How to Alleviate Pregnancy Hot Flashes

Published: 14th October 2008
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During pregnancy, many women experience hot flashes, which are sensations of heat in the upper body. During one of these flashes, you will feel your face and chest getting warmer and you start to sweat a lot. Your face may become really flushed and you feel the need for cool air. For some women, pregnancy hot flashes are really intense and they have them for the full term, whereas for others it is just something that happens every now and then and they may only feel mild sensations of heat. When you are pregnant, the first time to you do experience a hot flash, you may become concerned that it is a sign there is something wrong with the baby. However, it is helpful to know that it is a normal part of becoming a mother.

The hot flashes you experience during pregnancy are the result of changes in hormones in your body. The hormones signal the release of an egg from the ovary and control the menstrual cycle. When you no longer have a monthly period, these hormones go out of whack. The faster you do transition from having regular periods to having no periods at all increases the intensity of the hot flashes. The same thing occurs during menopause, when women stop having monthly periods. Those who do have a period every now and then will not experience intense hot flashes in the same manner as women who just suddenly stop having a menstrual cycle.

When part of your body suddenly stops acting in a usual manner, this signals changes in the brain. Experts believe that experiencing hot flashes during pregnancy is the result of increased heat in the areas of the brain that control the heat and temperature of the body. A decrease in the level of estrogen causes the brain to release chemicals that will dilate the blood vessels under the skin, causing the flushing and the increased feeling of being warm. It does not mean that the room or area you are in is too warm for you. Hot flashes can be triggered by something you eat or drink. If you are really uncomfortable with hot flashes, then you should start to be more aware of things that trigger the experience. These triggers are different for each woman. In one woman, eating spicy food may bring on a hot flash, while in others it may be a glass of wine.

When you have intense hot flashes, it makes it really uncomfortable to be pregnant during the hot summer months. You will find some relief if you keep a fan handy and have the air conditioning turned on. If you work in an area where others find it cold in these conditions, this may make it stressful for you. Wear light clothing and try to have cold drinks on hand or even some ice that you can rub on your skin to help you cool down faster. If you practice slow abdominal breathing and use it during the hot flashes, you will find it easier to cope.

For more information on the pregnancy hot flashes,the different stages of pregnancy and pregnancy labour visit

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