Everyone is likely to experience night sweats at some stage in their lives, whether it’s from nasty flu symptoms, early menopause or simply having a higher body temperature than others. However, waking up in the night with sweat-drenched pyjamas and bed linen – along with bad body odour – is the last thing any new or expecting mom needs to worry about. 


During pregnancy, particularly in the first and third trimesters, the mom-to-be’s hormone levels and blood flow increases, causing her body temperature to rise. The body naturally balances this increase in temperature by over-producing sweat, hence the abnormal pools of water she may encounter. The role of sweat is to cool the body down. Over-sweating in this case returns the body to thermal equilibrium (normal body temperature). 


Jennifer Cromie, R&D Director working with the Shield Germ Defence team at Unilever, says that increased sweating during pregnancy is common and normal, but it’s not often spoken about because most woman feel ashamed or embarrassed about it. 


“When someone asks a new or expecting mom how her pregnancy journey is going, no one will admit to being affected by night sweats and bad body odour. No one wants to be that person,” she says. “It’s important to remember that sweat has no smell. Germs living on the skin metabolise sweat and the by-products of this process is what causes bad body odour.”


Cromie explains that it is important for women to know that they are not alone, and that there are ways to reduce night sweats and bad body odour during pregnancy.


  • Wear loose-fitting clothing and opt for natural fibres such as cotton that allow the body to breathe and not stick to the skin – it’s ok to give up the sexy satin number for a few months. 
  • As your sweat glands are less active at night, applying an anti-perspirant to clean, dry underarms before bed allows it to work while you sleep. Shield Germ Defence is a new anti-perspirant that provides 10 times more protection and fights over 90% of odour causing germs*.
  • Stay hydrated and always have a glass or bottle of water with you at night and all through the day.
  • Change your bedding to lighter fabrics or a thinner duvet and ensure that your bedroom is cool and ventilated at night.
  • While most medications are restricted during pregnancy, ensure that any prescription and over-the-counter tablets you take are suitable for pregnancy and don’t cause excessive sweating as a side effect. 


“These tips can be incorporated into anyone’s basic hygiene routine, but are particularly effective in helping to reduce sweating during pregnancy. Shield Germ Defence is a formulated solution that provides lasting protection against germs, ensuring bad body odour is the least of any mom-to-be’s worries,” says Cromie.


*Protection against a representative odour causing skin germ (Staphylococcus epidermidis) versus use of a regular soap alone.

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