How to Reduce Fever During Pregnancy

Two Methods:Reducing Fever During PregnancyKnowing the Common Reasons for Fever During Pregnancy

Fever is your body’s normal defense mechanism against infection or injury; however, if it continues for an extended period of time it can have negative impact on you and your unborn baby. You can usually treat mild fever on your own at home. However, you should contact your doctor immediately if you are unsure how to treat fever or if you suspect that something more serious could be going on.[1]

Method 1
Reducing Fever During Pregnancy

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    Consult your doctor or midwife. It is always important you talk to your healthcare provider first to let her know your symptoms and to confirm there is nothing to be concerned about. Your doctor can also diagnose the underlying cause for fever and treat it instead of just treating the symptom itself.[2]
    • Some common causes for fever during pregnancy include cold, flu, food poisoning, and urinary tract infection (see next section for more details).
    • Do not wait to contact your doctor if the fever is associated with other symptoms, such as rash, nausea, contractions, or abdominal pain.
    • Go to the hospital if you have a fever and your water breaks.[3]
    • Contact your doctor if your fever does not improve within 24-36 hours or immediately if you experience a fever above 100.4 F.
    • A prolonged fever can have negative effects on the baby and/or increase the risk of miscarriage. If you are unable to get the fever down, contact your healthcare provider or midwife for further instructions.[4]
    • Unless your doctor advises otherwise, you can try the next steps to reduce fever.
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    Take a lukewarm bath. A bath or a shower is an effective way to reduce fever. This is because when water evaporates off your skin it will draw heat and helps lower your body temperature.[5]
    • Do not use cold water as this can lead to shivers which in turn can increase your body temperature.
    • Do not use rubbing alcohol in the bath water because the vapors can cause harm.
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    Place a cool, wet washcloth over your forehead. One way to reduce fever is to place a cool, dampened washcloth over your forehead. This helps draw heat out of your body and reduces your body temperature. [6]
    • Another way to bring down fever is by using an overhead or standing fan to help remove heat from your body. Sit or lie under a fan. Use it on a low setting so you do not get chilled.
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    Drink lots of fluids. It is important that you keep your body well hydrated and replenish the water that is lost during fever.[7]
    • Drinking water helps keep you hydrated but also helps cool your body from the inside out.
    • Eat warm broths or chicken soup that provide extra fluids.
    • Drink beverages high in vitamin C, such as orange juice, or add a splash of lemon to your water.
    • You can also try electrolyte drinks to replenish lost minerals and glucose.
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    Get plenty of rest. Often times, fever is a normal reaction that occurs when your body fights off an infection. Thus, it is important you get plenty of rest to allow your immune system to do its job.[8]
    • Stay in bed and avoid excessive stress and activity.
    • If you are experiencing dizziness, it is important you lie down and avoid moving around to reduce the risk of stumbling or falling.
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    Wear only one layer of clothes. Do not overdress when pregnant, especially if you have fever. Wearing several layers of clothes can lead to overheating. If your body temperature remains elevated, it can lead to heat stroke or even premature labor.[9]
    • Dress in a single layer of light, breathable fabric, such as cotton, that will allow for proper air circulation.
    • Use a sheet or a thin blanket to cover yourself but only if needed.
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    Remember to take your prenatal vitamins. Prenatal vitamins can help boost your immune system and help maintain vitamin and mineral balance.[10]
    • Take your prenatal vitamins with plenty of water after a meal.
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    Take a fever-reducing medication. Ask your healthcare provider or midwife if it is safe for you to take a fever-reducing medication, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol). Acetaminophen (or paracetamol) can be used to lower fever and can make you feel more comfortable, while your body fights off the underlying cause of fever.[11]
    • Acetaminophen is usually considered safe for pregnant women; however, it should not be taken in combination with caffeine (such as migraine pills).[12]
    • You should not take aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (such as ibuprofen) when you are pregnant. Taking these medications can affect your baby’s development. If you are unsure what you can or cannot take, ask your doctor.[13]
    • If acetaminophen does not bring down your fever, contact your healthcare provider or midwife immediately.
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    Avoid homeopathic medications. Talk to your healthcare provider or midwife before taking any homeopathic or over-the-counter medications as some of these may affect your baby.[14]
    • This includes large amounts of vitamins, Echinacea, or any other homeopathic remedies.

Method 2
Knowing the Common Reasons for Fever During Pregnancy

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    Determine if you experience the symptoms of a common cold. A viral cold, also called an upper respiratory infection, is a common cause for fever during pregnancy. Most of us have experienced a seasonal cold at some point in our lives but with a suppressed immune system during pregnancy, the risk of getting a cold is higher.[15][16]
    • Symptoms are usually mild and include fever (100 F or higher), chills, runny nose, sore throat, muscle aches, and cough.[17]
    • Unlike bacterial infections, viral illnesses cannot be treated with antibiotics and usually resolve after your own immune system fights off the virus.
    • Drink plenty of fluids and try the normal home remedies mentioned in the first section to reduce fever and make yourself more comfortable.[18]
    • If you do not feel better within 3-4 days or if your symptoms worsen, call your doctor or midwife.
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    Recognize the symptoms of the flu. Similar to the common cold, the flu (influenza) is a viral illness that causes upper respiratory symptoms. However, the symptoms tend to be more severe compared with the cold.[19][20]
    • Symptoms of the flu include chills, fever (100 F or above), fatigue, headache, runny nose, cough, muscle aches, vomiting, and nausea.
    • If you believe you have the flu while pregnant, you need to seek medical attention immediately.
    • There is no specific treatment for the flu besides treating the symptoms. Your doctor may recommend antiviral medication to lessen the time of the illness and reduce the risk of complications.[21] Many pregnant women do need to be treated with Tamiflu or amantadine if they are diagnosed with the flu because some flu strains are more lethal to pregnant women than the general population.
    • Stay home and get plenty of rest and fluids. Follow the steps in the first section to reduce fever and make yourself more comfortable.[22]
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    Identify the symptoms of a urinary tract infection (UTI). A possible cause for fever during pregnancy (and otherwise) is a UTI, which is a bacterial infection that affects your urinary tract system (the urethra, ureters, kidneys, and bladder).[23][24]
    • UTI happens when bacteria gain access to your urinary tract and cause infection.[25]
    • Symptoms of UTI include fever, urge to urinate, burning sensation when urinating, cloudy or red-brown-colored urine, and pelvic pain.[26]
    • UTI can be effectively treated with certain antibiotics and thus, it is important you contact your doctor if you have any symptoms.[27]
    • You may also want to try cranberry juice although this has not been scientifically proven to treat UTI.[28]
    • If not treated, you can risk complications to yourself (kidney infection) or to your baby, including low birth weight, preterm delivery, sepsis, respiratory failure, and death.
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    Recognize the signs of gastrointestinal virus. If your fever is associated with vomiting and diarrhea, you may suffer from a stomach flu (gastroenteritis), which is most often caused by a virus.[29][30]
    • Symptoms of stomach flu include fever, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, muscle aches, and headache.[31]
    • There is no treatment for viral stomach flu but luckily majority of the cases resolve on their own. Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration and take steps to reduce fever.
    • If you are unable to hold liquids down after 24 hours, become dehydrated, there is blood in your vomit, or if your fever is above 101 F, seek medical attention immediately.
    • The main complication of stomach flu is dehydration. If you become severely dehydrated, you may have contractions or even go into preterm labor. Thus, it is essential that you contact your doctor or go to the hospital if you experience severe diarrhea and vomiting and cannot keep any liquids inside.[32]
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    Know the symptoms of listeriosis. Pregnant women with weakened immune system have higher risk of getting a bacterial infection called listeriosis.[33]
    • This infection can be contracted from animals, food, or soil that are contaminated with the bacteria.
    • Symptoms include fever, chills, shivering, muscle aches, diarrhea, and fatigue.[34]
    • Listeriosis can be very dangerous to the baby and mother and if left untreated can cause miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth.[35]
    • If you suspect listeriosis, contact your doctor immediately to receive antibiotic treatment.[36]


  • If you have a sore throat, try using salt water gargles to relieve the pain. Use 8 oz. warm water to 1 tsp. salt.
  • If you are experiencing sinus headaches or nasal congestion, nasal lavage or saline sprays (not medicated) can be of help. You can also try using a humidifier to relief these symptoms.
  • If you have a fever, careful attention to any symptoms that you might have can help the obstetrician or midwife narrow the cause of the fever down. narrow this down.


  • Always consult your health care provider if you have a fever while pregnant. A temperature above 100.4 degrees F (38 degrees C) could be dangerous to yourself and your baby. A high fever may increase the risk of miscarriage or birth defects, especially early in the pregnancy.
  • If the fever lasts longer than 24-36 hours or is associated with other symptoms, such as nausea, rash, pain, dehydration, breathing difficulties or seizures, contact your doctor.

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