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Feeling Cold During Pregnancy: Is It Normal?

Medically Reviewed by Caitlin Goodwin, MSN, RN, CNM
Updated
Learn about the causes of feeling cold during pregnancy and what you can do about it.

Have you noticed a change in your body temperature since you became pregnant? Do you spend periods feeling like Leonardo DiCaprio’s character at the end of “The Titanic”?

We’ve been there! We’ve endured nights huddled deep in our blankets and days where we’re overdressed for the weather and still cold.

There are many reasons we feel cold when pregnant, and most of them are no cause for alarm.

In this article, we’ll discuss some of the possible causes of your cold chills, what you can do about them, and when you should be concerned.


Is Feeling Cold During Pregnancy Normal?

You may have heard that temperature changes are a normal part of pregnancy, but most women feel warmer rather than colder?

Women typically feel warmer when pregnant because their metabolism is working faster, and increased hormones can cause temperature fluctuations. But just because feeling warmer is the more common sensation, it doesn’t mean feeling cold is abnormal.

There are several reasons you may be feeling cold during pregnancy.

Reasons Pregnant Women May Feel Cold

Feeling cold is often a response to other normal pregnancy changes occurring within your body. It is always better to be extra cautious when you are responsible for another life, so the following conditions are listed to help you familiarize yourself with possible health issues.

1. Anemia

Many pregnant women tend to suffer from iron deficiency, which can cause anemia. This condition is when your blood doesn’t have enough healthy red blood cells, which can affect the way your blood circulates through your body.

Red blood cells carry oxygen, and limited amounts can cause certain bodily functions to slow down and make you feel cold. With anemia, you may also feel tired, but since you’re pregnant, it can be hard to pinpoint if that exhaustion is from anemia or your pregnancy. 

2. Change in Hormones

The surge in hormones in your body can significantly affect how you respond to temperature. Women tend to feel warmer, but chills or coldness can also occur.

3. Morning Sickness

If you have been suffering from nausea, chances are you haven’t been able to keep much down, and your body temperature can be affected because of it. Morning sickness can cause you to experience chills, which can be one reason you are feeling cold all the time.

Nutrition is important, and without food consumption, your body has nothing to convert to energy. This lack of food can cause the body to struggle to stay warm.

4. Infection

Having a fever, even if it is low grade, can make you feel cold. Feeling cold can be a symptom of a urinary tract infection (UTI), kidney infection, or any other infection, regardless of how slight it is.

5. High Basal Body Temperature

Toward the beginning of your pregnancy, your basal body temperature will be higher for several weeks.

This bodily change can cause you to experience chills, leaving you feeling cold for significant periods. These chills are similar to those you would have when getting the flu.

Keep In Mind

If you are constantly cold, there is probably an underlying issue. Temporary temperature fluctuations are normal. If you feel like you spend most of your day cold, you may be suffering from hypothyroidism, an underactive thyroid condition, and you should consult with your doctor to be safe (1).

Are Chills Normal Throughout Pregnancy?

Most women will experience chills during the first trimester from the sudden change in hormones and morning sickness.

However, you can experience chills at any time in your pregnancy. Your hormones are the equivalent of a rollercoaster, and you never know what’s around the next corner (2).

How to Handle Chills When Pregnant

If you’ve had enough of those miserable chills, there is some hope in kicking them to the curb.

Try some of the following tips to help you get back to a normal temperature.

how to deal with pregnancy chills

  • Wear more clothes: This may seem obvious, but sometimes the easiest answer is the best fix. You may be able to cure your case of the chills by simply adding some extra layers of clothing, like leggings under your pants or a cardigan over your top.
  • Rest and relaxation: If you have been struggling to sleep lately or feel like you haven’t had enough rest, maybe you haven’t. Take a relaxing bath or a quick nap.  If you are tired and cold all the time, it may be a good idea to reach out to your doctor.
  • Take iron supplements: Iron plays a pivotal part in regulating your body temperature. If you are lacking in the slightest way, it may significantly affect your ability to stay warm. An iron supplement is important for you and your baby’s health. Your doctor may prescribe a supplement for you. If it is not, make sure you ask permission before using one.
  • Watch what you eat: If your body isn’t receiving proper nutrition, it can affect your body temperature. You should try to consume a well-balanced diet for both you and your baby to stay happy and healthy. Make sure you are staying well hydrated. Changing your diet may help make a significant change to your overall well-being, energy levels, and temperature regulation.

Is Being Cold a Pregnancy Symptom?

Some people believe being cold can be a symptom of pregnancy. This theory has some truth to it.

Some women notice they become excessively hot before that first missed period.

You may feel cold before finding out you’re pregnant because your metabolism is in overdrive from the hormone fluctuation we mentioned above. So it is possible you could be pregnant if you notice temperature changes within your body. However, you should always take a test to confirm.

Remember

There are many reasons someone may feel cold, so it is not a strong indication of pregnancy.

The Bottom Line

You shouldn’t worry too much if you feel cold from time to time. If this is a frequent occurrence that seems never to go away, it is a cause for further investigation. When the cold feeling is long-lasting, an underlying issue may need to be addressed.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor at any time. That is what they are there for, and you know your body best. Your problems and concerns no longer affect just you; they now affect your little one. There is no stupid question, and even if something has a simple answer, you are always better off safe than sorry.

Headshot of Caitlin Goodwin, MSN, RN, CNM

Medically Reviewed by

Caitlin Goodwin, MSN, RN, CNM

Caitlin Goodwin MSN, RN, CNM is a Certified Nurse-Midwife, clinical instructor and educator. She has ten years of nursing experience and enjoys blogging about family travel and autism in her free time.