Fever during pregnancy need not be a reason to panic. The average oral body temperature is around 96 to 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. When the temperature increases to more than 101˚F, it means you have fever. You may experience symptoms such as shivering, sweating, headache, dehydration, muscle ache and fatigue. High fever during pregnancy can impact your growing fetus in several ways.
If you feel any of the above symptoms with your fever, see your doctor immediately.
Causes of Fever during Pregnancy
Your immune system becomes weak during pregnancy as it works extra hard to protect you and your baby. Here are some of the common causes of fever and how you can prevent them:
- Common Cold
A common cold is often followed by a fever. You may have similar symptoms to flu which include runny nose, cough, sore throat and difficulty in breathing. These symptoms subside within two weeks. However, see your doctor if symptoms continue for longer. To prevent catching fever due to common cold, keep your home and work area neat, and wash your hands often. Avoid physical contact with anyone suffering from cold.
Flu is yet another common cause of fever during pregnancy. If you feel achiness, fever, coughing, vomiting and nausea with your flu, talk to your doctor immediately. Check if your flu shots are up to date, take proper rest and drink plenty of fluids.
- Urinary Tract Infection
About 10% pregnant women develop urinary tract infection during their pregnancies. UTI occurs when bacteria travels from rectum or vagina, to the urethra and up to the bladder. It results in cloudy or bloody urine, fever, chills, and burning sensation while urinating. If left untreated, UTIs can lead to kidney infection and other pregnancy complications. Make sure you take the prescribed antibiotics and drink lots of water.
Listeriosis may occur if you drink contaminated water and food. The most common symptoms of listeriosis include high fever, nausea, muscle ache, diarrhea, headaches, stiff neck and convulsions. If left untreated, listeriosis can cause premature delivery, stillbirth and miscarriage. Make sure you avoid unpasteurized meat and milk. Everything that you consume should be properly and fully cooked.
Effect of Fever on the Baby
A low-grade fever in the first trimester is alright, but a high-grade fever can be extremely dangerous for your growing fetus. This is because fetal development in the early stages is highly dependent on the protein activity which is sensitive to temperature. If your body temperatures exceeds what’s normal, it can get in the way of proteins function and cause miscarriage. During the third trimester, fever does not usually cause any problem to your baby unless it is related to uterine lining.
If you experience fever due to any of the above or other causes during your pregnancy, make sure you see your doctor about it. Proper precautions can help both you and your baby. For any other information regarding fever during pregnancy, talk to our experts at KIMS Cuddles.
*Information shared here is for general purpose Please take doctors’ advice before taking any decision.