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Hot Flashes During Pregnancy: Are They Harmful?

Those days when you wake up drenched in sweat for no apparent reason are experienced by more than 30% women during pregnancy and postpartum. Did you ever wonder what causes them or if they’re harmful to you or your baby? If you have, you’ve come to the right place.

During the episodes of hot flashes, heat originates from the neck and head and starts spreading down towards your chest. The point of origination of heat can also be from your lower body. The feeling can be similar to being near a furnace. Hot flashes can last anywhere between 30 seconds and five minutes. As your body tries to cool down, you will start sweating heavily. A few other signs and symptoms of hot flashes are a rise in the heart beat, a red face and several short bouts of heat. 

The precise reasons why one would experience hot flashes has not yet been determined but a few factors like hormonal fluctuations, dehydration, increase in body temperature, being overweight, irregular sleeping routine, anxiety, stress, low blood sugar levels and many more such factors are known to be linked with hot flashes.

You’ll be happy to know that hot flashes don’t harm your baby by any measure. They’re just a symptom of pregnancy like morning sickness. But if you experience them often, do consult with your doctor about it.

How Can You Deal With Hot Flashes?

1. Keep yourself hydrated by taking a water bottle with you everywhere you go. Don’t let the frequent need to pee keep you away from drinking water.

2. Maintain a healthy, balanced diet by adding foods like vegetables, fresh fruits, whole grains, leafy greens and dairy products to your everyday meals.

3. When you are experiencing hot flashes, practice breathing exercises where you breathe in deep and then exhale. You can also do yoga or go for a short walk to calm yourself.

4. Make sure the place you’re sleeping in is cool. You can turn on the fan or open the windows so that the room doesn’t get too hot and constricting.

5. Stay protected from the sun. Wear big hats and avoid sunbathing on beaches and such.

Although hot flashes are seen most commonly during the second trimester, you might experience them even after giving birth during breastfeeding as your body tries to produce milk. 

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