Giving Birth While Sick: How to Cope?



Going into labor is  an exciting day, but giving birth while sick can put a damper on the excitement!  Today we’re sharing a few ways to cope if this happens to you! After all, you’re already survived so much during your pregnancy! From morning sickness to swollen ankles, your body has been put through the wringer. It hardly seems fair to come down with a cold on the big day!

OTHER READ: Mother To Mother: Tips for Preparing For Natural Childbirth

Giving Birth While Sick: How To Cope

*This article is not meant to act as medical advice. Please check with your doctor before taking any medications.

It’s the end of your pregnancy and you come down with a nasty cold. You think, ‘This would be an awful time to go into labor’.  Then your water breaks.   So what happens now?  Not that it makes you feel all that better when you’re suffering, but it is actually pretty common, and typically nothing to worry about.

RELATED ARTICLE: Labor Pain Relief: Understanding Your Options

If you go into labor and you are told to stay home until your contractions are closer together, load up on vitamin C and rest.  Listen to what the nurses and doctors tell you to do and be sure to drink enough fluids.  If you have a fever, try cold cloths and Tylenol.  Just like you would if you were not in labor.

Once you get to the hospital, they may make you don a mask, so you don’t spread those nasty germs to other moms (and babies) there.  They may want you to wear an oxygen mask when it comes time to push.  It will help!  In the mean time, Tylenol is all you are probably going to get, and cold cloths to keep your temp down if you have one.  Crushed ice is also an option, but they most likely will not allow you anything to eat.  If you are feeling nauseous, they may give you some nausea medication.

Once your tiny bundle of joy makes an appearance, they will want to check him for signs of a cold or fever as well.  In the unfortunate event that he is sick as well, hospital staff will work diligently to get his fever down and make him feel better on his first day of life.

Being sick is never a good time and being in labor is never fun.  The combination of giving birth while sick can feel like you are dying!  Rest assured you are not.  In the end, looking at that beautiful little face you created will instantly make you feel better and forget how sick you are.

Have you been given birth while sick before?  What did staff do for you?  How horrible was it really?  Share your experience with the rest and hopefully set some nerves at ease!

36 thoughts on “Giving Birth While Sick: How to Cope?”

  1. I had a slight chest infection around my first c-section (due to 3 days of unproductive labour to only 5cm), and had to get my husband to apply pressure to the wound every time I coughed. The love I had for the baby somehow overrode the awfulness.

    Now, I’m 39 weeks tomorrow and have a head cold. I have a scheduled cesarean in 7 days, so I hope the cold will be gone. Luckily I tested negative for Covid. The worst part is that my husband is immunocompromised, so I have to isolate with my 3 year old and wear a mask at home to keep him safe. I just want to sleep it off.

    I also REALLY hope that my platelet count stays around 100 (currently 99) so that we don’t have to go in earlier for the cesarean, before I’m better. Sigh.

  2. I am currently 39 weeks pregnant, and dealing with a nasty head cold. Luckily, I haven’t had a fever with it, but mannn it’s kicking my butt! Headache, clogged ears, stuffy nose (I can’t breathe for crap). I am even taking cold medicine, and it’s not helping even a bit.
    I have been so ready to have baby, but now I am hoping he stays in another week or so, so I can get rid of this first. I can’t imagine going through labor while dealing with this. 😭

  3. Wow. So many “it must suck to be sick while giving birth” comments… Well yeah… That’s a given. Was looking for one comment from someone who has been sick during L+D but apparently all the healthy people spoke up. Due in 7 days, but getting close in dilation and effacement, and just beginning a horrendous cold. I really want to be able to kiss and hold my baby after she is born. This is the worst.

  4. Winter babying

    Man I was hoping for more advice on this. I am 40w+2days and got a stretch and sweep today as baby is very big so all are hoping he will come out soon. I thought I was getting sick and now it has really set in tonight. Now sort of hoping labour holds off 5ish more days until I am hopefully better! So snotty and this is my 2nd, I know how important breathing is in labour!

  5. couldn’t have come at a better time. I’m 38 weeks, and was up all night with a stomach bug last night. All I could think was “this would be horrible to be in the middle of and go into labor!” I do seem to be feeling better now, and haven’t gone into labor- but I can’t imagine! ugh.

    1. My 2 year got strep and MRSA and then I started having symptoms, just last week. Today I’m 39 weeks and 3 days, and they figured out its an amoxicillin resistant strep as I was still miserable and changed me to clindamycin, which is making me nauseous. I am having low level inconsistent contractions, but I am exhausted trying to finish out my work, and so worried about the infection spreading. All doctors involved know what’s up, though. See OB for check up tomorrow if I don’t go into labor before then.

  6. I had two c-sections and with my first one I had a slight cold. A steady cough does not go well with a freshly cut tummy. I was in agonizing pain every time I coughed. If my mom wouldn’t have been there i’m not sure what I would have done.

  7. Didn’t go through labour while sick but….Scheduled C section with my third…everything ready – other kids sent to my parents, husband off work…and THEN stomach bug the night before! I thought I should keep track of # of times throwing up but stopped counting at 10. What to do? OB/Gyn said come in and we’ll see if we can go ahead. OH NO I’ve organized everything for this day! An IV “speed bag” helped, I felt better and we were all systems GO.

    Everything turned out fine and another upside was that I got a private room ‘cuz I was sick :)

  8. Oh wow, I just gave birth a month ago and can’t imagine having to give birth while sick! These are great tips though that someone who is ill while in labor can benefit from!

  9. Ugh, I wouldn’t even want to imagine! I was only able to do one natural birth and thankfully they got my severe sinus infection to go away, like two weeks before delivery haha. The rest were all c sections including this last baby. My only issue so far with all my pregnancies seems to be more of allergies and sinus issues intensify.

  10. I have been very fortunate to not have been sick during childbirth, I could only imagine adding one more thing to a somewhat stressful time already.

  11. Oh no! This is the worst! I was always paranoid my son would catch something, especially in the first 2 months. He was also premie so it was even more difficult to deal with but glad you got through it!

  12. Being sick while being in labor never even crossed my mind when it was my time. That must be horrible to have to deal with.

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