Pregnancy and Fever

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Story Updated: Feb 25, 2014

The conclusion published in Pediatrics follows an in-depth review of 46 prior studies conducted between 1990 and 2013.

The researchers examined maternal fevers occurring as early as 3 months before conception and as late as full-term delivery.

But most focused on the 1st trimester. And substantial evidence did link 1st trimester fevers with a 1-and-a-half to nearly 3 times greater risk of certain health issues for the baby.

For example, maternal fever was associated with a higher risk for heart defects a higher risk for mouth malformations, known as oral clefts and a higher risk for neural tube defects affecting the brain or spinal cord.

However, the team noted that fever medications did seem to lower the risk. And they called for more research, to establish exactly how the length, height, and timing of an expectant mom's fever might affect her baby.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with health information for healthier living.

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