I Have Chills and a Headache After My C-Section. Is This The Flu?

So, you had a c-section recently, and now you find yourself with flu-like symptoms. That leaves you wondering a few things.

“Do I really have the flu or a virus?” The last thing you want is to be sick around your newborn baby who lacks an adequately developed immune system

“Could these symptoms be a sign of something else?” That’s also a possibility. Some flu-like symptoms can also indicate that something else is going on in your body.

So, let’s take a look at what symptoms you could experience and what they mean for you.

6 Flu-Like Symptoms After a C-Section


If you have the flu or a virus, it typically causes fever as your immune system kicks into overdrive to give it the boot.

However, if you’re experiencing a fever within the first 14 days after your surgery, it could be a warning sign that you have an infection. Any surgery puts you at first for developing an infection, and after a c-section, you could establish an infection in your incision, uterus, or vagina.

If left to spread, an infection can be a severe problem, but a fever is an early warning sign of giving the doctor a call.

you can have cold chills after giving birth

Chills or Shivering

Are your teeth chattering, and extra blankets do nothing for you? Postpartum chills aren’t fully understood, but doctors associate them with fluid loss, heat loss, or hormonal changes. 

These chills happen whether you have a c-section or vaginal birth, and there isn’t much that you can do to stop them. I would shake for long periods after I had my babies, hoping the chills would stop.

Try not to fight the chills. When you do so, you strain your body, and that could cause your incision to tear. You don’t want to put any pressure on your incision. Just wrap yourself in extra blankets and wait it out; it does end.


On the opposite side, you might wake up sweating. This happens to me each time I have a baby for the first two weeks. I end up needing to change my shirt in the middle of the night because I sweat so much.

Sweating after a c-section or vaginal birth typically takes place due to hormonal changes. Your hormone levels are high when you’re pregnant, but once you give birth, they take a rapid plunge, and that can lead to sweating.


It’s not abnormal to feel very tired after your surgery. While fatigue can be a flu-like symptom, it also is something most women will experience after their surgery. Your body went under anesthesia, which can cause fatigue, surgery, childbirth, and physical changes. It needs to rest to heal properly. 

Try to get as much rest as you can. The first 6-8 weeks after childbirth should be focused on resting and pampering your body as it heals, inside and outside.

Body Aches

It’s no wonder that you have body aches after your surgery. Your body went through changes, and you had serious abdominal surgery. Plus, pregnancy loosened a lot of your ligaments and joints that now need to tighten up again.

You can always take some pain medicine, such as Advil. While you can’t take a hot bath until the doctor tells you that it’s safe, you can take a hot shower to relieve aches, and you also can rest on a heating pad.


With my last baby, I had headaches for weeks after her birth. It was miserable at times. Headaches after your surgery are due to the anesthetic used. Chances are you had either a spinal epidural or a spinal block. 

Most of the time, you can treat these headaches with Tylenol or Advil, extra fluids, caffeine, and bed rest. If it doesn’t improve over time, your doctor can perform an epidural blood patch to help reduce the discomfort.

Talk to Your Doctor

It’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about your flu-like symptoms post-cesarean delivery. He can let you know if the symptoms are a cause for concern or your body adjusting to rapid changes.

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