Hot flashes are often associated with menopause but can indeed occur during pregnancy, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the American Pregnancy Association. Usually, hot flashes are nothing for expectant moms to be concerned with and late in pregnancy may indicate that you are getting ready for the birthing process.
Types of Pregnancy Symptoms
Hot flashes are possible early in pregnancy and for some expectant moms may be one of the first signs of pregnancy, according to the Mayo Clinic. Besides such unexpected body temperature changes, pregnant women may experience light vaginal bleeding, tender and swollen breasts, fatigue, food cravings or aversions and nausea.
Hot flashes may be a sign that you are going into labor, according to the American Pregnancy Association. During this stage of your pregnancy, you may also experience symptoms such as gas, nausea, chills and vomiting along with those telltale contractions.
Prevention and Treatment
Unfortunately, hot flashes, whether associated with pregnancy or menopause, usually cannot be prevented, and medications may do more harm than good, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Using a cool cloth may help reduce your body temperature. Avoiding smoking, sleeping in a cool room or taking a cold drink once a hot flash starts may help alleviate this symptom. Also, it’s a good idea to avoid spicy foods and caffeine. Stress-reduction techniques like yoga or meditation may also prove helpful in reducing the number of hot flashes you experience, according to Breastcancer.org.
Potential Risks to Your Baby
Becoming overheated during pregnancy causes your baby’s body temperature to spike, according to Dr. Marjorie Greenfield with DrSpock.com. Greenfield notes that expectant moms can avoid potential problems with overheating by staying well-hydrated, engaging only in moderate exercise and avoiding prolonged exposure to excessive heat. If you get overheated, get out of the situation that may be exacerbating it and mention it to your doctor.
Possible Causes and Additional Effects
Learning exactly what causes hot flashes during pregnancy or any other phase of your feminine life cycle isn’t easy, according to the Mayo Clinic. When estrogen is suddenly withdrawn from the body, this can contribute to hot flashes. For whatever reason, your brain’s hypothalamus becomes overcharged and spikes your body temperature. Breastcancer.org notes that women who are either too heavy or too thin may suffer from more hot flashes during their lifetimes.
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