Friday, May 10, 2013

Postpartum Night Sweats: How long they last and what to do!

I'm sitting here laughing at myself, mostly in horror, at my most recent online purchases. In my former life (ie. before child birth), the only "pajama" I'd spend over $70 dollars on would be from somewhere fancy like La Perla. But alas, I just spent a good chunk of time surfing menopause sites for moisture wicking pajamas, and guess what, they ain't cheap! 

[Update 7/2015: There's a new line at Kohl's called Cool Girl Pajamas and it's much more affordable than brands I had to resort to just 2 years ago!]

Now, why on earth am I searching for moisture wicking pajamas? 

I still have the worst night sweats you've ever seen. I wake up in the middle of the night SOAKED, and if by chance I get up to feed my darling baby and return to bed, I can't lay back in the same spot. The first few times it happened I was certain I wet the bed, but as this continued week after week I knew something was up.  

I called my OB to ask if something was wrong. I knew night sweats occurred as your body tried to deplete excess water and regulate hormones after birth. I'd also read all the sites online that said it may last longer in breast feeding mothers, about 2-4 months... but 8 months in? She assured me, still normal, especially if you're nursing. Though it can be any hormonal or metabolic variance, most likely it's related to a progesterone deficiency. During pregnancy your main source of progesterone is the placenta, so after delivery your body, as if it hasn't been through enough, goes through withdrawal and you get night sweats. But if you continue nursing, your ovaries are typically lacking in progesterone production (similar to perimenopause), so the night sweats continue. 

I suppose I'm glad I'm not the only mama out there who is dying to shower as soon as her alarm goes off, if not before. And really, what kind of ironic joke is it that I no longer use an antiperspirant because I am nursing? (See what I do wear here.) While there isn't much we can do to prevent this from happening, there are a few tips to help keep you more comfortable:

  • Try a cool shower before bed or use an ice pack under your neck - if that's too cold, under your pillow case
  • Use a little talc-free baby powder in those moisture prone places to help absorb 
  • Wear cotton (not synthetic) or moisture wicking pajamas, they even make moisture wicking sheets if interested
  • Lower the temperature or turn up your AC - just dress baby for the climate
  • Stay hydrated
There are actually some cute pj options on the market right now and they truly pull the moisture away from your skin, which is a nice relief. My suggestion would be to purchase more than one pair to rotate while you're washing the other, and wash often. Like athletic gear, don't use fabric softener as it will clog the wicking pores.


  1. Pregnancy fascinates me, and everything that happens after too! Just when I think I know it all - another friend shares something that I had no idea about. Maybe by the time I decide to have children I'll know it all? Probably not though! But your sharing helps! Hope you cool off soon. I've been wearing the same deodorant you mention (in Vanilla Grapefruit) and I LOVE it! Great recommendation!

  2. I am so glad I'm not the only mom who is sweating at 7 months postpartum. I was worried I was going through early menopause. When I wake up in the middle of the night I'm still surprised. It doesn't happen every night, but at least a couple of nights a week. Thank you for your reassuring post!

  3. Still sweating, 10 months pp. Such a hassle!

  4. Same here. 10 months PP and just woke up with night sweats yet again. Only thing that helps me is looking over at my sweet angel baby's face, makes it all worth while. Still nursing by the way so maybe it will stop when I eventually stop. Best of luck to all you wonderful moms out there.

  5. 9 months pp & breastfeeding and just woke up soaked again! Of course I just put clean sheets on the bed from my puddle the previous night too. It’s reassuring to know I’m not alone!

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  7. 10 months postpartum and woke up in a deep sweat. I am still breastfeeding.

  8. 8 months postpartum (with twins) and still waking up from night sweats. Not breastfeeding though, who knows!