A large new study suggests that moms who get a fever during pregnancy, especially in the second trimester, may be at a slightly increased risk of having a child who is later diagnosed with autism.
But don’t freak out if you happen to get a fever while pregnant. The study, published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, only shows an association between fever in pregnancy and autism, not that one thing causes the other. Fever in pregnancy is pretty common and most children born to moms who have a fever while pregnant do not develop autism. (Even so, because fever can be dangerous during pregnancy for other reasons, call your healthcare provider if you get one).
What’s interesting about the study is that it adds weight to a theory that infection during pregnancy may, in some cases, trigger an immune response in the mother that affects babies’ brain…
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