Breastfeeding and night sweats

(15 Posts)
CathW99 Wed 11-Mar-09 16:35:10

Can anyone advise on night sweats brought on by breastfeeding? I've read that it can be brought on by massive drop in estrogen in the early days and then by prolactin production in the early hours for the whole duration of bf. DS is now 14 weeks and I'm really suffering - some nights I wake up and the bed is drenched in sweat to the point where there are pools of it all over. My body is soaked from the neck down so I can't sleep as it dries and I become freezing. It also smells really sweet like sickly caramel. Should I seek medical advice or is there anything that I can do? Am I a sweaty freak?!
Can't bottle feed expressed milk at night to try and reduce the "pressure" as DS will not take any kind of bottle. Any advice or similar tales would be really appreciated as I feel really gross about the whole thing.

allytjd Wed 11-Mar-09 16:55:38

you're not alone, this happened to me too, very unpleasant, doesn't make me look forward to the menopause! It did settle down eventually but I am a bit fuzzy on the timung etc.

Mercy Wed 11-Mar-09 17:01:54

I had this with ds (my 2nd).

Iirc it settled down after a couple of weeks, maybe longer. Ds was younger than your baby though when it first started.

I now have night sweats for different reasons - the big M

Cath, dry yourself with a towel, put clean nightclothes on and put a clean towel down on the mattress before you go to bed (that helps absorb the sweat)

Heylittlelady Wed 11-Mar-09 17:24:03

I have a 5 week old and had this since the birth, it has just worn off in the last week (thank goodness). I am BF but now also do a bottle of formula at night so don't know if that's helped avoid it. Is it worth investigating different types of bottles/reading up further on accepting a bottle techniques?

It is a horrible thing. Even my hair ended up damp and all stuck together. I covered myself with talc before bed and also, having the window open a little bit worked wonders. A towel under the sheet is a great idea too.

dublinmom Wed 11-Mar-09 17:28:21

Don't want to be obvious but...are you wearing a nursing bra to bed? Only since you said you smell like caramel. If I don't (even though DD is 10 months old) I would be drenched with milk, not just in front but all over.

Turniphead1 Wed 11-Mar-09 17:35:17

I got this for first 6 weeks or so and also found myself generally quite shivery (as though I couldn't regulate my own body temp). It was definately hormonal. I have never had it as long as 14 weeks. Do you produce lots and lots of milk - I don't (enough obviously, but wouldn't describe myself as "milky") so maybe you are just still producing lots of prolactin. I sympathise though, it drove me nuts.

CathW99 Wed 11-Mar-09 18:41:20

Thanks for all the messages - it's nice to know I'm not alone. Ds was 10lb4 at birth and at 14 weeks is going into 6 month clothes so I think I must be making loads of milk to keep the weight piling on him like this! I do wear a bra and pads and don't leak but the smell seems to come through in the sweat - charming!!

Bramshott Wed 11-Mar-09 18:46:55

I don't think it's related specifically to breastfeeding is it? It's just what happens after pregnancy when your hormone levels drop. Are you sleeping on a towel? I used to do that, and keep a clean, dry one beside the bed to change over in the night.

Heylittlelady Wed 11-Mar-09 20:38:19

To add, I was wearing a nightdress and knicks & pads and the sweats stopping also coincided with not needing/wearing pads (& ditching the nighties, & opening the window)

Perhaps keep cool as much as poss?

My MW recommended a lighter weight duvet, I thought she was mad as I didn't think changing the duvet, nighties and room temperature could affect a hormonal issue, but either it was coincidence... or it does have an effect.

milou2 Wed 11-Mar-09 20:48:16

I had them too during the night, plus vivid dreams. In the evening I'd get them just round the back of my hairline. They went fairly soon and I can't remember getting them with my second baby. I wish I could be precise about how long fairly soon was and whether I really didn't get them second time round.

LackaDAISYcal Wed 11-Mar-09 21:08:29

I had these wiht all three of mine, but it had settled long before 14 weeks....around 8 or 10 iirc (DS2 is only 18 weeks but I can't remember when they stopped)

It might be worth mentioning it to your doc incase it's thyroid related as I'm sure thyroid problems can cause excessive sweating and are common after babies.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 11-Mar-09 22:40:06

I had this when DS was very little, and then had it again when he was about 5 months.
I used to find I sweated more if I didn't wear any pjs or anything, but I would sleep on a towel and have one over my pillow and when I woke I would change the towels and my nightclothes. Some nights when it was very bad we ended up getting the duvet off the spare bed and then stripping our bed in the morning.

Glad to say that it's all stopped now although DS is still exclusively BF at 7.5 months.

CarGirl Wed 11-Mar-09 22:43:36

I had this but only majorly with dd3 (not dd4) it improved after 4/5 months but didn't completely go until around 8/9 months. I too am dreading the big M now that I've had a foretaste of the hormonal sweats.

KristinaM Wed 11-Mar-09 23:10:44

i agree with daisy. please go and see your Gp who will do a blood test. i had this after Ds1 and it turns out i had developed post partum thyroiditis and needed medication

hopefully in your case it will just be hormones but best to have it checked

reluctant1stimer Fri 13-Mar-09 14:27:35

I am still having this most a few nights a week (ds is almost 10 weeks) but find wrapping a muslin square round boobs really helps. I also don't wear a bra to bed anymore and just sleep on my back so boobs don't go astray too much!
keep a towel by your bed too for mopping up sweat. Good luck. x

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now