freezing during pregnancy

Feeling Cold in Pregnancy (Chills & Freezing) Should You Worry?

Pregnancy is a crucial phase of a woman’s life. It’s a time to be expectant, and some unusual changes to the body accompany this. These changes could include chills and freezing early in pregnancy or could persist throughout pregnancy. This experience of chills is different from the one in common cold, or flu. It is marked by a consistent increase in body temperature that makes them sweaty during this period.

Should you worry if you’re freezing during pregnancy? The short answer is no. Your body is going through a lot of changes and it is normal for you to have chills and feel cold at some point during the pregnancy. Don’t panic! Read below why you’re feeling so cold during first, second, third trimester and what you can do about it.

Feeling cold early in pregnancy – is it normal or should be you worried?

Of many of the symptoms that are associated with being pregnant, having chills is less elaborated. You could be disturbed about this unusual cold during pregnancy, but this experience is normal. Freezing is not a reason for you to get frightened, as seen in early pregnancy.

Freezing during pregnancy is one of the many ways your body is coping with the change during pregnancy.

Why can you be freezing or having chills during pregnancy?

The likely cause of chills during pregnancy is more of a response to some regular changes within the body during pregnancy. The following reasons are why you could be freezing during pregnancy;

  • High basal body temperature: there is a surge in progesterone and estrogen levels from conception to about 16 weeks of gestation.
  • Reduced blood flow: cold hands and feet during pregnancy could result from poor blood circulation; this occurs during the early stage of pregnancy when the body adjusts to accommodate the baby.
  • Morning sickness: early morning throw ups can lead to loss of appetite, and when there are no sufficient calories required for your bodily functions. It is more likely to have low body temperature resulting in shivering during pregnancy
  • Nutrition: inadequate food consumption leaves the body with reduced energy, as food provides the heat which keeps the body warm. An adequate diet is vital to staying warm during pregnancy.
  • Changes in hormonal levels: hormones in the body significantly affect temperature. Many of these hormones speed up the level of metabolism in the body, which in turn causes an increase in the temperature. The body in response cools down, sometimes becomes overactive and cools further than usual.
  • Anemia: this is usually due to iron deficiency; iron is required in transporting oxygen to the cells of the body. Oxygen deprivation would lead to slowing down of body functions resulting in freezing during pregnancy.

Medical conditions that could predispose a pregnant woman to chills early in pregnancy

  • Hypothyroidism: feeling cold is a clinical symptom of hypothyroidism, which happens when
    the thyroid glands do not produce enough thyroid hormones.
  • Urinary tract infections: about 10% of pregnant women contract urinary tract infections and this predisposes them to chills during pregnancy.
  • Viral gastroenteritis: commonly called stomach flu, contracted in consuming contaminated water and food leading to diarrhea and vomiting.
  • Influenza: is marked by chills, fever, nausea, and vomiting.


What helps to deal with feeling cold?

When you experience cold sweat pregnancy, there are reasonable measures on how to stay up and overcome the terror of shivering during pregnancy.

  • Wear proper clothing: this is a crucial and straightforward protective step to staying warm more often. More importantly, keep the feet warm and wear socks. This helps to prevent the cold from transferring all over the body.
  • Rest: if you have trouble getting enough rest, you can take a relaxing bath or a nap. This helps to reduce distress or restlessness.
  • Monitoring the diet: watching what one eats is essential in staying healthy. A balanced diet provides sufficient calories, enough energy to keep the body warm.
  • Iron supplement: iron is essential in temperature regulation. Iron supplements at the required dose, prescribed by a doctor can be beneficial to restore blood level to a considerable degree.
  • Monitor your body temperature: checking your vitals from time to time helps to prevent rigor. 
  • Treat any underlying medical condition

Chills during different phases of pregnancy

Chills could occur at any period in pregnancy; early, intermediate or late. Colds are the response of the body to changes occurring.

chills first trimester

Chills during the first trimester

The most distressing episodes of these chills occur at this stage when the body is still adjusting to changes associated with pregnancy. It can be quite disturbing and frustrating.

Feeling cold during the second trimester 

The second trimester of pregnancy is the period pregnant women feel at their best, though physical changes continue many of the early symptoms seen in the first trimester subside. The worst of the chills are usually over, minimal and infrequent episodes are
frequent at the stage. Pregnant women are usually reassured to allay anxiety which could cause an elevation in blood pressure, which if poorly controlled could be harmful to both mother and
baby. Sometimes anxiolytics could be administered, usually the pregnancy-safe ones.

Freezing during the third trimester

As the baby develops and prepares to be delivered, a series of
changes seen in which could include the recurrences of many of those symptoms seen in the first semester. Frequent pregnant chills with no fever, nausea, and vomiting are pertinent to this stage.

Drugs containing opioids are unsafe as this is often subject the baby to respiratory suppression. So caution is taken in managing pregnant women at this stage.

Frequently asked questions

Is feeling cold a symptom of pregnancy?

Feeling cold is not a classic symptom of being pregnant, even though some women hold the belief that feeling cold can be a symptom of pregnancy. There have been reports of women who became excessively hot before realizing they missed their periods.

pregnant cold hands feet

Cold hands and feet during pregnancy

Cold hands and feet in pregnancy are due to lack of warmth. Poor blood circulation makes it difficult for enough warm blood to get to the feet and hands regularly; this keeps them cooler than other parts of the body. Heart conditions, anemia, diabetes (type 1 and 2), hypothyroidism can also cause poor blood circulation in a pregnant woman.

Cold sweats and pregnancy

Cold sweats are one of the physical changes a pregnant woman most likely will experience. Changes in the hormonal level of the body, the immense pressure placed on the body can cause excessive sweating
during pregnancy.

What causes chills but no fever while pregnant?

Chills are often associated with fever, but chills without fever can be experienced by a pregnant woman. Chills without fever in pregnancy can be due to exposure to cold, reaction to extreme body activities, low blood glucose level, and emotional reactions.

feeling cold in pregnancy


When you are pregnant, and you are feeling cold, you shouldn’t worry too much. It is important to know it’s not uncommon during pregnancy. Follow the recommended methods and tips in this article to stop chills and freezing. Speak with your doctor if nothing helps.

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