Motherhood

Why Do I Get Postpartum Night Sweats?

Team Peanut29 days ago4 min read

So things are getting a little hot and heavy in the bedroom, and not in a way that you like.

Postpartum Night Sweats

Yep, postpartum night sweats can really get in the way of a comfortable night’s sleep.

So what causes them? How long do they last? And are they anything to worry about? Let’s dive in.

First things first, how do we even define the postpartum period?

In this article: 📝

  • How long after birth are you considered postpartum?
  • Is it normal to have postpartum night sweats?
  • Does breastfeeding cause excessive sweating?
  • How long do postpartum night sweats last?

How long after birth are you considered postpartum?

The postpartum period is also known as the fourth trimester because it is such an important part of your pregnancy. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the postpartum period covers the 12 weeks after you give birth.

But as this review outlines, it may be a bit more complicated than that.

What’s known as the delayed postpartum period may last up to six months as your body recovers from the heck of a ride that is pregnancy and giving birth.

And while these guides are useful, every body is different. The postpartum period is about recovery, and that is not a one-size-fits-all process.

Is it normal to have postpartum night sweats?

Postpartum sweating is pretty common. It’s experienced by around a third of women in the weeks after birth.

And guess what? It’s mainly to do with those pregnancy hormones (no surprises there) and how they’re adjusting to a post-pregnancy world.

While you’re pregnant, your levels of progesterone and estrogen rise to help you out with the awesome task of growing a baby.

Once your little one makes their appearance in the world, those levels drop again, causing a range of interesting symptoms.

This shift can affect everything from your mental health to your energy levels to how your vagina feels (true story).

Postpartum night sweats are one symptom that can appear on the scene, so if you wake up a little sticky, it’s usually par for the postpartum course.

That being said, there are some cases where night sweats can be a sign that something else is up.

If you experience postpartum chills and night sweats together, or you are running a fever, it’s definitely worth checking in with your healthcare provider.

As this medical overview explains, a fever can result from postpartum complications, such as infections, which require medical attention.

Other symptoms to watch out for that may signal complications are:

  • Excessive vaginal bleeding and/or having large blood clots when you bleed
  • Trouble peeing
  • Severe pain
  • Vaginal discharge that has a strange color or smell
  • Any sign that your c-section scar might be infected. (Discharge, pain, or redness at the surgical site might signal something is up.)
  • Depression and anxiety

For more on postpartum complications, head here.

Other reasons you might break into a nightly sweat are hyperthyroidism and sleep apnea, both of which are worth consulting your doctor about. If you’re at all concerned, don’t wait to get the help you need.

Does breastfeeding cause excessive sweating?

Breastfeeding can indeed make you break out into a sweat because of the low estrogen levels you might be experiencing.

It’s important to keep hydrated. (Yep, it’s true that breast milk is more than 80% water.)

Drinking a glass of cold water can be a game-changer. Other ways to find relief? Sleep on a damp towel in light clothing, or try a cold compress.

How long do postpartum night sweats last?

The good news is that night sweats tend to fizzle out on their own at some point during the postpartum phase.

They often reach a peak during the first two weeks after delivery and start easing up as your hormone levels balance out.

If you’re still getting night sweats five months postpartum and beyond, it’s worth checking in with your healthcare provider.

Good luck with your recovery process. And congratulations on your new baby!

💡 More from The 411:
5 Ways to Advocate for Yourself During Pregnancy and Postpartum
Your Guide to Postpartum Swelling
Your Guide to Postpartum Anxiety Symptoms
How to Deal With Postpartum Gas
10 Ideas for a Nutritious Postpartum Diet
A Guide to the Best Types of Postpartum Massage
Postpartum Exercise Tips
An Intro to Postpartum Yoga
What’s Causing My Postpartum Headache?