June 17, 2011

Fever While Pregnant – Can it Harm Your Baby

fever while pregnantFever is considered when the temperature goes beyond 99 degree Fahrenheit (37 degree Celsius). The normal temperature of our body is 98.4 degree Fahrenheit (36.8 degree Celsius). There are several mechanisms in our body that helps us to maintain this level. But fever is a condition where there is release of different chemicals that increase the temperature. Certain hormones are also released that augments this mechanism.

During the first three months of pregnancy, the rate of growth for the baby is maximum. It is this period; a woman needs much calorie intake also. Slight increase in temperature will not have any bad impact over the baby, but any temperature crossing 103 degrees Fahrenheit (39.4 degree Celsius) will hamper the fetal development. Even miscarriage has been reported from pregnant mothers having high grade of fever.

Different types of proteins are generated during the fetal development. Temperature is a determining factor during synthesis of protein. If the temperature is increased, there may be altered synthesis and congenital fetal anomaly may be there.

During the last trimester (last three months), when the development of the baby is almost completed (there is increase of the size of the fetus only), fever may not have any bad impact to the fetal growth. But intrauterine infection has to be ruled out at this period. In any case, if the mother suffers from fever at any point of pregnancy, she must consult her doctor.

Each and every medication has to be chosen carefully during pregnancy. There are several medicines that adversely affect the fetal development. As for example, Paracetamol is safe during pregnancy, but using Ibuprofen, Aspirin and Nimesulide has to be avoided. These drugs block the action of prostaglandin, an important hormone that is essentially required in pregnancy. Hypertensive mothers, who used to take aspirin, should consult their doctor. There are other drugs that can be prescribed at this time.