Hot flashes during pregnancy can be an extremely overwhelming symptom to deal with, especially because you can’t safely use hormones to solve the problem like you might if you were dealing with menopause.
However, if you can identify what triggers your hot flashes and how to get out of them more quickly, this might help you deal with them more easily. You might even be able to avoid them more often or altogether.
What do Hot Flashes in Pregnancy feel Like?
According to a post by MayoClinic, hot flashes have a handful of ways in which they make their presence known. Typically, this includes a sudden warm feeling in your upper body, felt most intensely over your chest, face, and neck. Your skin might begin to turn redder as if blushing, or your skin could begin to look blotchy.
Hot flashes during pregnancy may also cause sweating. This will occur mainly on your upper body. But, if too much body heat is lost in the process, you might feel chilly afterward. Hot flashes commonly last one to two minutes, but they could last as long as five minutes in some cases.
The frequency of hot flashes may vary from person to person and from pregnancy to pregnancy. While they may be mild, they may also be so intense that you have to stop what you’re doing altogether, even in the middle of the day.
Hot flashes may also be accompanied by increased heart palpitations or a more rapid heartbeat. Additionally, a hot flash may bring with it some extra feelings of stress or anxiety.
What are Hot Flashes Triggered By?
A number of things in your environment could contribute to your hot flashes. While avoiding these triggers could greatly reduce the frequency of this pregnancy symptom, it’s difficult to confidently say that they can be avoided altogether.
An incomplete list of hot flash triggers includes:
- Clothing that fits too tightly
- Heightened temperatures, as in when the temperature of your environment is not stable, and especially when the temperature rises rapidly
- Increased stress or anxiety levels
- Hot foods or drinks, raising your internal body temperature
- Spicy foods
- Drinking alcohol
Avoiding some or all of these more common hot flash triggers may support a great reduction in the frequency of these episodes. Hot flashes during pregnancy may also have varied levels of intensity.
How do I Avoid Triggering a Hot Flash in Pregnancy?
In addition to avoiding the above hot flash triggers, there are several more things you can try to maintain a more regular body temperature. Trying these may support a reduction in hot flash frequency, but they may not be able to stop a pregnancy hot flash in its tracks.
According to GoodTo, taking showers that are cooler in temperature may help, as avoiding water that is overly hot can help your body avoid making massive jumps in temperature. Additionally, you could also wear lighter and more breathable clothing to bed in order to help you avoid night sweats.
It’s also a good idea to drink more water, as your body will use your water supply to help you maintain a balanced body temperature. Some have also found that having cold beverages and putting ice in their drinks is helpful.
Allegedly, it’s also a good idea to eat smaller meals and snacks more often during the day, rather than spacing out eating periods with large blocks of time. Eating in this way is thought to balance out a person’s blood sugar levels, as spikes and crashes are more likely to occur in one’s blood sugar if you go a long time without eating. These changes in your blood apparently have a dramatic impact on your body’s overall temperature.
Making sure that the temperature of your surroundings doesn’t get too warm could also be helpful. What appears to be the most helpful is keeping the temperature in your home from becoming either too cold or too warm too quickly. This can be done using an internal heating and cooling system or fans.
How Do I Make my Hot Flash Go Away? How can I get Through Hot Flashes?
Hot flashes cannot typically be stopped in their tracks once they’ve begun, but it’s believed that a couple of things can make hot flashes shorter. Stopping them much earlier could be helpful in maintaining regularity and reducing disruptions in your daily life.
One way that this can be done is to focus on lowering your stress levels. This can be done by practicing meditation or yoga in order to draw your focus away from the hot flash itself, as well as it can support less rapid heart palpitations.
Hot flashes during pregnancy, contrary to what you might think, will likely not stop sooner if you attempt to cool yourself down. Unfortunately, hot flashes appear to be linked to dramatic shifts in temperature, and trying to cool down by fanning yourself or turning on the air conditioner might not help your hot flash end more quickly.
It’s important to try to maintain a consistent temperature in your environment instead, if at all possible. It’s understandable that the idea of this might be unbearable to some people.
As is the case with all medical concerns, if hot flashes during your pregnancy are seriously impacting your life, it is highly advisable to consult a medical professional for help.
Tiffany is a Medical Student and also works as a fitness coach in part-time. She is also a writer and writes on health and fitness articles. Tiffany loves to engage with users and help them provide various useful information on General Health. She provides researched-based information and also featured on various blogs and magazines.