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How To Deal With Fever When Pregnant

By Subodini Menon

A mother will tell you that pregnancy was not the most favourite time of her life. Sure, it is a time when you have a new life taking root in you, but this process at times takes a lot out of you too. Morning sickness, fatigue, nausea, pains and aches are constant companions during pregnancy. Now, imagine what if you have to deal with a fever during this important phase of life.

Fever will seem like simple issue that can be solved with a few days of rest and some medications to a normal person. But when you are pregnant and have a baby developing inside of you, even the smallest illness can pose a grave danger.

dealing with fever when pregnant

You can have fevers due to many reasons. Sometimes, the cause of the fever can be minor and may be treated with some rest and good-old home remedies. But at other times, a fever might indicate a serious problem that needs immediate care and treatment.

When a fever develops during pregnancy, it can be a cause of great concern, as it can be a potential sign of danger for both the mother and unborn baby. Did you know that a baby can develop autism if the mother does not take medicines to reduce fever during pregnancy?

Today, we shall discuss the reasons behind the development of fever during pregnancy. We will also talk about the ways that fevers can be treated during pregnancy. Read on for more information.

What Is A Fever?

Under normal circumstances, a human body has a temperature of 36 to 37 degrees Centigrade. If at any point of time, the temperature goes beyond 38.3 degrees Centigrade, it will be called a fever. Fever is characterized by symptoms like headache, shivering, sweating, body pain, fatigue and dehydration.

What Are The Most Common Reasons Of Developing A Fever?

When a woman is pregnant, the body is bent upon providing all the nutrition and protection to the fetus. This causes a low immunity in the pregnant woman and it makes her more at risk of coming down with a fever.

A Common Cold

Common cold will often make the patient feel feverish too. The symptoms can be very similar to the symptoms of flu and can be confused with each other. They are cough, runny nose, sore throat and breathing difficulty. A cold usually lasts for 3 days to a couple of weeks. Anything more than that should be a cause for concern and you must consult with a doctor.

Tips For Prevention:

The most important tip to avoid cold during pregnancy is to wash your hands very often. You must also keep the home and your work place clean and tidy. If you have a friend or a relative who is suffering from cold, you must avoid meeting with them.

Tips For Prevention:

The most important tip to avoid cold during pregnancy is to wash your hands very often. You must also keep the home and your work place clean and tidy. If you have a friend or a relative who is suffering from cold, you must avoid meeting with them.


Flu is very similar to the common cold in its signs and symptoms; but it can be potentially more dangerous. In addition to the common cold symptoms like cough, fever, and sore throat, you can also expect body ache, nausea and vomiting. Get help from your doctor as soon as possible.

Tips For Prevention:

You must take all the flu shots prescribed for a pregnant woman. Avoid contact with anyone who seems to be down with the flu when you are pregnant. Being well hydrated can also help with preventing flu during pregnancy.

Urinary Tract Infection

Urinary tract infection, or UTI, is a common infection in pregnant woman. Being common by no means means that it is easy to beat. It causes the mother-to-be to suffer from fever, experience burning while urinating, and have bloody or cloudy urine and chills. It happens when bacteria from the vagina or the rectum enter the urethra.

Remember to go to the doctor if you have UTI. Untreated cases of UTI can cause the infection to spread into the kidneys. This will also lead to a lot of complications in your pregnancy as well as child birth.

Tips For Prevention:

The most important thing is to drink a lot of water. Water will help to cleanse your urinary system, preventing the buildup of bacteria.

Viral Gastrointestinal Infection

When a virus of the gastrointestinal tract infects you, you will come down with symptoms that include vomiting, fever, dehydration and diarrhoea. This is especially dangerous as an untreated case can cause a pregnant woman to have pre-term labor.

Tips For Prevention:

Avoid food from unhygienic places. It is best to eat food from home. Food should be well cooked to kill any kind of bacteria and viruses. This is especially true with non-vegetarian food. Food items that involve raw products like sushi should be avoided.

How To Deal With It:

A diet of healthy and easily digestible foods is to be ingested during this time. Drink a lot of water. If you suffer from high temperature, dehydration and vomiting, you must visit the doctor as soon as possible.

Foul-smelling Discharge

The presence of a foul-smelling discharge is found in some pregnant women. This condition is known as chorioamnionitis. This is caused due to a bacterial infection that affects the amniotic fluid in the womb. The most common symptoms are an increased heartbeat, pain in the uterus, discharge from the vagina, fever, chills and sweating. If the infection happens when the pregnancy is at an advanced stage, you will be asked to go for an early C-section delivery. Even after the delivery, you may have to take antibiotics for a long time.


Listeriosis is a flu-like disease that is caused due to consuming food or water that is contaminated. The most common symptoms are diarrhea, body pain, stiff neck, fever, convulsions, nausea and headache. This is a serious problem and can even lead to pregnancy complications like, pre-term birth, miscarriage and still birth.

Tips To Prevent It:

Avoid having food from dirty and unhygienic places. Avoid food that is uncooked or poorly cooked. Smoked seafood and meat are also responsible for causing listeriosis. Milk that is unpasteurized is also to be avoided.

How Does Fever Affect The Baby In Your Womb?

A low temperature fever is not of any consequence to the development of the fetus. But if you have a high-grade fever, the temperature will interfere with the functions of protein that helps in the development of the baby.

If you have a high grade fever in early pregnancy, it can cause miscarriage.

A high fever in the early pregnancy will increase the chances of your baby being born with birth defects like cleft lips and palates. If you take medications that can reduce the fever, the baby may be safe from the bad effects of the fever.

The baby is relatively safe if the high fever occurs in the second trimester. In the third trimester, the fever will not cause much damage to the baby itself, but can cause pre-term labour and other birth complications.

What Are The Effective Ways To Reduce Temperature At Home?

If your doctor assures you that your disease is not of a grave kind, you can use one of the following tips to help reduce the temperature.

Stay In A Well-aerated Area:

Make sure that you stay in an area that has good ventilation and isn't too hot or cold. Use a fan to help move the air and improve air circulation.

Choose Comfortable Clothes

Cotton clothes are the best choice when you are pregnant and down with a fever. Choose clothes that offer a proper air flow. If you have chills, then cover up using a light but warm sheet.

Take A Sponge Bath

You may not be able to take a bath when down with a fever, but you can take a warm sponge bath. This will help you to cool down a little. Make sure that the water you use isn't cold.

Be Hydrated

Preventing dehydration is very important when pregnant and you have a fever. Drink a lot of fluids including water, juices and soups.

Carbonated water or sodas are not good for you at this time, so avoid them. Lemonade and other citrus fruit juices will help you get well better by lowering temperature and giving you lots of energy.

Take Rest

Rest is a very important part of the recovery when down with fever during pregnancy. This will help you regain lost energy and will also reduce the risk of falling down due to nausea and dizziness.

Using Hot Or Cold Packs

Hot or cold packs can be store brought or can be easily made right at home. Use these as you need to bring down the temperature. Make sure that you test the temperature of a hot pack before using it, as it can scald you.

The ice in a cold pack can be wrapped in a cloth before applying to the head to bring down the fever. This is to prevent the burning sensation had from direct contact of the skin with ice.

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    Read more about: fever remedies pregnant
    Story first published: Friday, March 9, 2018, 18:35 [IST]
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