Add excessive sweating to the postpartum checklist.
In case you’re not already aware, or you’re currently drenched in post-pregnancy sweat and wondering why, lots of perspiration is common in the weeks following labour and delivery. A dramatic decrease in your estrogen and progesterone hormone levels is generally the cause of these new sweats (1).
What’s happening in your body
Your body needs high levels of estrogen and progesterone during pregnancy, but not so much after giving birth (2). It can take a while for your hormonal levels to reset to their pre-pregnancy levels, and until they settle, you might find you’re fanning yourself even if you’re postpartum in the middle of winter.
This excessive sweating might be showing up in the form of hot flashes. Common in menopause because of low estrogen levels, hot flashes can also take place postpartum, causing feelings of excessive heat in the face, shoulders, neck and chest area. In fact, 29% of women experience hot flashes after delivery (1).
It’s the lack of ovulation that can bring on these warm sensations, as little to no estrogen production by the ovaries affects a particular area of the brain known as the thermoregulatory zone (1). The result? A very narrow window of tolerable temperatures.
When will you feel yourself?Like most postpartum symptoms, hot flashes will begin to subside around the six to eight-week mark post labour, usually rearing its most ugly head around the two-week mark. As estrogen production resumes, so will your feelings of normalcy.
Sweating lasting longer than a few weeks? It’s around the six-month mark that most women begin ovulating again post-baby, so if you’re finding you’re still excessively sweating after the six-week postpartum mark, it may not be until your first postpartum period that you’ll begin to cool off (2).
Until then, there are a few things you can do to make the sweating less unpleasant:
- Keep cool with an air conditioner or a fan, especially at night
- Drink lots of water to stay hydrated - you’re releasing a lot of liquids and need to maintain your levels
- Avoid sweat-triggering foods like caffeine, alcohol, spice, and hot liquids
- Manage your stress and prioritize sleep (as much as you can as a new parent!)
- Choose an extra-strength free-from deodorant, like our Sandalwood & Bergamot, to help you feel fresh and safely neutralizes underarm odour by using botanicals and scientifically validated ingredients. This base has our highest concentration of baking soda for days when your body and mind are asked to step up to life’s demands - a.k.a. parenthood.
Remember to remain patient - it took nine months to grow your baby and it may take just as long to settle back into your new self. You got this.
Image by Shari & Mike Photography
Azzollini, M. (n.d.). Postpartum hot flashes: Why you get them and how to manage. Verywell Family. Retrieved September 17, 2021, from https://www.verywellfamily.com/hot-flashes-postpartum-5191037.
25, C. P. F., Perry, C., Perry, C., & 25, F. (n.d.). What to expect with postpartum hormone changes. Parents. Retrieved September 17, 2021, from https://www.parents.com/pregnancy/my-body/postpartum/postpartum-hormone-changes/.