Pregnancy is a crucial phase in a woman’s life. Along with immense happiness it also brings several unexpected changes in the expectant mother’s body. In order to support the growth and development of the child various hormonal changes occur in the mother’s body. Studies reveal that the immune system weakens with the onset of pregnancy.
If you do get sick a fever can be a good thing. This is how your body fights infection. However, fevers can be very serious when you are pregnant because can cause the baby to be over heated and in early pregnancy, it can increase your baby’s risk of neural tube defects. If you are running a fever, call your doctor for advice on how to treat it.
Have protein at every meal. Vegetables and fruit will give you immune-boosting carotenoids and flavenoids. Minimize sugar and refined flours: studies found that consuming about two sodas’ worth of sugar knocked down the effectiveness of white blood cells by roughly 50% within one hour, with residual effects lasting for several more hours. Finally, a low-fat diet with minimal caffeine has also been shown to improve immune function.
A number of studies have found that homeopathic remedies seem to reduce respiratory infections (through mechanisms that are not yet understood). Additionally, homeopathy appears able to help balance the immune system, decreasing both allergic and autoimmune reactions; various studies have successfully used remedies to control the symptoms of hay fever, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis.
While a remedy is most likely to work when selected by an experienced homeopath, you could try Oscillococcinum on your own. This is used at the beginning of a flu or a cold, and it typically comes in small vials, each of which may be divided into three to four doses. Take one dose every hour at the onset of the flu, and after three or four doses, decrease to about three doses per day.
Find Time To Unwind
The best way to nurture your immune system is mental, not physical. “Your emotional attitude can be either helpful or detrimental toward your immune system,” says Douglas.
Keeping a positive attitude and preventing stress are crucial to maintaining a healthy immune system. “If you maintain a positive attitude,” continues Douglas, “you will be able to overcome almost anything.” With the natural challenges of pregnancy, however, being stress-free is easier said than done. Seek out social support from friends, family and other expectant moms. Find positive ways to work out differences with others, especially your partner. You don’t want to fight in front of the baby!
The immune system requires a full cupboard of nutrients in your body, so we’ll repeat our frequent recommendation that you take a high potency multi-vitamin/mineral supplement on a full stomach (typically entailing several capsules a day to get everything you need). Depending on what your supplement contains and how your immune system is doing, you could add one or more of the nutrients listed below.
As long as you are not pregnant (or could become pregnant) and do not have a liver disease, you could take 10,000 IU/day, or as much as 50,000 IU/day for a few days at the onset of a cold or flu.
Each day, take a high-potency B-complex, and a sublingual B-12 tablet.
For a week or two, you could take up to 10 grams/day; decrease if you develop diarrhea or your stomach hurts.
We recommend 400-600 IU/day. If you think you might have an autoimmune condition, ask your doctor for what’s called the “Vitamin D 25-OH” test, and increase your daily dosage if the test results are low.
Try 800 IU/day.
This bioflavenoid helps settle the immune system and reduce the symptoms of allergies and food sensitivities; try 400-500 mg, three times a day, taken before meals.
Getting enough iron is best accomplished through eating liver from beef or chickens raised on organic foods and no artificial chemicals. The next best source of iron is a chelated supplement, such as iron glycinate, ferrous succinate, ferrous sulfate, or ferrous fumorate. But check with your doctor to make sure you’re actually anemic since excessive iron can lower immune function.
Try 200 mcg/day.
For purposes of preventing illness, you could take 50 mg/day of zinc citrate, picolinate, or gluconate for one to two months, and then decrease to 30 mg/day. If you feel a cold coming on, zinc lozenges can be helpful (about 25 mg every two hours up to about 250 mg per day); one study found this dosing shortened the duration of colds by 64%.
Exercise is another great option to improve your immune system during pregnancy. Practice gentle exercise on a regular basis. This will improve your overall health and will lower your chances of gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, and will also check excessive weight gain during pregnancy. Apart from improving your immune system exercise also circulates antibodies, improves blood flow, flushes out toxins, keeps your cardiovascular and endocrine system healthy and helps you to have better delivery.