OB/GYN Dr. Lisa Masterson explains when pregnant women should seek medical help if they have a fever.
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Male Speaker: We have an e-mail question from Raelene in Anaheim California and she writes dear doctors, I am wondering what is considered a high fever, and does it make a difference if you are pregnant, since I am expecting my first child? Well because Raelene's question is so common, we've invited her to answer her question in person so welcome, congratulations on the pregnancy. Raelene: Hi, thank you. Male Speaker: So let's get to your question because you are pregnant, you're going to have questions about your child's fever, about your own fever and just people in general, so normal body temperature is around 98.6 degrees, in the morning it can get down to 97.4, in the afternoon may be 99.6, so there are fluctuations. For an adult I don't get terribly excited in the ER until the temperature gets upto 104, 105, 106. What's much more important to me is, why do have the fever, and how do you feel? But the one thing you've bought up is you're pregnant, right? Raelene: Absolutely. Lisa Masterson: So it's actually little bit fear, it's a little different. Though the fever depends on how far long you are, how many weeks you are in the pregnancy because that baby is a lot harder and so it's doing, it's working a lot harder to dissipate that heat as well. So if you are further along, your doctor may want to have you come in and check on the baby or if you have a schedule delivery, or if you have an immunity problem, it may have a lot of different -- you know potential consequences on your pregnancy. So we usually say at 100.4 because your doctor is going to want to know what's going on with you. So we usually want to know when you have a fever. Anytime you have a fever and if you know depending on where you are, a doctor may say well take some Acetaminophen or Tylenol that you can take and while you are pregnant and then again they may say we want you to come in, we want to see what's going on with the baby depending on your history, we have the history of pre-term labor or other things going on. So always call your doctor as when you are pregnant for anything of 100.4. Male speaker: But once you deliver your baby, doctors Sears, people always wonder when is my baby considered -- Jim Sears: Especially a new parent like yourself, you know you've got a little baby there and suddenly you have a fever and you are not sure what to do. Here is -- there is a couple of rules. When your baby is under 3 months old, any fever you call the doctor and that's a 100.4 or over and it has to be -- in that young it needs to be your rectal temperature. If you take it in the mouth or under the arm, it's just not accurate and not for a little baby. So 100.4 rectally, call the doctor. Once the baby is over about three months or so, then we all relax a little bit. Male speaker: The question your doctor will always ask you about your child, the first thing they will ask is how does he or she look? They won't say necessarily what's the fever go first ask, okay how is the fever, how they do look? Jim Sears: Yeah, I always ask, what he is doing right now. And he is always jumping the bed. I am like, okay well he is probably okay. Male Speaker: So a great question to know. And best of luck with the rest of your pregnancy. Raelene: Thank you. Lisa Masterson: Congratulations.