Feeling Cold During Pregnancy – Is It Normal?

Feeling Cold During Pregnancy - Is It Normal?

Are you wondering if feeling cold during pregnancy is something to be concerned about?

Are you in the two week wait and wondering whether feeling cold could be a sign of early pregnancy?

There’s nothing like trying to conceive or being pregnant to make you analyse every feeling, sensation and thought you have.

Feeling Cold During Pregnancy

While trying to conceive or being pregnant can be very exciting, it can also be nerve wracking.

One of the hardest things about pregnancy symptoms is there’s a wide range of ‘normal’.

And for every ‘rule’ about what to expect during pregnancy, there’s an exception.

Many women report feeling warm or even overheated during pregnancy. If that’s common, then why is feeling cold during pregnancy a concern?

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Is Feeling Cold During Pregnancy Normal?

To be clear, feeling cold during pregnancy doesn’t mean having a cold virus or a low body temperature showing on a thermometer.

It means feeling cold, as in you need an extra blanket or sweater to get warm.

Many women feel warm during pregnancy, to the point they have to take off layers.

However, even though feeling warm during pregnancy is common, feeling cold isn’t a problem or a bad sign.

Is Feeling Cold During Pregnancy A Sign Of Miscarriage?

A previous miscarriage or worrying about miscarriage can leave you on edge. You might find yourself analysing every twinge.

The good news is there’s no clear clinical indication feeling cold is a sign or symptom of miscarriage.

If you scour pregnancy forums, you’re bound to read anecdotal experiences of feeling cold and going on to miscarry.

However, feeling something during a pregnancy that ends in miscarriage doesn’t mean there’s any connection between the two.

Hormones can influence whether we feel cold or hot. Fluctuations in how we feel occur in healthy pregnancies and in pregnancies ending in miscarriage.

Feeling cold during early pregnancy isn’t a known symptom or sign of miscarriage. If you’re concerned about your pregnancy at any time, you should speak with your midwife or doctor.

Bear in mind, just feeling cold isn’t typically something to worry about, in terms of miscarriage.

5 Reasons You Might Feel Cold During Pregnancy

Feeling cold can be part of a normal pregnancy. It isn’t necessarily something to worry about.

In most cases, there’s a simple explanation for feeling cold.

Occasionally, feeling cold during pregnancy and also experiencing other symptoms warrants checking in with your care provider.

Here are 5 reasons for feeling cold during pregnancy:

#1: Hormone Fluctuations

For many women, hormone fluctuations lead to feeling constantly warm or having the occasional hot flash. For some women, these fluctuations can lead to feeling cold during pregnancy.

Pregnancy hormones cause changes in our metabolism. Our metabolism works faster to meet the needs of sustaining a pregnancy.

The change in metabolism can lead to the body warming up. Some bodies attempt to cool off from this warming, but might overcompensate. This leads to feeling cool.

#2: Morning Sickness

If you’re struggling with morning sickness, you might be dealing with dehydration and low food intake.

Low calorie intake or dehydration can affect how much fuel the body has available to maintain its temperature. This can lead to feeling cold.

The good news is, even if you’re feeling cool, your baby is still snug and warm. If you’re not getting quite enough calories during the first trimester, your body is able to use up your stores. Your body will prioritise your internal temperature during pregnancy.

Severe morning sickness or hyperemesis gravidarum can make it hard to stay hydrated or get adequate nutrition. If you have concerns about this, make sure you talk to your midwife or doctor and ask for support.

Be sure to read Morning Sickness – 10 Best Morning Sickness Remedies for tips on coping with pregnancy sickness.

#3: Anemia

For the most part, feeling constantly cold isn’t a cause for concern during pregnancy. However, if you’re at risk for anemia, it’s important to talk to your care provider.

Around 15-20% of pregnant women are anemic during pregnancy. Most maternity care providers will check for anemia at your first prenatal visit and midway through your pregnancy.

Speak to your care provider if you suddenly feel cold, and also experience the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Easy bruising
  • Shortness of breath.

Regardless of your risk of anemia, iron is an essential part of your nutritional intake during pregnancy. If you’re at risk, speak to your healthcare provider before taking supplements. You can increase your natural iron intake through your diet.

For more information about iron during pregnancy, be sure to read Iron Intake During Pregnancy – 6 FAQs Answered.

#4: High Basal Body Temperature

You’re probably familiar with your basal body temperature if you’ve charted your cycles in the past. 

An initial rise in your basal body temperature is indicative of ovulation. If that elevated temperature continues, it’s often an early sign of pregnancy.

Your basal body temperature refers to the lowest body temperature reached during rest. When this is elevated, you might feel warm.

However, this can make the air around you seem cooler. Therefore, you feel cold even when your internal temperature has risen.

#5: Infection

During an infection, even without a fever, some people will feel cold.

Speak to your care provider if you have:

  • Any symptoms of an infection
  • A recent fever
  • Pain – for example, when urinating

While feeling cold isn’t inherently something to cause concern, it can be worrying, if other symptoms are present.

What Can I Do To Feel Warmer?

Pregnancy can be a wonderful experience but it can also be challenging. There’s a sense of losing control over your own body. Foods you used to love suddenly taste gross, while things you used to hate are suddenly appealing.

You feel hot one moment and then freezing the next. Even rolling over in bed can become a challenge.

If you have extreme morning sickness, try get as much nutrition and hydration as you can.

If anemia is the underlying cause, increase your dietary iron and take any recommended supplements your provider prescribes.

However, if it’s simply hormone fluctuations and a response to your basal body temperature, you’ll have to ride it out.

You might find the following tips helpful:

  • Wear a snug camisole, leggings or other items under your clothes
  • Use extra blankets while resting
  • Drink warm tea
  • Keep an extra sweatshirt or sweater available to bundle up in.

Like many aspects of pregnancy, temperature fluctuations have a wide range of normal.

Overall, feeling cold isn’t something to worry about. But if you have any concerns, or you’re experiencing additional symptoms, be sure to reach out to your midwife or doctor.

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Maria Silver Pyanov is a mama of four energetic boys and one unique little girl. She is also a doula and childbirth educator. She's an advocate for birth options, and adequate prenatal care and support. She believes in the importance of rebuilding the village so no parent feels unsupported.

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