It is normal to feel hot during pregnancy. Remember that pregnancy comes with many body changes caused by increased hormone levels. These changes could sometimes cause your hormone levels to rise but this is completely normal. However, overheating during pregnancy can be dangerous to your unborn child. Feeling too hot that you start feeling unwell could actually affect the development of your body.
According to research, heat stress can result in neural tube defects, a condition that affects how the baby’s backbones and spinal cord develop. A core body temperature of or over 102°F or 39°C is considered too hot for pregnant women.
Aside from hormonal changes, several other changes are also responsible for the hot feelings pregnant women get. During pregnancy, your body needs more blood to carry food and oxygen to your unborn baby. This only causes your blood volume to increase by an estimated 50 percent by the time you are in the third trimester of your pregnancy and this could make you feel warmer.
Another thing that also causes pregnant women to feel hot is their heart function. The truth is that during pregnancy, the heart works harder than it normally does and pumps blood about 20 percent faster. This faster heart rate also raises the body’s metabolism and the result could be a slight spike in body temperatures.
In addition, during pregnancy, the blood vessels throughout your body including those near your skin often widen to deliver all the blood. The more blood flows throughout your skin, the more you will glow and also feel warmer.
Above all, the third trimester of pregnancy is characterized by hot flashes for most women. The reason is that at this phase, your growing baby emits body heat which you, in turn, absorb and start feeling hotter from the inside out. If you are expecting multiple babies, you will even feel hotter.
Although hot flashes during pregnancy are mostly caused by hormonal and bodily changes, certain things such as caffeine, spicy foods, hot drinks, anxiety, stress, a warm room, and even tight clothing may also trigger heat during pregnancy. Avoiding these things can therefore prevent the feeling of hotness during pregnancy.
Other ways of keeping cool during pregnancy include staying hydrated, avoiding exercising or working out in closed hot rooms, ventilating your bedroom while sleeping, and avoiding the kitchen on warm days.
While feeling warm can be normal during pregnancy, it can also be a sign of a health complication especially if it’s accompanied by night sweats and symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, muscle aches, and diarrhea. Consult your doctor if you experience any of these conditions alongside overheating during pregnancy.