High temperature in pregnancy

Call your GP, midwife or hospital maternity unit if your temperature is above 37.5 degrees Celsius, even if you have no other flu or cold symptoms.

If you’re feeling hot or unwell, you can take your temperature with a thermometer. These are available at most chemists and pharmacies.   

A high temperature (more than 37.5C) could be a sign of a hidden infection. Some infections can make you very unwell or harm unborn babies, so it is important to get it checked out. 

It is safe to take paracetamol. Follow the instructions on the packet for how much you can take. Try to take the lowest dose that works and for the shortest amount of time. 

There are some painkillers you should not take while you’re pregnant. These include tablets or capsules that: 

  • contain added caffeine (sometimes sold with 'extra' on the label) 
  • contain codeine 
  • are anti-inflammatory, like ibuprofen or aspirin.

Some women may be advised to take a low dose of aspirin during their pregnancy if they are at risk of pregnancy complications, such as pre-eclampsia. This will be prescribed by a doctor.  

Aspirin is not recommended however for pain relief in pregnancy (such as for a headache).

Find out more about drugs and medicines in pregnancy

Pregnancy and coronavirus 

A high temperature is a symptom of coronavirus. It's strongly recommended that you get vaccinated against COVID-19 to protect you and your baby. It's safe to have the vaccine during any stage of pregnancy, from the first few weeks up to your expected due date.

It’s important to tell your midwife or maternity team if you have symptoms of COVID-19, even if you have been vaccinated. They can give you advice about how to look after yourself.  

Find out more about pregnancy and coronavirus

Pregnancy and flu 

A sudden high temperature may also be a sign of flu. It's recommended that all pregnant women and birthing people have the flu vaccine, whatever stage of you're at. 

Talk to your GP, midwife or maternity unit as soon as possible if you think you have flu, even if you’ve had your flu jab .  

If you do have flu, Your GP can prescribe medicine that might help reduce your risk of complications, but it needs to be taken very soon after symptoms appear.

NHS. High temperature (fever) in adults. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/fever-in-adults/ (Page last reviewed: 6 April 2020 Next review due: 6 April 2023) 

NHS. Headaches in pregnancy. https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/related-conditions/common-symptoms/headaches/ (Page last reviewed: 8 April 2021 Next review due: 8 April 2024) 

 Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists. Pre-eclampsia. https://www.rcog.org.uk/for-the-public/browse-all-patient-information-leaflets/pre-eclampsia-patient-information-leaflet/

NHS. Pregnancy, breastfeeding and fertility while taking aspirin for pain relief. https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/aspirin-for-pain-relief/pregnancy-breastfeeding-and-fertility-while-taking-aspirin-for-pain-relief/ (Page last reviewed: 10 December 2021 Next review due: 10 December 2024)

NHS. Pregnancy and coronavirus (COVID-19) https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/keeping-well/pregnancy-and-coronavirus (Page last reviewed: 24 October 2022 Next review due 24 April 2023) 

NHS. The flu jab in pregnancy. https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/keeping-well/flu-jab/ (Page last reviewed: 5 September 2022 Next review due: 5 September 2025)


Review dates
Reviewed: 21 February 2023
Next review: 21 February 2026