I have waited my entire life to have children; it has always felt like my “calling” to have a family. Naturally, this baby is a dream-come-true for me, but as I outlined in this post I have struggled with hyperhidrosis since I was in elementary school and I have been so anxious about how it would affect my [then future] pregnancy.
Of course, I have my “holy grail” sweat management product (Carpe lotion) to help me, but I have found a few new products to help deal with my excess sweating while in this stage of life so I felt that my experience with hyperhidrosis and pregnancy would be beneficial to share.
I talked about my tips for how to survive the warmer summer months with hyperhidrosis in this post and majority of the suggestions are still applicable while pregnant (aside from the CBD oil which is discouraged while pregnant and I miss it so very much!).
Before we go any further, I want to address the topic of Carpe antiperspirant lotion which is my favorite product for sweat management. Please note that most antiperspirants on the market contain aluminum chloride hexahydrate which is recommended to avoid while pregnant. Our skin is our body’s largest organ and whatever is applied to our skin is absorbed by both the mother and the baby. Thankfully, Carpe lotion uses aluminum sesquichlorohydrate, which is not named on the list of major ingredients / products to avoid while pregnant. However, it obviously does contain a form of aluminum so please discuss the use of this product with your doctor before using as I am not a medical professional.
FYI: (1) “Aluminum is used in antiperspirants, which clogs the sweat ducts so they cannot release any sweat (2) for pregnant women suffering from excessive sweating, there does not appear to be any super-effective aluminum-free alternatives.” — More details found in this article; (3) even though their products do contain a form of aluminum, Carpe is at least paraben-free! For more beauty products / ingredients to avoid while pregnant, check out this article and discuss any concerns with your physician.
I actually asked both my primary care provider and my dermatologist if Carpe lotion would be acceptable for me to use during pregnancy and they both gave me their approval, but every body and every pregnancy is different so please discuss the use of this product with your medical professional.
I can’t stress the consistent application of Carpe lotion enough. Consistency is absolutely key with this product — the more often you apply (correctly), the more effective it is! Using Carpe throughout my pregnancy was a personal choice. My rationale is that I switched to a clean deodorant for my underarms and only used my Carpe lotion on the areas that give me issue so it would at least cut down on the amount of aluminum entering my body, but would help to keep me comfortable during my pregnancy. We all make the decisions that best fit our personal situations and I encourage you to [safely] do the same.
I did a review on my favorite clean deodorants here. Please note that these products are not anti-perspirants, but rather odor neutralizers so they will not mitigate any excessive underarm sweating. If you suffer from underarm hyperhidrosis, I would consider the use of Carpe’s Underarm Regimen Kit.
In addition to switching deodorants, I also converted to clean makeup and personal care products to minimize the number of potentially harmful ingredients I was applying to my skin. Doing this also made me feel better about continuing to use Carpe lotion throughout my pregnancy.
In the beginning of my second trimester beauty brand Megababe launched a new product: Space Bar Underarm Soap that was created to draw out toxins as well as dry out the skin in an effort to neutralize odor and help make natural deodorants even more effective. While answering questions about the product on the company’s Instagram Stories, the founder Katie Sturino mentioned that users should be conscious of where they apply the product as it will dry out your skin. This prompted me to think that it may be a good [clean] product to help manage my palmar and plantar hyperhidrosis (in conjunction with using Carpe)! I did some research on the ingredient list and the product seems to be pregnancy-safe for me, but as with all things during pregnancy, please be sure to discuss with your doctor before using!
So far, I really like this product and I think that using it in conjunction with my Carpe lotion has been very helpful! I will advise that the soap should be left on the skin for at least ~60 seconds for maximum efficacy (recommended by the product manufacturers) and it creates a VERY slippery surface so if you are using it on your feet like I do, I recommend making sure that you have a stable place to stay still, such as sitting down on the edge of the bathtub (if you have a shower / tub combo) or applying to one foot at a time for stability if you have a standing-only shower.
Liquid IV hydration multiplier to help combat dehydration — while the ingredient list is technically pregnancy-safe, please consult with your physician before consuming. This product really helped me stay on top of my hydration… pregnancy majorly dehydrates you and that combined with hyperhidrosis is brutal, so this supplement has been absolutely key in my daily routine.
I started with the Lemon Lime flavor which tasted like a lighter version of a Lemon Lime Gatorade (with only 1/3 of the calories of the same volume of Gatorade!). I ended up liking it so much that I placed another order of Lemon Lime, but this time I also added a bag of Strawberry (which tastes like a liquid strawberry shortcake!) and a bag of the limited edition Piña Colada (I was surprised at how good this was… the toasted coconut flavor really came through! I hope that they make it an “always” flavor option)! It’s nice to have fun drinks to sip when you can’t enjoy an alcoholic beverage, and these serve double-duty since they add hydration!
I also started drinking raspberry leaf tea in my third trimester and even just the thought of drinking hot tea had me preemptively sweating. Thankfully, I discovered that you can also cold brew tea so that you can drink it iced without any bitterness! I shared a post with all of the brewing details here.
Speaking of staying hydrated: it’s a struggle, which often means that staying “regular” is also a struggle. I recommend adding a probiotic into your diet to help keep your body in its natural rhythm. This can mean adding yogurt to your routine (breakfast or as a snack!) or simply taking a probiotic vitamin. This gummy one is my favorite both while pregnant and not!
This suggestion may seem obvious, but I encourage you to “treat yo’self” with cold items such as popsicles / fruit bars, Italian ice, frozen fruit (such as grapes!), smoothies, milkshakes, açaí bowls, etc. Eating or drinking something cool always helps to bring down my internal body temperature, plus it’s a fun thing to “indulge” in because wine and cocktails aren’t an option right now.
Flat, closed-toe shoes have become increasingly important throughout my pregnancy. As much as I wanted to wear sandals during the warmer months to let my widening feet “breathe”, I ended up sticking with sneakers, loafers, and ballet flats which are safer for me than sandals (which often pool with sweat and can cause me to slip around).
I still love to wear my Rothy’s as they are machine washable and my Native rubber shoes that are easily wiped down — both of which can handle my excessive sweating.
*Note: SIZE UP in Rothy’s to accommodate any hyperhidrosis related foot swelling; I would say at least a half size, maybe even a full size up, depending on how swollen your feet get. Some styles recommend you go order a half size up anyway (such as The Point) so I would definitely pay attention to the sizing guides for each style.
You can also get a discount on your first order if you follow this link!
When I wear my ballet flats I make sure to wear my ultra low-profile Sheec socks to create a bit more friction / prevent me from slipping around in my shoes — they work so well and are totally undetectable. These half-socks that I found (seen above) work PERFECTLY with my mules which made me super happy. I also love wearing these no-show socks with my sneakers to avoid blisters!
While we’re on the topic of foot and leg swelling (re: Rothy’s sizing), I can’t recommend having compression socks enough!! Mine are from FIGS+, but I have also heard excellent things about the Comrad and Bombas brands! These socks have really helped me manage any leg and foot swelling (fortunately, it hasn’t been much so far, but who knows what the later portion of my third trimester holds in store!). *UPDATE: These came in handy during my third trimester, but I absolutely needed to bring them to the hospital with me to minimize foot and ankle swelling postpartum (which I didn’t do and totally regretted).
I am concerned about how things are going to be farther into my third trimester as my body continues to grow and I become increasingly uncomfortable — combine that with the arrival of warmer temperatures and I imagine that I will find myself getting even sweatier! And maybe not just in my usual hyperhidrosis focal points (hands and feet), but possibly in my armpits as well! I have a NUMI top in my cart just in case I need to order it to wear under my clothes. Since the brand does not offer maternity-specific options, I would order their crop top style to accommodate my bump.
Regarding the infamous postpartum “fourth trimester“: our bodies go through so many significant changes to create a baby and then to nourish them once they have arrived… when our hormones start to return to they way they were pre-pregnancy, our bodies can go a little crazy. One of the “fun” side effects can include night sweats or hot flashes, both of which I am concerned will induce an incredible amount of sweating for me. My hyperhidrosis has always been focused in my hands and feet, but this experience will likely cause excess sweat ALL OVER. I plan to sleep on a towel to avoid completely soaking our bedsheets and I will probably have to start using Carpe underarm wipes in all of my sweaty parts before bed to help minimize the amount of sweat that I produce. Thankfully, I hear that this phase will only last a few weeks so I hope that if I do have to deal with full-body excess sweat it will subside fairly quickly.
I recently heard about Miracle Sheets which are intended for anti-microbial temperature-regulating sleep and might be a helpful option to consider for the end of pregnancy, the fourth trimester and beyond if you run hot and get sweaty like I do! I haven’t ordered a set to try yet because we very recently purchased a Tempur-Pedic mattress and I’d like to see how effective the bed is on its own with regular bed linens before adding cooling sheets to the mix. Also, I will definitely report my findings on our new mattress after using it for a few weeks! We looked at both the PRObreeze and LUXEbreeze models and made the choice that made the most sense for us. I hope that it helps to minimize any back pain I may experience as part of this last trimester of pregnancy (and beyond!).
*EDIT* Now that we have had the Tempur-Pedic LUXEbreeze (Firm) for a month I can confidently share my experience. Firstly, yes it is cool to the touch and keeps our body temperatures more regulated BUT I wouldn’t say that it stays cool the entire time that you are in it. I absolutely believe that it stays cooler than a traditional mattress, but it’s not like you’re sleeping on a cooler. It will warm up a bit with body heat, but I have found myself to be much more comfortable temperature-wise since getting this mattress. The memory foam has also REALLY helped with this pregnancy; in my third trimester as my belly is really growing, my lower back has become more prone to discomfort after being on my feet for too long. This bed helps to relieve any pressure and support my spine alignment while reclined; I’m totally obsessed with it (and our pillows!). My only wish is that we had made the upgrade sooner!
*UPDATE* If you read Sophie’s Birth Story, you know that my water broke IN our bed and I’ve never been more thankful for a removable, washable mattress cover! This is a feature of the mattress that I hadn’t taken into consideration, but man was I grateful to have it! This helped me notice that washing the protective cover periodically will help in regards to excessive overnight sweating as well to prevent odor, staining, and just general damage to the mattress.
I hope that this post was helpful for those of you who are family planning or are pregnant yourself (congratulations!). If you have any pregnancy-safe suggestions or solutions that helped you manage your hyperhidrosis during pregnancy, please feel free to share them in the Comments section below for everyone to benefit from!
Sending [sweaty] hugs —
Thank you for sharing your journey! I also suffer from severe sweating (hands, feet, groin, armpits). I’ve learned to hide it and push past it but one of my biggest fears is passing this to my children. Not pregnant yet but hope to be in the next year or two. Have you talked with your doctors about the likelihood of passing it on? Or have you heard from the community who have children and if they suffer from hyperhidrosis too?
Natalie Riendeau says
Hi, Cece! Thanks for your question… I think with genetics it’s all a bit of a gamble re: passing hyperhidrosis on to your kids. For me, it is definitely a concern because I don’t want my daughter to suffer like I have, but if she does end up getting diagnosed with hyperhidrosis, I will be more prepared to help her than my mom was with me! I haven’t heard from any other moms out there about their kiddos yet, but will be sure to share the info if/when I do!
Sending hugs! — Natalie
I’m currently pregnant with hyperhidrosis on my hands and feet – this post helped immensely! One of my biggest fears right now is holding and caring for baby with HH. With they slip out of my hands? Will they hate my touch? I would love to see a post on how you’re handling newborn life with HH!
Natalie Riendeau says
Hey, Berta! I’m so glad that my post helped you! A summer pregnancy while handling hyperhidrosis is definitely a challenge — hang in there!
I absolutely had the same concerns re: slipping, etc. — thankfully, babies are clothed most of the time 😉 and the fabric helps to keep a good, safe grip on them! When holding her feet during diaper changes sometimes she manages to get out of my grasp, but it’s easy to get both feet wrangled again.
Additionally, I can PROMISE you that your baby will not hate your touch — honestly, they don’t know any different and they just want to be held / caressed by mom no matter what. Baby is going to love everything about you so please don’t worry about that. 💕
Congratulations on your little bundle!! I hope you can stay comfortable this summer while you grow your bébé!
Thank you so much for this post! This is my second pregnancy (both times due in June and I live in South Florida!) and the hyperhidrosis in my hands and feet has been intense. I hope the tips on staying hydrated make me feel better because I feel like water with ice doesn’t cut it. I do remember with my first pregnancy that the intense internal body temperature and sweating didn’t regulate for a while after birth. I vividly remember sweating while I was breastfeeding and having to have a towel next to me to dry my hands. Curious if you ever tried acupuncture or another similar natural remedy during pregnancy or postpartum?
Natalie Riendeau says
Hi, Mel! Thanks so much for your comment and congrats on your pregnancy! Oof — a summer baby in Florida. Sending you all of the cool thoughts! I can’t say that I have ever tried acupuncture (needle phobia over here!), but I would certainly encourage you to discuss it with your physician! If you’re open to it and your dr thinks that it would be safe for your pregnancy and a helpful treatment for your HH, I say go for it! I will say that I think while natural remedies can be effective, sometimes they can only take us so far and we have to rely on modern science to get us to the finish line. I hope you can manage to stay comfortable throughout your pregnancy and postpartum!! Sending big hugs (and congratulations!) your way! Warmly, Natalie
Thank you so much! You’ve inspired me to try Carpe again – I didn’t notice a huge difference and gave up on it, but I’ll try it again and try to be more consistent with it to see if it helps. 🤷🏻♀️
Natalie Riendeau says
I find it helps if I add it to my routine (like after I brush my teeth right before I go to bed, etc) and any time I notice that my hands are dry I quickly apply another little bit just to give it a boost. And maybe it’s not for everyone, but I hope it makes a difference for you like it does for me. Cheers to you and your little bundle! 💕
Shannon L Trueira says
Hi, I just came across this post. I struggle with severe hyperhidrosis in my hands and feet. I have always been uncomfortable holding other people’s babies because I leave their clothes all wet when I hand them back. Then it makes me hold them awkwardly to try and avoid my hands touching them. I am already worried about what that would look like for my own kids if I have them one day. I hate the thought of handing my kids off to someone and the person feeling them soaking wet when it’s actually just my hands that made them feel wet. Any suggestions or ideas on how to overcome this? Thank you!
Natalie Riendeau says
I can absolutely relate to those concerns… been there, girl! My only recommendation would be to use topical sweat reducing products (and / or oral ones) to help manage your extra sweat. I have a few other posts where I talk about what I use and how I minimize the extra sweat during the warmer months which you can find here: https://natalieinthenorthwest.com/category/health/hyperhidrosis/ . I hope the info in those posts help!
I have also found that recognizing that sweat is natural and not something to be ashamed of has helped me tremendously. I’m also very open about it with everyone in my life because I grew up so incredibly ashamed and embarrassed of my sweat and now as an adult I realize that I don’t have to live that way! Explaining to other people why I am doing what I’m doing (such as wiping my hands on a washcloth that I brought from home) or asking for something that I need (a cold drink to help bring my temperature down) has totally empowered me. It’s still a daily struggle so I’m not saying life is perfect now, but it’s so much more manageable with those products and I feel so much freer when I am open about my excessive sweating. I hope you find some peace with it too!