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One thousand gravidas were prospectively monitored for the development of a temperature ≥ 38 C during the first 24 hours postpartum. Fever occurred in 6.5% of patients. Of the 858 gravidas who had vaginal deliveries, 33 had temperature elevations. Only 7 required antibiotics. Of the 142 patients undergoing cesarean section, 32 patients exhibited I or more temperature elevations of ≥ 38 C. Of these 32 patients, 23 required antibiotics. Thirteen of the 14 patients with a recorded temperature of > 38.4 C required antibiotics. Eighteen of the 22 patients who underwent cesarean section and had 2 consecutive temperatures of ≥ 38 C (taken 4-6 hours apart) required antibiotics.