Your body undergoes a lot of changes when you give birth – changes that you are probably never ready for.
It includes exhaustion, soreness, bleeding, etc. If the delivery is through a c-section, you need to give your body enough time to heal.
Due to the enormous biological and physical changes, it is normal to experience some discomforts a few weeks after giving birth.
For example, fever, discharge, pain around the c-section incision, pain in the lower back, heavy bleeding, etc.
For postpartum chills, the amount of blood you lose during delivery may be responsible.
Sadly, most people who never experienced it can be extremely frustrated about the situation.
Below is everything you need to know about cold chills a week after c section and how you can manage it.
What are Cold Chills a week after C section?
Postpartum chill is a feeling of intense cold and shivering that starts right after giving birth.
Like normal chills, it will feel as if you are stuck outside on a freezing winter day without your coat.
As a result, it causes the body to shake and your teeth to chatter.
Postpartum chills can occur at any time, including after delivery or towards the end of labor. Postpartum chills are a normal occurrence.
Although the degree and intensity vary in people, it is not uncommon for some women to start shivering shortly after giving birth.
Some postpartum chills occur a few minutes after delivery and will last for some minutes or a few hours.
However, since we are biologically wired differently, the chills may not manifest until after a week after the c-section.
Regardless of the timeframe, the symptom is mostly the same for everyone, and so is the care.
While it may come as a surprise to many, the chill is often nothing to worry about.
However, if your postpartum chills are accompanied by a fever, it could signal a potential postpartum infection.
1. What causes Cold chills a week after C section
To be fair, experts don’t know what is responsible for these chills.
Nonetheless, there are speculations that it is caused by either the pain medications, hormones, loss of blood, or fever.
A postpartum chill is more likely if you received pain medication like an epidural during labor.
Your body undergoes hormonal changes during labor. Such changes can decrease your core temperature and cause chills.
If not, then it could be a result of a cold environment. If you spend a long period in a chilly environment, it can affect your body’s ability to regulate its temperature.
Pain-relieving drugs can also affect how your body regulates its temperature since it opens up blood vessels on the skin.
The more blood flows to your skin, the greater the heat loss. Lastly, infusions like fluids and epidural medications during labor can increase heat loss.
2. How long does it last?
Postpartum chills, whether linked to a c-section or an epidural go away on their own after a few minutes.
In other words, most shivering and shaking after or during labour won’t last longer than an hour.
If the chills occur a week after delivery, probably after leaving the hospital, it could be a sign of a fever or a similar postpartum complication like an infection.
A postpartum infection occurs because your body is vulnerable after delivery.
The common ones include yeast infection, urinary tract infection, breast infection, and uterine infection.
Most infections are accompanied by cold chills a week after c section, fever, and a feeling of discomfort or fever.
3. How to care for postpartum chills
Hospitals provide extra blankets to wrap up when postpartum chills occur during labor or after delivery.
Do the following if you are your own outside the hospital:
- Cover yourself in warm blankets until the shivering subsides. You can also wear long, warm socks, jumpers, and thick clothes.
- Ask your partner for a cuddle for extra warmth.
- Drink a warm beverage
- Play some relaxing music or use drops of essential oil to relax your mind and body.
- Introduce warmth into the environment
- Talk to your doctor if you have a shivering sensation without a fever, as it could be a reaction to shock. If the chill is accompanied by fever and flu-like symptoms, call your doctor.
4. When to call your doctor about postpartum chills
As explained, a slight fever a few hours after delivery is common and nothing to worry about.
However, if you experience any symptoms of a postpartum infection along with cold chills a week after c-section, you need to contact your doctor immediately.
Symptoms to look out for include lower abdominal pain, redness, swelling, discharge, or tenderness around the incision site, and difficulty urinating.
Mild symptoms to watch out for are muscle aches, headache, fatigue, fever, and of course, chills.
Let your healthcare provider know immediately you’re experiencing chills and any other symptoms mentioned above after delivery.
Teeth chattering and the inability to sleep from cold chills a week after c section is not an exciting experience.
Apart from not being pleasant, it can be a bit scary. That is why you need to be prepared for the many ups and downs of a few hours or days after delivery.
But remember, not all new mothers experience postpartum chills.
If you do, try your best not to strain your body against the shiver, as doing so can potentially rip the incision.
If the shaking is uncontrollable, take some time off mommy duties to focus on yourself.
Once the chill fades, you will enjoy the more pleasant parts of the postpartum experience.
Learn more from another post: Sharp Stabbing Pain on Left Side after C-section
Frequently Asked Questions
What is postpartum bleeding?
Also referred to as lochia, this is the vaginal discharge during the postpartum period.
It consists of tissue and bloodshed from the uterus lining. For the first few days after birth, the bleeding will contain bright red blood and will resemble a heavy period.
The discharge may be intermittent and flow evenly or in small gushes and can last for four or eight weeks in total.
What is postpartum constipation?
Postpartum constipation is the absence or irregular bowel movement after delivery.
It causes pain, hard stools, straining, and discomfort. However, the issue will resolve once your body adjusts to its routine and schedule.
What is postpartum sweating?
The body retains extra water during pregnancy and sheds them after delivery in the form of sweats.
Primarily, sweating is the way the body gets rid of all the extra water you retained during pregnancy.
Therefore, the process is more common than in other situations like cold chills.
Can breastfeeding cause shivering?
Yes, breastfeeding can cause shivering. However, it does not occur in all new mothers.
Mastitis is a postpartum infection. It is the inflammation of breast tissue that can result in breast swelling, warmth and redness, and pain. You can also have chills and fever.
What causes postpartum infection?
Postpartum infection is caused by bacteria that enter your body during childbirth, or that may have been inside you before childbirth.
The organisms enter the endometrial cavity and cause an infection.
Most infections are diagnosed within 10 days of delivery, while some can take up to 6 weeks.
Iesha is a loving mother of 2 beautiful children. She’s an active parent who enjoys indoor and outdoor adventures with her family. Her mission is to share practical and realistic parenting advice to help the parenting community becoming stronger.