Feeling Hot?

Hot flashes are a fairly common complaint during pregnancy. Hot flashes or hot flushes refer to this episodic feeling of sudden intense warmth. It’s usually more noticeable on the upper body; namely the face and neck region and also the chest. They usually last for seconds to a few minutes and resolve on their own.

Is it normal to experience hot flashes during pregnancy?

Yes, it’s completely normal to experience hot flashes during pregnancy! In fact, it is experienced by 35% of pregnant women. Hot flashes are usually attributed to fluctuating hormone levels (mainly estrogen and progesterone levels) and an increased metabolic rate during pregnancy. 

What do they Mean?

There isn’t much meaning to these hot flashes during pregnancy. They’re simply your body’s response to sudden hormonal changes that trigger a chain of responses that leads to you experiencing a hot flash.

The fact that over one-third of pregnant women experience these hot flashes simply means you’re having a normal, healthy pregnancy and have no reason to worry.

Should I call my Healthcare Provider?

If you’re simply experiencing a hot flash, there is no need to worry or call your healthcare provider. However, a hot flash can mimic more serious conditions like a fever or a heat stroke. It’s important to differentiate those from a hot flash to avoid any problems. 

A fever will increase your body’s temperature to more than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, and it may also be accompanied by other symptoms like feeling tired or nauseous. A fever also lasts longer than a hot flash does. So if you’re feeling any of those symptoms, you might want to call your healthcare provider to rule out any infections.

Similarly, a heat stroke usually arises in a setting of extremely hot weather and will have you feeling lethargic and sick.

That being said, if you’re experiencing hot flashes that somehow feel too often or too intense for you to tolerate, you should always consult your healthcare provider to rule out any underlying health conditions.

Tips to Help with Hot Flashes during pregnancy

Hot flashes usually resolve on their own after a few minutes or seconds. But here are some tips you can try

  • Remove layers of clothes and change into something lighter and cooler
  • Drink ice water or other cold drinks
  • Take a quick shower 
  • Splash your face with some cool water
  • Fan yourself in the face and neck area
  • Avoid thick pajamas and warm bedding when going to sleep
  • Crank up the air conditioning before sleeping if you can
  • Avoid going out in the sun
  • Notice if you have any triggers (such as spicy foods) and avoid them 

If you have any other questions or concerns, make sure to consult your healthcare provider!