Sweating and pregnant

Sweating or perspiring during pregnancy is common, many women suffer from it and night sweats in particular are experienced as annoying. Sweat can smell extra strong during these nine months, and sometimes it recognizes an early pregnancy. The woman smells herself and is afraid that others can smell this odor too.


During pregnancy a lot changes in the female body. Nausea, rumbling intestines, increased discharge and sweating are typical pregnancy ailments. Some women start sweating very early in pregnancy, others only halfway through or towards the end. There are also periods when sweating is much worse. Moreover, the time of year also makes a difference, although this does not seem to play a role for every pregnant woman.

Why sweat more when you are pregnant?

Sweating/perspiring has a useful function: it ensures that the body does not overheat. We all have a built-in thermostat in the brain, which regulates the temperature of the body. When the body temperature drops, the brain sends a signal that causes the blood vessels to constrict. Goosebumps also occur. When it is warm, the body needs to cool down. A hypothalamic center in the brain signals the sweat glands to produce fluid. The moisture (sweat) evaporates from the skin surface and extracts energy from the body in the form of heat. This cools the body. By the way, sweating is only useful when the humidity is low so that the sweat can evaporate. With high humidity, sweat will run off the body in streams. It does not evaporate and therefore does not remove heat from the body.
During pregnancy, many women sweat more than usual. On the one hand, this is due to better blood circulation in the body. The sweat glands also have better blood flow and therefore produce moisture more easily. On the other hand, in many pregnant women the natural thermostat in the brain appears to be somewhat disrupted. This is also the reason why pregnant women feel cold or hot more quickly, even though the ambient temperature does not give rise to this. The metabolism is increased in many pregnant women. This also results in higher sweat production. Unfortunately, excessive sweating during pregnancy cannot be avoided.

Stinking sweat

It seems like sweat during pregnancy smells more than normal, but this is not entirely true. Sweat consists of 99 percent moisture, the rest consists of salts. Depending on the type of sweat gland, we also find proteins, sugars, urea, lactic acid and ammonia in the sweat. Sweat has no odor. Only when it comes into contact with the skin and the bacteria present there, the typical sweat odor is produced. The bacteria are responsible for this. Bacteria like to settle in warm places such as under the armpits, exactly where the largest sweat glands are located. Wearing light clothing, preferably cotton, prevents some of the complaints. Sometimes it is necessary to put on a clean shirt every day, in severe cases even two or more times a day.

Recognizing pregnancy by sweating

There are women who recognize sweating as a first symptom of pregnancy. The production of the pregnancy hormone HCG begins from the implantation of the fertilized egg. Under the influence of these hormones, a lot suddenly changes in the body. This can cause the thermostat in the brain to become disrupted early on, resulting in excessive sweating. It is therefore not impossible that many women recognize pregnancy early on thanks to sweat. Excessive sweating often disappears during pregnancy, but can reappear at any unexpected time.

Night sweats

Many women experience night perspiration or sweating as annoying because it wakes them up. Sometimes the bedding is so wet that it needs to be replaced. That is also an annoying job in the middle of the night. Moreover, it involves a lot of extra laundry. Wearing light nightwear solves part of the problem. Nightwear that is too thick causes more heat to build up. Too thick bedding also causes more sweating. In addition, it is useful to place a thin sheet under the actual bedding, which absorbs most of the sweat. There are special mattress protectors against night sweats, which absorb the sweat due to the absorbent underlayer.


Some women sweat and become dizzy at the same time. In these cases, the sweating has nothing to do with the above causes, but is probably caused by too high or too low blood pressure. The blood sugar level may also be too low. These symptoms also occur during pregnancy. If dizziness occurs often, it is better to have your blood pressure and blood sugar levels checked by your midwife. Sweating and dizziness can also occur when eating too little: the blood sugar level also drops. Eat enough and regularly to prevent further attacks.

read more

  • Feeling cold during pregnancy
  • Pregnancy symptoms
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