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My first night home from the hospital, (also the first day that my milk came in) I woke up in the middle of the night with terrible shivers. I couldn’t get warm despite how far I burrowed under my blankets. My husband found me in the closet pulling a big bulky sweatshirt over my head. He rubbed his eyes and asked in a sleepy voice, “What are you doing?” My teeth chattered as I answered him that I just couldn’t get warm. He was just as sleep deprived as I was but he still took the time to wrap his arms around me and warm me with his body heat. It was April in Phoenix. There was no reason that I should have been that cold. That was not the only night that something strange seemed to be going on with the temperature of my body.
That night was the only one that I woke up freezing. But for weeks after that, I woke up with night sweats. Sometimes I would wake up to breastfeed the baby and would decide to change my shirt because it was damp with sweat. I was baffled. I asked other Mom friends. “Did this happen to you? I have never been this freakishly sweaty before.” As I discovered, it is not unusual at all.
According to Sutterhealth.org, “Once you give birth, there is a large change in the amount of certain hormones in your body. These changes can affect the amount of fluid in your body and can cause some common physical changes that include retention of fluid/swelling, hot flashes, initial hair loss, dry skin, mood swings, increased urination, vaginal dryness, and night sweats.”
I had no other strange symptoms so I was confident that I didn’t have an infection. I was happy to know that what I was going through was normal and that it would come to an end. As I would discover, this was something that I would experience each time I had another baby. In the many pregnancy books that I read, I never remembered reading about this postpartum extra.
It was only a few weeks that the night sweats continued and most of the uncomfortable or unpleasant things about pregnancy, or postpartum, fell beneath the shadows of everything wonderful that happed during that time.