During pregnancy, most individuals have a slightly higher body temperature. Certain women, however, feel cold when they are pregnant. While in many situations, this symptom is normal, it can also indicate an underlying medical condition.
We address some explanations for feeling cold during pregnancy in this post. We also clarify how it can be treated by a person and when they can talk to a doctor.
Is it normal?
Feeling cold during pregnancy is not common. Instead, the majority of pregnant individuals feel warmer than usual.
Progesterone can boost the temperature of the body slightly, a hormone that increases during pregnancy.
Increased body weight, more blood circulating around the body, and the cardiovascular complications of pregnancy usually cause a person to feel hot as pregnancy progresses.
However, during pregnancy, these variables do not make it impossible to feel cold.
Cold weather, too much air conditioning, can also make a person feel cold, and other variables. Sometimes, the body ‘s attempts to cool itself make a person feel cold in very hot weather.
However, this may signify a problem if a person feels chronically cold, even though it is warm, and they are properly dressed.
At their next appointment, a pregnant person may bring up the issue with a doctor or midwife.
Causes and their symptoms
There are several variables that can make a pregnant person feel cold.
Sudden intense feelings of coldness, especially if a person has chills, body aches, or other signs of illness, may indicate a fever.
People with a fever may vary between feeling hot and cold, or even when wearing warm clothing and blankets, they may feel very cold.
The risk of such adverse effects, including birth abnormalities in the ear, eye, face , neck and genitals, may be increased by fever during pregnancy. Therefore, managing the fever and treating its underlying cause is necessary.
While acetaminophen or paracetamol is safe to take during pregnancy to control fever and protect the developing baby from dangerously high temperatures, the underlying cause of the fever will not be handled.
Any time they have a body temperature above 37.5 ° C (99.5 ° F) during pregnancy, a person should see a doctor or midwife.
Hypothyroidism occurs when insufficient thyroid hormone is not released by the thyroid. It can lead a person to feel exhausted and cold.
Constipation, muscle cramps, low energy, and difficulty focusing are several other signs. For certain people, the only symptom is that they feel cold.
Pregnancy, in some cases, causes hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism occurred in others before pregnancy, and pregnancy makes it worse.
Some pregnant individuals experience sweating at night.
As the body tries to cool itself, a person, especially in an air-conditioned room without blankets, can become cold. Sweating at night is not dangerous, but it does make it more difficult to sleep.
Overactive cooling system
By sweating, the body attempts to control its own temperature, allowing a person to breathe faster and encouraging them to wear less clothes and look for cooler spaces.
Sometimes, these attempts make a person feel cold. For example , a person might feel very cold shortly after a hot shower or a walk in the heat.
There is no need to be worried if the cold feelings go away quite easily. It may be a warning when they continue for a long time that the body has trouble warming itself.
Prevention and remedies
Often it’s just a variation of normal to feel cold during pregnancy, and a person does not need treatment. Using a space heater in the office, wearing a cozy hoodie, and heating the home more during the winter can help, where possible.
Very hot showers or saunas are necessary to avoid, as these are not safe during pregnancy.
The therapy for other problems will depend on the cause.
Every day, people with hypothyroidism normally need to take synthetic thyroid hormones. Regular monitoring of thyroid hormone levels before and after pregnancy is often recommended by a doctor.
If an individual has a fever, to try to ascertain the cause, a doctor will ask them about their symptoms and medical history. They may also carry out some diagnostic tests. They can prescribe antibiotics if they suspect a bacterial infection. During pregnancy, controlling infections is important, as they may affect the development of the baby.
Individuals may be able to reduce the risk of feeling uncomfortably cold during pregnancy by:
- staying away from sick people and washing the hands frequently to avoid getting an infection
- seeking prompt care for any signs of infection, including unexplained pain, a serious wound that is not healing, or a fever
- wearing seasonally appropriate clothing and layers to deal with sudden temperature changes
- sleeping in a cool room to try to prevent night sweats but having lots of blankets available to avoid chills
- getting a blood test to measure thyroid function early in pregnancy
The flu is one potential cause of the fever. For pregnant women, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that flu vaccine is effective. Therefore, at the beginning of the flu season, a pregnant person might want to consider having a flu shot to minimize their risk of infection.
When to seek medical attention
Pregnant people should seek routine medical attention and speak with a doctor or midwife about all symptoms.
At their next appointment, a pregnant person may speak to their healthcare provider if they feel particularly cold or have any issues controlling their body temperature.
For example, they should make the health professional aware if they alternate between feeling very hot and cold.
It is necessary to call a healthcare provider immediately if a pregnant person develops a fever. The person needs to go to the emergency department if it is after hours and there are other symptoms of an infection, such as discomfort or a potentially infected wound.
Pregnancy can cause uncomfortable temperature changes , especially as the body of a person develops and, as a result, their heart and lungs have to work harder.
Most individuals experience increasing heat sensations, but pregnancy may cause chills or changes between hot and cold temperatures in some situations.
After a person gives birth, these symptoms typically go away, but it is important to speak to a healthcare provider about any symptoms related to pregnancy.
The health of both the pregnant person and the baby can be improved by early intervention to treat illnesses and thyroid problems.