What happens to the immune system when you are pregnant?
First of all, the immune system is very complex and consists of natural immunity – things that work without our control, and acquired immunity, which we can control (to and extend of course.
In this short post I would like to focus on boosting your immune system by dividing it into life habits and nutrition.
Movement: First things first, us, Europeans, believe that fresh air is a cure for everything 😂 I personally walked a lot in both my twin and singleton pregnancies and I truly believe that it helped in both feeling better while I was pregnant and also pretty good labors. Obviously, when it is hot and humid you might either opt for early morning or evening walks. Light exercise and stretching is also great – key here is consistency. It will not only boost your immune system but also help with pains and aches of growing belly. Youtube is full of wonderful yoga, pilates and exercise for all the trimesters. The only things I would mention is not to start anything strenuous you have not done before you were pregnant.
Stress reduction: meditation, affirmations, good book- whatever you find works for you. Try to mindfully manage your social engagements too so that you don’t end up saying yes to too many things.
Wash your hands, of course 🙂
Supplements: zinc, Vic C and B6 are the supplements to consider (talk to your doctor- your prenatal might already be enough!)
Stay hydrated, yes, everyone says so but it is important for you to stay hydrated. Since everybody is different and eats a different diet (salad and fruit contain more water than a steak :P) I would try to monitor urine color- you might want to make sure it is straw, pale color. Anything darker than that might mean that you have to up your liquids. Water Is obviously a first choice but you can also get some intake from smoothies, fruits etc
Sleep: 8-ish hours is the rule of thumb but, again: everybody is deferent. Aim for 7.5 to 9h daily. Naps are great too especially in the third trimester ;))
Nutrition: so many different schools 😂 definitely try to up your veggies, especially green ones (steamed or in smoothie might be easier to digest if your stomach is upset). Healthy fats (oils, nuts), fatty fish (watch out for mercury!) and (drumroll) garlic and onion- natural antibiotics! Try to aim to include everything in your diet (whole grain carbs and dairy only if you tolerate it) but stay away from added sugar – it’s proven to lower the immune system.
You’ve got this, Mama!
I’m here with you EVERY.STEP.OF.THE.WAY!
Marta Uras, Your Doula