Experiencing a fever during pregnancy is not uncommon, however it must stay within permissible limits. Any surge in body temperature or blood pressure must be reported to your doctor, in order to avoid complications.
A mild fever during pregnancy, is considered normal during the initial few weeks of pregnancy and should not be a cause of concern. What must be taken into consideration is that the fever should remain a low-grade fever and should not be allowed to aggravate and exceed 102 degree Fahrenheit. If in case your body temperature does go higher, consulting the obstetrician as soon as possible would be the wisest decision. A high fever of above 102 º could inflict trauma to the fetus, as at this stage, the fetus is not strong enough to create its own resistance. The fever, if not brought into control in time, could prove fatal for the fetus.
Causes of Fever
Proteins instigate the physiological growth of the fetus, but these proteins need a conducive temperature to be active. If the body temperature exceeds normal rates, these proteins may become dysfunctional or act abnormally, which instead will directly hamper the growth of the fetus. A high fever of 102 º may increase the chances of the baby suffering from congenital defects at childbirth or may even increase the chances of inducing a miscarriage.
Women tend to suffer from spina bifids a neural defect within their first 14 weeks of pregnancy, if their body temperature is allowed to go higher than the permissible level. It is not advisable to take hot sauna or steam baths or any other method that drastically hikes your body temperature. It would be unhealthy and unsafe for the fetus. Experiencing a slight fever after you are some months into the pregnancy is safe, as the fetus begins to form completely. At this stage, the baby becomes much stronger. High temperatures are usually unable to cause sudden displacement of the fetus in the uterus, however, safety must be maintained and precautions must be taken to avoid overheating the body.
Ways To Control Fever During Pregnancy
❣ Dehydration during pregnancy is one of the main causes of rise in body heat. Always remember to drink lots of fluids at regular intervals, this is because a fever can make you dehydrated and fatigued, which is harmful for you as well as your unborn child. Give rest to your body and do not exert yourself as that will only cause your fever to rise.
❣ Wear light weighing clothes that are airy and loose fitted. Light maternity clothes help keep you cool because they do not absorb the heat within them. If possible avoid wearing undergarments while at home, or always opt for pure cotton undergarments if you can’t help it.
❣ Maintain personal hygiene, by washing your undergarments everyday, and cleaning yourself with a women’s wash. Wash yourself every time you visit the washroom, so as to avoid instances of urinary tract infections. If possible abstain from the use of public toilets, or if the need arises, use a sanitizer to clean the seat before use. Carry your own toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and liquid handwash.
❣ Talk to your doctor and ask for the medicines you can have to lower your fever. Tylenol and acetaminophen are proven to be very effective in lowering down the fever. Do not just pop any over-the-counter pills in order to reduce your fever as your body may react adversely to them, as compared to before you were pregnant.
❣ Get yourself a mandatory flu shot as that will help you gather some resistance from catching a cold or fever.
❣ Try to analyze why you might be suffering from the fever. Many times the fever may not be because of the pregnancy, but due to a Urinary Tract Infection or even a throat infection. Consult your doctor and explain the symptoms that are making you sick while pregnant as it could be a simple case of a minor stomach infection that may be causing you to suffer from diarrhea during pregnancy.
❣ The main objective is to not overheat your body therefore desist from using heating pads or electric blankets as they will only make things worse. Also do not cover yourself up with thick blankets, thinking they will help you sweat it out. They will only increase your fever even further.
❣ Keep a check on your diet as some foods and drinks such as alcohol are known to increase your body temperature and should not be consumed during pregnancy.
Getting a fever during pregnancy is quite unavoidable, but keeping it within control is fairly easy. A woman’s health weakens due to the rapid changes that her body is going through and therefore she needs extra attention and care. Looking after yourself and taking the right precautions will keep you from stressing about your fever and the health of your little one.