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Many moms, whether you are a first-time mom or not, may experience a sweaty baby when they are nursing. You are sitting there, thrilled that you have mastered the art of feeding, as many nursing moms will point out it is not as easy as it looks!
You are on a roll, feeling like a winner, then you notice your baby is sweaty, feels hot to the touch, fussy, or simply uncomfortable. As a mom, it is natural to worry about anything and everything when it comes to your perfect little baby.
So why is your baby becoming sweaty during feeding and also how to help make feeding time a less pressured and a more enjoyable experience.
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Is It Normal For My Baby To Sweat During Nursing?
The answer many moms are looking for to this question is YES! It is normal for your baby’s head to sweat during breastfeeding.
But why is it happening, here are a few reasons why your baby may be getting hot under the collar:
Skin to skin
The main reason this happens is that you are having skin-to-skin contact with your baby. The heat from your body can raise your infant’s temperature especially if you are feeling warm.
As your baby becomes warmer sweating occurs. This is the body’s natural coolant. It is a way of cooling down. Sounds as if sweating is pretty normal to me.
It is pretty obvious that we all get hotter during certain seasons. Summer months can be muggy and less air circulates, as a result, you are warmer, your body temperature is higher, thus both you and baby can become sticky and sweaty during feeding.
Think about when you work out, your body naturally produces sweat to cool it down, and breastfeeding your baby is no different. It is hard work for a little one to suckle when feeding.
It is a proper little workout for his/her jaw. Sweating is a sign that your baby is working hard and getting the essentials from your milk.
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It is difficult to know what clothes to dress a newborn in. As they have not been out of the womb for long they can struggle to regulate their own body temperature.
Too many layers can make your baby stuffy and sweaty. Just think … you wouldn’t work out on a summer’s day in sweat pants and a hoodie. Well, the same applies to your baby!
Nowadays breastfeeding in public is becoming the new ‘norm.’ Yet in many places, moms find themselves more comfortable covering up with muslins and nursing clothes. This can also act as an extra layer leaving your little one stifled as they feed.
Many new moms understand that getting the latch right when nursing is crucial to a successful feed. So once you have the position, you are comfortable, your baby seems to be comfy feeding away, why change position?
If you are holding your baby in one spot for a long time then this can increase the chances of a sweaty baby. Your hands supporting the baby can prevent air circulating especially if you are holding them close.
What Can I Do?
Now we have looked at why your baby may sweat during feeding, let’s try and combat the amount with some handy tips and tricks:
You are having this magical bond with your baby. He/she is soothed by the skin-on-skin contact as they begin to feed. Don’t let your environment get the better of you both.
If it is a hot stuffy day, use a fan, ensure you are both in a well-ventilated area, or in the shade if outside. Make use of the air con if you can. You will find that you and your little one are more comfortable.
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Be aware of the clothing you are both wearing. Remember keeping you cool as well as baby will help reduce both body temperatures.
In summer months soft cotton fabrics are best and even in winter months make sure to reduce the layers. Take off the hat, jacket, blanket. After all, we don’t go to the latest restaurant and wear all our outdoor gear, do we? The same applies to your baby.
Try changing the position of your baby at regular intervals. One way that you could try is both of you laying on your side. This can help reduce the transfer of body heat from your hands and arms as the bed or other soft surfaces will be able to support your baby.
This also allows you to move back a little to increase the airflow whilst maintaining the magical bond you get when having skin-to-skin contact.
So you have taken the necessary measures to promote a happy, cool feed. Now remember it is normal for you and your baby to become hot and mildly sweaty but what do you do if you are still finding that you/your baby are sweating excessively?
Naturally, as a mom, we are always on pins making sure there is nothing seriously wrong, but if you are finding that the sweating is becoming uncontrollable then it could be pointing toward a bigger health issue. If you are ever concerned you should always seek medical advice.
Below are a few of the health conditions that could be identified from excessive sweating when nursing.
- Pulmonary atresia – This is a congenital heart condition. The effects of it reduce the amount of oxygen your little one can get. Profuse sweating during nursing can indicate this condition.
- Hyperthyroidism – This can indicate an overactive Thyroid. Once this has been identified many babies and moms manage this well with no major concerns.
- Fever – Your baby is getting all the best bits from you’re breast milk but that’s not to say they can’t catch a fever! Taking a visit to the doctor can help your little one overcome this bump in the path.
The Final Thought
Overall as a momma, you are entitled to freak out now and again from the little hiccups in the journey of being a parent. You have just taken on this role and responsibility with no instructions, and no manual.
The one thing you do have is help!
Always ask around you! You may be shocked at how many moms have had the same experiences.
If this isn’t easing your concerns please seek medical advice, just a visit to the doctor can eliminate your worries. Don’t delay if you feel something isn’t right.
Go with your gut and you will soon be back to feeding happily in no time!