Claudio Divizia/Fotolia

Does Breastfeeding Make You Cold?

There are a lot of things that change when you become a breastfeeding mom, like having to keep absorbent pads in your bras before you head to the grocery store and making sure you watch your alcohol intake in between feedings. But breastfeeding also does a number on your body. I remember being hungry all the time while I was breastfeeding and many moms claim to need an extra layer or blanket when their little one is eating. But does breastfeeding make you cold or is this one symptom breastfeeding can't take credit for?

I reached out to Stephanie Nguyen, co-founder of Modern Milk and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, to see if she had any knowledge about breastfeeding causing a mother to feel cold. A quick Google search will pull up dozens of breastfeeding and mom forums with new mothers reaching out, asking if others have had a similar breastfeeding experience. But Nguyen told me that she was not familiar with this topic and wasn't able to offer any medical advice about it.

It seems like there is no evidence out there that breastfeeding can make you feel cold. Chills, however, while breastfeeding could be a sign of mastitis, a breast infection that has flu-like symptoms. The Mayo Clinic notes that those who have mastitis often have fevers of 101 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, which could result in sweats and chills.

If you are newly postpartum, feeling cold while breastfeeding could simply be part of your postpartum recovery. Many women have noted that they experience chills after delivery and it is a common symptom during the postpartum period. A study found that out of 97 patients, 32 percent of them experienced postpartum chills.

And, finally, if you notice that your hands or feet are always cold while breastfeeding, you might want to talk to your doctor about anemia. According to the Mayo Clinic, cold hands and feet can be a symptom of anemia, and breastfeeding mothers can be diagnosed as anemic.

In short? There is no medical evidence or proof that breastfeeding makes you cold. If you're experiencing major chills or have cold hands or feet, it's worth talking to your medical provider to make sure there's nothing else at play here. Otherwise, grab a blanket and get extra cozy while you feed your baby.