Fever is a common illness that can affect everyone, including pregnant women. If you are having a fever during pregnancy, you will notice the normal signs such as high temperature, headache, sweating, fatigue, shivering, dehydration, and muscle aches.
Possible Reasons Why You Might Have Fever during Pregnancy
When you are pregnant, your immune system will not work as it did before, so you are more likely to experience certain illness.
If you are experiencing fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, achiness, and coughing, you might have influenza. A suppressed immune system can put pregnant women at a higher risk of having the flu or other serious illnesses. You should consult a doctor once you suspect flu symptoms. He or she will recommend that you increase your intake of fluids, get ample rest, and take antiviral medication to lower the period of the infection and the risk of complications. It is also important to get the influenza shot when you are pregnant.
Common cold can also cause fever during pregnancy. Bacteria can invade the upper respiratory tract to cause symptoms such as feeling of clogged or blocked nasal pathways, pharynx and larynx or sinus infection. If you are pregnant you might experience symptoms like flu, fever, coughing, runny nose, sore throat, and difficulty in breathing. If the infection continues beyond two weeks or the symptoms worsen it can cause severe conditions such as pneumonia, bronchitis and sinusitis.
A urinary tract infection can also cause a fever. The urinary tract system in the female body is comprised of the bladder, ureter, urethra, and kidneys. Infection frequently invades this tract due to bacterial invasion and growth. If left untreated, infections could go into the bladder from the kidneys to cause serious problems such as low birth weight and preterm labor.
Gastrointestinal viruses are another possible reason for having a fever during pregnancy. Besides fever, it can cause diarrhea and vomiting that might culminate in severe complications for pregnant women if not treated on time. For instance, dehydration can cause preterm labor and premature contractions. If this virus is not managed properly, it will cause symptoms such as hypotension, fainting, dizziness, weakness, and electrolyte imbalance.
It’s important to consult your doctor right away if you are experiencing problems such as symptoms of dehydration, blood inside the vomitus, fever or blood in your bowel movements.
You should not hesitate to contact your general physician or midwife if you are not sure what is causing your fever during pregnancy. Your healthcare provider can conduct a full physical examination and might even recommend some other test to determine the real cause.
Seek urgent medical help if the cold symptoms get worse in a few days or you are having problems breathing. It’s possible that you could develop a secondary infection that requires some intensive treatment.
Getting Relief from Fever during Pregnancy
Eat foods with lots of Vitamin C content.
This vitamin is a natural healer, and it’s found in vegetables, fruits, and juices. If it is not easy for you to digest the citrus juices, you could opt for less acidic options such as mango, papaya, cantaloupe or honeydew.
Drink a lot of liquids, including water, fruit juices, and warm drinks.
You should increase your intake of water once you start to experience a fever, runny nose, vomiting or diarrhea. In all those situations, you should drink at least one cup of water every hour, or any other liquid you are able to drink easily. The hot or warm beverages can help to sooth the throat, so you could keep a thermos nearby with some hot decaffeinated tea, broth or other diluted juice. In the event that your stomach is tumbling, you can suck popsicles or drink rehydration fluid.
There are also certain medications that you can take when having a fever during pregnancy. Paracetamol is normally recommended for treating fever during pregnancy.
Place a cool, wet washcloth on your forehead and/or the back of your neck. Try not to wear too much clothing at this time as this could restrict the circulation of air. Wear cotton garments and use a light sheet to cover if you have a chill.
Get a lot of rest. When you are not active, your body will stay cool and your risk of stumbling and falling due to dizziness will decrease.
Take a lukewarm bath or sponge bath to help lower your body temperature.
Maintain a healthy and balanced diet that contains vegetables and fruits. This diet will ensure that you get several antioxidant minerals and vitamins that can help fight off infections.
Can your baby get hurt if you are having fever during pregnancy?
If you are having a low fever during early pregnancy this will not cause any serious problem for your baby. However, the same cannot be said for a high fever that can be dangerous for your baby because the early development depends on protein activity that is sensitive to temperature. An increase in body temperature can prevent the proteins from functioning optimally which could cause devastating problems such as miscarriage.