What to do when pregnant and have a fever

Fever is your body’s normal defense mechanism against infection or injury; however, if it continues for an extended period of time it can have negative impact on you and your unborn baby. Some common causes for fever during pregnancy include cold, flu, food poisoning, and urinary tract infection (see next section for more details). Do not wait to contact your doctor if the fever is associated with other symptoms, such as rash, nausea, contractions, or abdominal pain. Contact your doctor if your fever does not improve within 24-36 hours or immediately if you experience a fever above 100.4 F. Another way to bring down fever is by using an overhead or standing fan to help remove heat from your body. If you are experiencing dizziness, it is important you lie down and avoid moving around to reduce the risk of stumbling or falling.
You should not take aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (such as ibuprofen) when you are pregnant. If acetaminophen does not bring down your fever, contact your healthcare provider or midwife immediately. Unlike bacterial infections, viral illnesses cannot be treated with antibiotics and usually resolve after your own immune system fights off the virus.

Symptoms of the flu include chills, fever (100 F or above), fatigue, headache, runny nose, cough, muscle aches, vomiting, and nausea. If you believe you have the flu while pregnant, you need to seek medical attention immediately.
If not treated, you can risk complications to yourself (kidney infection) or to your baby, including low birth weight, preterm delivery, sepsis, respiratory failure, and death. If you are unable to hold liquids down after 24 hours, become dehydrated, there is blood in your vomit, or if your fever is above 101 F, seek medical attention immediately.
If you have a fever, careful attention to any symptoms that you might have can help the obstetrician or midwife narrow the cause of the fever down. If the fever lasts longer than 24-36 hours or is associated with other symptoms, such as nausea, rash, pain, dehydration, breathing difficulties or seizures, contact your doctor. It is always important you talk to your healthcare provider first to let her know your symptoms and to confirm there is nothing to be concerned about.
Often times, fever is a normal reaction that occurs when your body fights off an infection.
Ask your healthcare provider or midwife if it is safe for you to take a fever-reducing medication, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol).

A viral cold, also called an upper respiratory infection, is a common cause for fever during pregnancy.
Your doctor may recommend antiviral medication to lessen the time of the illness and reduce the risk of complications.[21] Many pregnant women do need to be treated with Tamiflu or amantadine if they are diagnosed with the flu because some flu strains are more lethal to pregnant women than the general population. If you become severely dehydrated, you may have contractions or even go into preterm labor. A temperature above 100.4 degrees F (38 degrees C) could be dangerous to yourself and your baby. A high fever may increase the risk of miscarriage or birth defects, especially early in the pregnancy.
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