Overheating during pregnancy is quite common. That feeling of excessive heat is a situation medically called hyperthermia.
Though it is not a serious situation it can have an adverse effect on a mother’s body and her fetus. When a pregnant woman’s body temperature rises to 102 degrees Fahrenheit, it is considered risky for the baby.
A doctor’s consultation is a must if you have a fever, dehydration, heat exhaustion, or fatigue. It is very important to maintain your body temperature.
What is overheating during pregnancy?
When you have a baby inside, your body tends to use more energy than usual. Hence, it is normal for you to feel hot during pregnancy. Sweating, feeling fatigued, and hot is quite normal but a sensitive situation at the same time. Just like so many other changes, feeling hot is also a usual body change during pregnancy. Though feeling a little hot is okay but overheating is a cause of concern and a mother needs to be very careful while going out in the sun for long hours or doing something exerting.
Signs that indicate that your body is overheated
Your body has its own way to indicate that something is wrong. Overheating can make you feel uncomfortable. The following symptoms indicate that your body is overheated:
- A feeling of lightness
- Warm skin
- Feeling dehydrated
- Excessive sweating
- Muscles cramps
Causes of overheating during pregnancy
There are limited proven causes for feeling overheated during pregnancy. There are just some theories like:
- As you reach the 34th week of gestation, your blood volume tends to increase by 50%. The mother feels warm as her blood vessels expand and move closer to the skin.
- A mother’s metabolism rate also increases during pregnancy to produce more energy for her and her child. This may be a cause of shoot in the body temperature.
- High-intensity physical exercise or work also increases the body temperature.
- Taking a sauna or bathing in hot water for a long time can also be the body temperature of an expecting mother.
- By the time a mother reaches her 8th week, the heart starts to pump 20% more blood than the usual. This can also be one of the reasons for high body temperature.
- Using heat pads or electric blankets
Effects of overheating during pregnancy
The adverse effects of overheating during pregnancy are as follows:
- Overheating in the first trimester of the pregnancy can cause neural tube defects in the baby inside.
- Though it is not a 100% proven facts but overheating can sometimes be the reason for miscarriage in the early stages of pregnancy.
- Excessive heating in the expecting mother’s body can cause serious birth defects like fetal growth retardation and intrauterine death.
- A high temperature of a mother’s body can also result in cleft lip and palate in the baby which means that there are openings in the upper lip and upper portion of the mouth.
How to maintain healthy body temperature?
Now you know how important it is to maintain your body temperature on the cooler side. Here are a few measures following which will maintain healthy body temperature for you and your unborn baby:
- Stay hydrated- It is always said to drink lots of water especially when you have a baby growing inside you. Staying hydrated helps to keep normal body temperature. Dehydration is one of the main causes of high body temperature.
- Avoid stepping out in the sun- Exposing yourself to extreme sun rays can shoot up your body temperature. So while you are expecting a baby, avoid going outside during the peak hours of summer. If you are stepping out then make sure to wear a hat and sunscreen lotion.
- Choose the right clothing- A pregnant woman should not wear tight fitted or synthetic clothes as it can increase the body temperature. Wear loosely fitted clothes and prefer to wear cotton clothes that are helpful in soaking your sweat and keeping the body cool.
- Lukewarm shower- Prefer to take a lukewarm shower. Your bathing water should not be too cold or too hot. Hot water can raise your body temperature and cold water will chill your body, prompting to create more heat.
- Avoid overexertion- Do not overexert yourself with heavy work. Do not do an intense workout or it will drain your body energy and will raise your body temperature. No heavy workouts, no brisk walking, no heavy physical activity.
- Keep a check on your eating habits- Make sure you don’t take caffeine in excess as it can accommodate to raise your body temperature. Eat fruits, cucumbers, tomatoes, smoothies, juices, and cold drinks to keep your body hydrated and cool.
- Meditation- Meditation has proved to be very effective during pregnancy times. Meditation not only keeps your mind and body light but also ensures a good night’s sleep, a cool temperature, and a positive approach towards pregnancy. Do meditate for at least 10minutes to maintain a healthy aura.
When to see a doctor?
Feeling warm and having night sweats is considered normal in the pregnancy journey. A slight rise in body temperature is okay and you don’t have to be worried about it. You must consult your doctor if you experience overheating during pregnancy with other symptoms like fever, nausea, muscle ache, and diarrhoea. It is better if a doctor checks your condition in such a situation.
Warm body temperature and sweats are absolutely fine but you just need to be extra careful with your water intake and your usual lifestyle. Stay calm and enjoy your pregnancy.