti-nausea and anti-vomiting drugs, also known as anti-emetics, interact directly with your “Vomiting Center”. The Area Postrema is the structure in your brain stem that plays a vital role in the control of your autonomic functions: heart rate, digestion, sexual arousal, and, of course, vomiting. Ironically, all of your autonomic functions have a higher governance, called the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) that also controls sweat production!
While sweating might not seem “sexy” or fun, especially at this stage of your pregnancy, it’s important to note that sweat plays a vital role in keeping you and your baby healthy. This evaporative cooling system that our brain so keenly knows how to turn on and off, is unavoidable. So just like the miracle of life you’re about to experience, celebrate that fact that your body is one highly efficient machine that’s working to help you keep your cool…in more ways than one!