OBJECTIVE: To characterize temperatures for normal full‐term parturients.
METHODS: A retrospective chart review of 189 consecutive singleton deliveries during 1996 was conducted. All available maternal sublingual temperatures were collected from the time of admission to the time of discharge from the delivery area. To evaluate the effect of prophylactic antibiotics in labor, maximum labor temperatures of patients who did not receive (group 1) and who received (group 2) antibiotics were compared. Using simple linear regression, temperature slopes were calculated for patients who had at least two temperature observations during labor.
RESULTS: A total of 147 (77.7%) patients met inclusion criteria. No statistical difference was found between the maximum temperatures of patients who received and did not receive prophylactic antibiotics for labor or recovery. The mean maximum temperature in labor was 37.0 ± 0.42C. The average of each patient's mean temperature was 36.8 ± 0.33C, and 95% of the observations were between 36.2C and 37.5C. The mean temperature slope of the 100 patients who had more than one labor temperature observation was 0.01 ± 0.12C per hour.
CONCLUSION: In the normal full‐term parturient, labor alone does not significantly increase normal body temperature.