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Chills During Pregnancy

Chills During Pregnancy

Experiencing chills during pregnancy is normal, but this can also be a sign of infection. This article gives you the complete breakdown of what causes the chills and how you can treat them.
Kanika Khara
Last Updated: Mar 2, 2018
Pregnant woman in Christmastime
Pregnancy is one phase in life that most women want to experience. Creating another living being, nurturing it, and seeing it grow into be a wonderful human being is every woman's dream. Becoming a mother is like being reborn again. Expecting mothers are in their most delicate stage of life; therefore, special care must be taken to ensure that they are less susceptible to infections. Experiencing chills during this phase of life is considered normal, if there is no infection of any type. If chills prevail for a long period with the accompanying symptoms of the different types of infections, then a doctor's consultation is a must.

Causes of Chills During Pregnancy

There could be several causes of chills during pregnancy that are outlined below. However, noting the accompanying symptoms may give you a clue to the underlying cause.

Viral Gastroenteritis

Popularly known as stomach flu, viral gastroenteritis is an intestinal infection caused due to viruses. It can be caused if the food consumed is contaminated by germs. Gastroenteritis can be caused due to many viruses. Some of the most common viruses that are causative agents are norovirus, rotavirus, astrovirus, and enteric adenovirus.

Accompanying Symptoms
  • Swelling of the stomach
  • Nausea and dizziness
  • Abdominal pain and cramps
  • Fever and loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Joint pain
  • Shivering


It affects the lungs, affecting the microscopic air sacs known as the alveoli. This infection can be caused due to bacteria, fungi, viruses, or parasites. Pneumonia can be contracted by accidentally inhaling chemicals, or liquids. Breathing the air that contains germs is another reason how one can get infected.

Accompanying Symptoms
  • Fever accompanied by intense shivering
  • Shortness of breath
  • Increase in the pace of breathing
  • Sharp stabbing pain in the chest
  • Fast heartbeats
  • Loss of energy
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Nausea


Appendicitis is another potential cause for such chills. It is caused when the appendix is blocked due to stools, or foreign bodies, such as nails, hair, and chewing gum.

Accompanying Symptoms
  • Abdominal pain
  • Chills
  • Cramps
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Painful urine


Preeclampsia -- also called pregnancy-induced hypertension -- is a complex disorder of pregnancy which occurs due to abrupt changes in the blood vessels that may affect other body organs, like liver, kidneys, brain, and the placenta. It is more common in women having high blood pressure. It usually arises if expecting mothers -- older than 35 years -- have a history of chronic hypertension, have had preeclampsia before, are expecting twins, or triplets, have a history of tobacco, drug, or alcohol abuse, diabetes before pregnancy, kidney disease, or rheumatoid arthritis.

Accompanying Symptoms
  • Excess protein in the urine
  • High blood pressure
  • Swelling in the face, eyes, hands, and feet
  • Nausea
  • Chills and fever
  • Sudden gain in weight
  • Headaches
  • Abdominal pain
  • Decrease in quantity of urine

Urinary Tract Infection

Urinary tract infection (UTI) or bladder infection, which is a bacterial inflammation of the urinary tract is another common cause for chills during pregnancy.

Accompanying Symptoms
  • Pain
  • Discomfort, or burning sensation while urinating
  • Pelvic discomfort, or lower abdominal pain
  • Frequent urge to urinate
  • Cloudy, foul-smelling, or bloody urine
  • Chills and fever


Salmonellosis is a common type of food infection that may occur due to consumption of foods containing Salmonella bacteria. Unpasteurized milk and raw milk products, undercooked meat and poultry, raw sprouts, salads, creamy desserts and fillings are some food items that may contain this bacterium.

Accompanying Symptoms
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle ache
  • Feeling of tiredness
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Chills
  • Fever

Treatment for Chills

Pregnancy being a delicate phase, it is best that you seek advice from your doctor, rather than going in for self-medication. However, here are a few self-care measures that you can follow.

Consume sufficient quantity of water -- at least 6-8 glasses.
Maintain electrolyte levels in the body. You can ensure the balance by eating a combination of nutrient-rich foods.
Keep yourself warm.
Follow a healthy and nutritious diet.
Exercise regularly (if your doctor allows you to).

Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for professional medical advice.