Symptoms Of Fever In Pregnancy
A fever is clinically defined as having a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or greater. But of course theres a range of severity. A persons normal body temperature is 98.6 degrees, so anytime your temperature is above that, you could technically have a fever , says Christine Greves, MD, an ob-gyn at the Orlando Health Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies in Orlando, Florida. We usually consider a fever something that needs extra attention if its over 102 degrees, she adds.
If you have a fever during pregnancy, the symptoms you may experience would be the same as if you werent expecting. Being pregnant shouldnt alter that, says , CNM, RN, a certified nurse midwife at Mayo Clinic. Those symptoms include:
What If My Fever Goes Away On Its Own
Even if moms-to-be think theyre fine after a fever subsides, its always best to play it safe and see your doctor anyway.
Fevers during pregnancy are never normal, so an exam is always recommended. Luckily, if the fever was caused by a viral illness, hydration and Tylenol are usually enough for recovery.
But if the cause is bacterial, an antibiotic is often needed.
Pregnant women should not take aspirin or ibuprofen.
The most important thing is to see your doctor for proper treatment.
Is It Food Poisoning
Food poisoning could also be the culprit if you have a fever. Food poisoning is usually caused by viruses, or, less often, bacteria .
If this is the case, youll likely also experience abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. Diarrhea and vomiting are especially problematic during a pregnancy because they can cause dehydration, contractions, and preterm labor.
Vital electrolytes lost through vomiting and diarrhea must be replenished. In some cases, dehydration can be so severe that blood pressure becomes unstable and hospitalization is required.
If you suspect that you may have food poisoning, contact your doctor.
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Use Throat Lozenges Or Throat Sprays
Throat lozenges and throat sprays are generally safe for use during pregnancy, so feel free to use them to coat your throat. Some also have menthol to help relieve other cold symptoms, and most throat sprays have antiseptic in them to help numb your throat from the pain.
If choosing a multi-symptom throat lozenge, make sure you need all the treatments listed if not, opt for a single-use lozenge, such as one that only soothes the throat). Choosing a multi-symptom lozenge when you donât have a cold that needs treating can cause you to over-medicate.
And avoid zinc lozenges that are designed to fight a cold rather than just soothe symptoms.
Always check with your doctor before taking any medication even if it is over the counter.
Prescription Medications Youre Already Taking
Before pregnancy, you may already be taking prescription medications for thyroid issues, high blood pressure, or other conditions. Speak with your doctor about continuing these medications, especially if youre already pregnant or plan to become pregnant in the near future.
In many cases, you may safely take your medication during pregnancy. Sometimes you may need to either adjust dosages or switch to another medication thats considered safer for you and baby.
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Q Can I Breast Feed If I Am Positive For Covid
A: Yes, you can breast feed if you test positive for COVID-19. However, transmission of the virus from mother to baby will occur because of the physical closeness that occurs during breast feeding. Breast milk remains the best source of nutrition and protection against illnesses. It is recommended that mothers who test positive for COVID-19 use appropriate hygiene and hand-washing techniques while pumping their breast milk until 14 days after delivery.
Can Pregnancy Make Hay Fever Worse
Allergies are caused by an overreaction by the immune system which creates inflammation, a runny nose, itchy eyes and general feel of discomfort. Being pregnant is already uncomfortable as your immune system is heightened and your body temperature is higher so pregnancy does make the symptoms of hay fever worse. Due to hay fever medicine being such a tricky subject we repeat our advice to try and avoid going outside when theres a high pollen count.
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Why Do I Feel So Hot During Pregnancy
Pregnant women have an increased amount of blood in their body, so it causes them to feel warmer than most people. For a womans body to handle the extra blood, the blood vessels dilate slightly, bringing blood closer to the surface of the skin and causing the woman to feel warmer.
How Can I Reduce My Hay Fever Symptoms
There are a number of ways you can reduce hay fever symptoms and pollen intake when pregnant. These preventative measures should be the first port of call before considering hay fever medication:
- Avoid being outdoors at certain times of the day pollen count is highest during the middle of the day.
- Keep windows and doors shut pollen travels in the wind and can easily get in through windows
- Dab some vaseline in and around your nose the petroleum jelly catches pollen before you breathe it in.
- Wear wrap-around sunglasses these will stop pollen getting in your eyes and causing irritation.
- Regularly wash hair and changes clothes both are targets for trapped pollen.
- Shower before bed this will prevent any pollen from transferring onto your bed sheets.
- Avoid hanging washing out to dry outside pollen particles can attach to your clothes and be carried into the house.
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Supplement Use During Pregnancy
Discuss any supplements you take or plan to take during your pregnancy with your doctor.
While prenatal vitamins are recommended to support levels of essential vitamins and minerals, like folate, other supplements may pose risks to your baby. They may also interact with medications youre already taking.
Note that just because something is labeled all-natural doesnt always mean its safe. Supplements are by the FDA in the same way as prescription drugs. Approach them with caution and discuss using with your doctor before starting any.
Common Medications To Avoid
Knowing what not to take is almost more important than knowing which medications are safe to take during pregnancy. There are a number of medications to avoid while pregnant unless recommended by your doctor. These include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Motrin and Advil , Bayer , and Aleve and Naprosyn , higher doses of which can cause premature blood vessel closure in the baby. However, low-dose aspirin is now routinely recommended for other indications.
- Any cold remedy containing alcohol, including Benadryl and NyQuil
- Codeine, a narcotic drug which may cause fetal respiratory depression
- Bactrim , an antibiotic that can interfere with folic acid metabolism while stimulating the production of bilirubin , both of which are not good for the baby. The concern for folic acid metabolism is only in the first trimester, and the concern for jaundice is only after 32 weeks gestation. The medication can otherwise be used without concern, especially when treatment is necessary.
- Pseudoephedrine- and phenylephrine-based decongestants, both of which may cause the constriction of blood vessels, potentially increasing the risk of a specific birth defect in the first trimester and risk of elevated blood pressures if used later in pregnancy.
If your cold or flu is severe and you are experiencing chest pains, are coughing up discolored mucus, or have a fever over 102o F, call your doctor immediately.
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Why You Might Be Getting Sick More Often And What Treatments Are Safe
Monique Rainford, MD, is board-certified in obstetrics-gynecology, and currently serves as an Assistant Clinical Professor at Yale Medicine. She is the former chief of obstetrics-gynecology at Yale Health.
Pregnancy temporarily changes some aspects of your immune system function. These changes don’t protect you from certain infections, including the common cold. Getting sick when you’re pregnant is tough, and the effects of being sick can make it a challenge to eat well and get enough sleep. When you’re pregnant, you also have to avoid some of the medical treatments that are normally used to treat illnesses. Learn how to manage the common cold while you are pregnant.
What Medications Can I Take While Pregnant
Some medicines are safe for use during pregnancy, as long as you follow proper dosing instructions. Always check with your doctor prior to taking medications to make sure they agree the medication you choose will complement your obstetric care:
- Antibiotics: Since these must be prescribed by a doctor, your doctor will choose one that is safe for use during pregnancy. Antibiotics that can be used are cephalexin, amoxicillin, and penicillin.
- Acetaminophen : Use Tylenol sparingly. While it has been determined to be safe for pregnancy, overuse has been linked to liver damage .
- Cough drops.
- Throat sprays.
- Antacids: If your sore throat is caused by acid reflux, antacids such as Tums or Rolaids are safe to use. However, choose ones that contain calcium carbonate over sodium bicarbonate as they can cause water retention .
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Q Are Pregnant Women More Likely To Become Infected With Covid
A: More recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released information that indicates pregnant women are at increased risk for having severe illness if they are infected with COVID-19. It is important to maintain social distancing, utilize proper hand washing and stay healthy during your pregnancy.
What Can You Take For Hay Fever While Pregnant
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Hayfever is one of the most annoying situations to have to go through at the best time of times, with many people more susceptible than others. Some people may not get it all, some may just have a runny nose whilst others can suffer quite a bit with streaming eyes, puffy face and constant sneezing to the point where it makes everyday life a massive struggle.
Suffering from hayfever while pregnant adds another dimension which can compound your discomfort. The later in the pregnancy you are the more uncomfortable it can be.
Normally, you would take a trip to the supermarket or pharmacist to get a nasal spray, eye drops, petroleum jelly, antihistamine tablets or whatever has worked for you but the pregnancy makes it confusing as to what is safe to use during pregnancy and what can you get to make hayfever more manageable whilst keeping your unborn baby safe and in good health.
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The Common Cold And Your Baby
According to research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , having a cold while during pregnancy typically doesn’t harm the mother or the baby. When you get sick, your baby is protected by your immune system, their own immune system, and the placenta.
The one symptom to watch out for, though, is fever. Having a fever early in pregnancy may increase the risk of certain birth defects. Make sure to contact your healthcare provider if you develop a fever while you are pregnant.
The common cold doesn’t typically cause a fever, and a fever might be a sign that you have a different illness, such as the flu.
Gargle With Salt Water
Gargling with warm salt water can help clear your throat of irritants and loosen the mucus. The salt is also soothing and helps to draw out excess moisture.
To gargle, add Â½ teaspoon of salt to a cup of warm, not hot, water and mix it until dissolved. Take a sip, tip your head back, and gargle so the mixture reaches as far back in your throat as possible.
Gargle for about a minute, then spit out the salt water.
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What Will My Gp Recommend
If youve tried avoiding pollen and youre still suffering badly from hay fever, it might be worth visiting your pharmacist or GP. They may first suggest using nasal sprays and eye drops that contain medicines like sodium cromoglicate, corticosteroids, or antihistamines .
The medicine in nasal sprays and eye drops enters the blood stream in very small amounts. Hardly any will cross the placenta and so they are not expected to harm your unborn baby. These can also be bought over the counter, but it is best to consult your doctor first .
If these dont help, your GP then might prescribe antihistamine tablets. The antihistamines that cause drowsiness may not be suitable to use while pregnant. Your doctor will assess which is the best antihistamine for you .
How To Treat A Fever During Pregnancy
Wondering how to reduce fever during pregnancy?
Other methods can help too:
- A cool damp cloth over your eyes and face
- A lukewarm bath or shower
- Resting in a cool room
- Drinking lots of fluids
And treating the fever also means treating the underlying cause.
If your fever is related to a bacterial infection, rather than a viral one, you might need antibiotics or other prescription medication.
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Can You Take Tylenol While Pregnant
When youre pregnant, you become more aware of what youre consuming since youre now carrying another person. Many pregnant people focus on balancing their nutrition, taking a prenatal vitamin and avoiding common, over-the-counter medications like Tylenol.
But pregnancy is also known for its fair share of aches and painslike relentless backaches and sore ankles from carrying that bump around all day. Pregnancy pains are common and normal, but they still hurt. So what can you do?
Flu Vaccination During Pregnancy
The flu jab will protect both you and your baby.
Pregnant women have a much higher chance of developing complications if they get flu, particularly in the later stages of pregnancy. One of the most common complications of flu is bronchitis, a chest infection that can become serious and develop into pneumonia. Other complications are not common, but include:
- middle ear infection
- blood infection that causes a severe drop in blood pressure
- infection of the brain and spinal cord
- inflammation of the brain
- Inflammation of the heart muscle
Women who have had the flu vaccine while pregnant also pass some protection on to their babies, which lasts for the first 6 months of their lives.
The vaccine also poses no risk to women who are breastfeeding, or to their babies.
The flu vaccine is free for pregnant women as part of the National Immunisation Program.
Read more about what vaccinations are safe during pregnancy.
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Tylenol While Pregnant: Risks & Concerns
While acetaminophen is considered the safest pain reliever to take while pregnant, its not without some risks. Emerging research suggests a possible association between acetaminophen use during pregnancy and a small increase in the likelihood of asthma, ADHD and autism in children.
However, the studies arent considered strong evidence since many were done in animals and often at much higher doses than normal, or through self-reports by women who took Tylenol during pregnancy . Much of the criticim of these studies are that they have imperfect controlswhich makes it really hard to separate what factors actually drive the results.
So at this point, theres no proof that appropriate acetaminophen use negatively impacts babies. To be safe though, experts recommend taking the lowest dose for the shortest possible time or trying alternative ways to relieve pain first. And of coures, before taking any sort of medication or supplement during pregnancy, you should always consult your healthcare provider.
Statistical Analysis And Ethical Committee
Continuous data were presented as medians and 25th to 75th percentiles. Categorical data were presented as counts and percentages. For the description of outcomes, the 95 % confidence interval was estimated. Fisher exact test or Chi-square were performed for the categorical data as appropriate. Statistical analysis was performed using R software
This study was approved by the Institutional Review Board number 2018-032.
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Dealing With A Cold While Pregnant
A cold is a very common mild viral infection of the nose, throat, sinuses and upper airways. It can cause a blocked nose followed by a runny nose, sneezing, a sore throat and a cough. The cold will usually last for about a week as the body fights off the infection.
There is no cure for a cold, although you can usually relieve the symptoms of a cold at home by taking over-the-counter medication, such as paracetamol, and drinking plenty of fluids.
What Are The Alternatives
The optimal management of pain or fever during pregnancy has not been well studied and treatment options remain limited.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications have been linked to miscarriage when used in the first trimester, whereas use after 30 weeks gestation can negatively impact kidney and heart/lung function in the fetus. For this reason non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications are best avoided unless advised by a healthcare professional. The same goes for strong pain medications such as opioids, which should be reserved for the management of severe pain. Paracetamol remains the best choice for the short-term treatment of pain and/or fever during pregnancy.
It is also important to identify the cause of the pain or fever, particularly during pregnancy. Discussions about paracetamol use can lead to further investigation, recommendations for non-medication treatments or the need for different medications.
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