Do these 5 things immediately when you have a fever during pregnancy

Experiencing a fever during pregnancy can feel like an extremely scary thing for an expecting mom. Having a fever during pregnancy (or a body temperature over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit) can cause alarm for a mom, her support system/spouse, and immediately cause her to grow concerned for her unborn child as well. If an expecting mom’s body produces an elevated temperature, that correlates to her baby in utero as well. But what can pregnant women take for a fever? It’s a serious question with a serious answer. If you are currently pregnant or have someone in your life who will be welcoming a new bundle of joy soon, we urge you to pay attention to these tips and information on handling fevers while expecting.

First things first: Stay calm and confirm your temp

As a pregnant mom who’s found herself overheated — or warm to the touch — it’s completely normal to become alarmed at the possibility of being ill. It’s vital during this time of worry that moms-to-be remain as calm as possible. Staying calm redirects feelings of anxiety and allows mothers to focus their energies on diagnosing and treating their possible issue(s). Once moms have regained their sense of order, confirming the suspected fever is the next step in handling the situation. Ensure you’re testing your body temperature with a clean and working thermometer. Repeat the procedure at least twice to confirm an accurate reading has been taken. A fever is considered such when the human body reaches a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher.

Call your doctor

Once you have confirmed that you have what’s classified as an active fever, the next step in treating the issue is contacting your OBGYN. It’s important to do this, especially in high-risk pregnancy situations, to obtain exact and up-to-date treatment for the fever by the doctor who is following the pregnancy. When phoning the doctor’s office, be sure to relay to the medical staff the exact reading received when your temperature was taken, and how it was taken (either oral, axillary, or rectal). This helps staff members accurately process the information and treat the malady appropriately. Depending on the temperature and the personal health information of the patient, the OBGYN might request that you come in to be seen in the office for further testing and diagnostics. These types of scenarios usually only occur when fevers are accompanied by correlated symptoms that could be attributed to:

  • Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
  • Bacterial or viral infections
  • Food poisoning

What can pregnant women take for a fever?

You’ve stayed calm, confirmed your fever, and spoken with your doctor about any high-risk issues or special medical situations, and now you’re ready to start treating the problem. What do you do?

  1. The first, and best, thing to do when you’ve discovered a fever as an expecting mom is to take the recommended dosage of acetaminophen. This medication, also known by its branded name, Tylenol, is a mom’s first line of defense in treating fevers. Acetaminophen has been proven safe for pregnant mothers, and small children to take to ease discomfort and fevers due to its ability to lower the body’s core temperature without causing internal damage. Dr. Laura Laursen, a practicing OBGYN from Chicago talked to Insider about Tylenol and its uses during pregnancy, “Tylenol is one of the front-line pain meds that we use during pregnancy. It’s safe from your first trimester through the third.”
  2. Stay hydrated by drinking lots of fluids — most importantly water. By keeping your pregnant body as hydrated as possible, you are supplying yourself and your baby with a valuable tool it needs to cool itself internally.
  3. Dress yourself down in more lightweight and breathable fabrics. Now is the time to reach for those soft and comfortable cotton t-shirts and oversized pajama bottoms. Give your skin the chance to breathe, sweat if necessary, and cool naturally without any restrictive materials covering it.
  4. Take a lukewarm bath. By soaking your overheated skin in a tub filled with lukewarm water, you’re physically changing the temperature of your body and bringing its core temperature down gradually. This soothing time spent in the tub can also double as essential self-care for expecting moms. Use the time to relax, reflect, and prepare for the upcoming excitements of birth, or simply space out for a few minutes of precious “you time.”
  5. Stay inside and use a fan to remain cool.

Final thoughts

Whether you decide to do one thing or another, it’s always recommended to speak with your doctor prior to taking any medications or engaging in any activities that might put yourself or your baby at risk. Medication allergies, interactions, or catastrophic outcomes should be always avoided, making communication between you and your OBGYN paramount when treating any kind of ailments. Fevers, while normal at any stage during pregnancy when isolated and self-treated, can also be a sign of a more extensive problem at play, making discussions between you and your doctor even more vital.

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