Why do I feel cold in pregnancy?

Some people feel colder than usual in pregnancy. It isn’t always a sign that something is wrong, but it is a good idea to speak to your midwife.

Most women and birthing people feel warmer than usual during pregnancy. This is because of hormone changes and increased blood supply to the skin. 

Some people will feel colder than usual in pregnancy, though. This does not mean that there is something wrong with you or your baby. It may just be that your body is trying too hard to stay cool.

But there some things that may leave you feeling cold that do need treatment. So, if you are feeling chilly, the best thing to do is talk to your midwife (or your GP if you haven’t met your midwife yet). 


An underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) is where your thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones. 

It may be hard to spot the symptoms because some of them can be the same as pregnancy symptoms. 
As well as feeling cold, symptoms of hypothyroidism include:

  • tiredness
  • weight gain
  • constipation
  • depression
  • slow movements and thoughts
  • muscle aches and weakness
  • muscle cramps
  • dry and scaly skin
  • brittle hair and nails
  • lack of sex drive
  • pain, numbness and tingling in the hand and fingers. 

It’s vital to treat an underactive thyroid. It can cause problems in pregnancy, such as:

This sounds scary, but these problems can often be avoided with treatment. An underactive thyroid is diagnosed by a blood test to measure your hormone levels. 

Infection and fever

A fever is when your body temperature is 38 degrees Celsius or more. A fever can make you warm but it can also sometimes make you feel cold or shivery. 

A high temperature could be a sign of a hidden bacterial infection, or a virus, such as the flu. Find out what to do if you have a high temperature.

Iron deficiency anaemia 

Anaemia happens when you don’t have enough red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen around your body and to your baby. 

It can be common in pregnancy and symptoms can include cold hands and feet. 

Symptoms can also include:

  • tiredness and lack of energy
  • shortness of breath
  • feelings of having a fast-beating, fluttering or pounding heart (heart palpitations)
  • pale skin. 

You should have a blood test to check for anaemia at your booking appointment and again when you are 28 weeks pregnant.  

If you are pregnant with more than 1 baby, you will also have a blood test at 20 to 24 weeks.  But you can ask your GP or midwife for a test at any time if you are having symptoms. 


Anxiety is a feeling of unease, worry or fear, which can be mild or severe.  It’s normal to feel anxious sometimes, but some people find it hard to control their worries. 

Some people with anxiety also have panic attacks, which can be very unpleasant. 

Panic attacks can come on very quickly and for no apparent reason. Symptoms include: 

  • sweating
  • a racing heart
  • a feeling of dread or fear of dying
  • chest pain
  • shortness of breath
  • feeling dizzy
  • feeling faint
  • shaky limbs
  • tingling
  • a churning stomach. 

Most panic attacks last for between 5 and 20 minutes. They can be very worrying, but they are not dangerous. 

Tell your midwife or GP if you are feeling anxious, so they can get you the support you need

They will not judge you for these feelings – anxiety in pregnancy is very common. More than 1 in 10 pregnant people have anxiety.  

Do not feel like you are a failure because you feel like you are not coping.

What should I do if I’m worried about being cold?

If you are feeling colder than usual it is unlikely to mean that there is a problem with you or your baby’s health. But if you have any concerns then the best thing to do – always – is to call your midwife.

NHS (2024) Common health problems in pregnancy. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/related-conditions/common-symptoms/common-health-problems/ (Accessed 07 May 2024) (Page last reviewed: 22/04/2024. Next review due 22/04/2027)

NHS (2021) Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism). Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/underactive-thyroid-hypothyroidism/ (Accessed 07 May 2024) (Page last reviewed: 10/05/2021 Next review due: 10/05/2024)

NHS (2023) High temperature (fever) in adults. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/underactive-thyroid-hypothyroidism/ (Accessed 07 May 2024) (Page last reviewed: 24/05/2023 Next review due: 24/05/2026)

NHS (2024) Iron deficiency anaemia. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/iron-deficiency-anaemia/ (Accessed 07 May 2024) (Page last reviewed: 26/01/2024 Next review due: 26/01/2027)

NHS (2023) Antenatal checks and tests. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/your-pregnancy-care/antenatal-checks-and-tests/ (Accessed 07 May 2024) (Page last reviewed: 01/11/2023 Next review due: 01/11/2026)

NICE (2024) Twin and triplet pregnancy. Available at: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng137 (Accessed 07 May 2024) (Page last reviewed: 09/04/2024)

NHS (2022) Generalised anxiety disorder in adults. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/generalised-anxiety-disorder/ (Accessed 07 May 2024) (Page last reviewed: 05/10/2022. Next review due: 05/10/2025)

NHS (2023) Panic disorder. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/panic-disorder/ (Accessed 07 May 2024) (Page last reviewed: 22/08/2023. Next review due: 22/08/2026) 

Review dates
Reviewed: 07 May 2024
Next review: 07 May 2027