Pregnancy causes various changes in the way you look and feel. While some physical discomforts are simply a normal component of a healthy pregnancy, others may signal the presence of a problem. Chills during pregnancy can be a symptom of a condition that requires medical care. Notify your doctor if you experience chills or other unusual symptoms during your pregnancy.
Periods of feeling cold often occur during common illnesses that cause an increase in your body temperature, such as colds and flu. You may feel chilly one moment and hot the next. Sweating often accompanies chills.
Fever and chills are usually symptoms of an infection. You may experience chills due to a viral infection, such as a cold or viral gastroenteritis, popularly known as the stomach flu. However, your chills and fever may be a symptom of a more serious infections, such as pneumonia, appendicitis or kidney infection. Urinary tract infections are more common during pregnancy and may include a fever and chills. Contact your doctor if you have a fever above 100 degrees F or if you experience chills.
While the discomfort of chills may not affect your pregnancy, the underlying cause of your symptoms may. The American Pregnancy Association warns that an untreated kidney infection may lead to early labor and result in your baby having a low birth weight. Early treatment can help protect your health and the health of your baby.
The first trimester of your pregnancy is the time when much of your baby’s development occurs, so it can be the riskiest time to run a fever. Exposure to high temperatures during this phase of fetal growth may increase your baby’s risk of developing spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect, or other problems.
While over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, may help lower your fever, it is important to get your doctor’s approval before taking any non-prescription medications during your pregnancy. Depending on the severity and length of your fever, as well as your baby’s stage of development, your doctor may run certain tests, such as chest X-rays, a urinalysis and blood studies, to help determine the cause of your fever. Bacterial infections, including urinary tract infection and sinus infections, often require a course of oral antibiotics.