by Dr. Ailya Patel, ND 

Giving birth is one of a person’s most transformative and profound experiences. However, it is also an intense and physically demanding process that can lead to various postpartum symptoms, including postpartum “chills.” While it is a common and expected side effect of childbirth, many women are surprised and confused when they experience it.

 

What are postpartum chills?

Postpartum chills, also known as postpartum tremors, are a common and temporary side effect of giving birth. It typically occurs in the hours following delivery and is characterized by uncontrollable shivering or trembling. Some women may experience mild shivering, while others may have more severe symptoms.

Why do they happen?

Several factors contribute to postpartum chills. One of the leading causes is the rapid drop in hormones that occurs after delivery. During pregnancy, the body produces high levels of hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, which help regulate body temperature. After delivery, these hormone levels drop rapidly, which can cause a drop in body temperature and trigger the body’s natural response to generate heat through shivering. Additionally, the physical exertion of labour and delivery can cause fatigue and dehydration, contributing to shivering. Women who receive epidural anesthesia during delivery may also be more likely to experience it as a side effect of the medication.

Are these chills typical?

Yes, postpartum chills are a common and temporary side effect of giving birth. It typically lasts for a few hours or days after delivery and does not usually require treatment. However, if you are experiencing severe or prolonged shivering, it is always best to consult with your healthcare provider.

How can you manage it?

While postpartum chills are not usually a cause for concern, they can be uncomfortable and sometimes alarming. So here are a few tips to help manage them:
  1. Dress in warm, comfortable clothing and use blankets to keep yourself warm.
  2. Drink plenty of fluids, such as water, coconut water, electrolytes or warm tea, to help prevent dehydration.
  3. Rest as much as possible and avoid overexerting yourself.
  4. If you experience severe or prolonged shivering or have other symptoms such as fever or chills, it’s essential to consult your healthcare provider.

Postpartum chills are usually a common and temporary side effect of giving birth. While it can be uncomfortable, it is usually not a cause for concern. Always consult your healthcare provider if you have concerns about your postpartum symptoms. Remember to take care of yourself, rest as much as possible, and seek help and support when needed.
Dr. Ailya Patel, ND
Dr. Ailya Patel, ND