So Yes You Can Take Supplements While Pregnant
Some vitamins are actually recommended to take during pregnancy, and they can also help support a healthy immune system.
Here are some recommended immune support supplements to take during pregnancy:
Before taking any supplements during pregnancy, including immune support products, always check with your doctor first and be sure to follow their advice very closely.
Keeping An Eye On Your Immune System
Researchers and doctors are still developing diagnostic criteria to make it easier to detect normal and abnormal immune responses. Whats important for most mothers, however, is that you get your sleep, take your vitamins and minerals, and stay activekeeping your immune system as healthy as possible.
If you have questions about your immune system during pregnancy, contact our Wilmette or Glenview offices to make an appointment!
What Are Some Common Immune System Problems When Pregnant
While it’s fair to say that pregnancy has an effect on a woman’s immune system, it’s not accurate to claim that pregnancy makes a woman vulnerable to all illnesses. In fact, one study demonstrated that while pregnancy can make women more susceptible to viral illnesses such as malaria, pregnant women are conversely more resistant to other viruses such as HIV.
Much more research needs to be done to understand how exactly a woman’s immune system changes during pregnancy, but in the meantime, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
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Can Breast Milk Help Shield Infants From The Coronavirus
Yes! The antibodies, or proteins that fight infection are passed to newborns in breast milk. Breastfeeding is still definitely recommended.
If a mother has tested positive for the coronavirus, it is important that she washes her hands, neck, and chest with soap and water or a skin-safe disinfectant before breastfeeding. She should also wear a mask while feeding her baby.
If she is continuously coughing or sneezing, it is safer to have the baby stay at a safe distance away and hand express or pump milk and feed the newborn using a bottle. Breast milk is always best!
Tips To Naturally Boost Your Immunity During Pregnancy
Pregnant women are particularly susceptible to illness during pregnancy because of their compromised immune system. The stress that pregnancy puts on a pregnant body is intense, which means you need to be proactive about keeping your immune system strong. Fortunately, there are many ways to step up your immune systems functioning while pregnant. Here are nine all-natural ways to stay healthy and vibrant during pregnancy.
Stay hydrated to keep your bodys systems in top shape. A pregnant woman needs about 2.5 liters of water of day to stay properly hydrated. When your body is hydrated, it means that your cells are getting the oxygen they need to perform well. Water also flushes toxins from your system and helps produce lymph, which circulates white blood cells and nutrients throughout your body.
Go back to basics and remind yourself to wash your hands. Everyone always remembers to wash their hands, right? Whether or not you do, now is the time to be vigilant about hand-washing. Washing with soap and water will help remove the bacteria and germs that accumulate on your hands as you go about your day. Always wash after using the bathroom, preparing foods, eating meals, and moving through public spaces where youre touching the same surfaces other people touch . If youre on top of proper washing, you can ditch antibacterial soaps and harsh sanitizers.
Vitamin C is another superstar for immune health.
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Effect Of Viral Infection On Pregnancy Outcomes And Micronutrients Absorption
Inflammation induced by COVID-19 infection may associate with adverse pregnancy outcomes such as miscarriage, preterm birth, still birth affect several aspects of fetal brain development, and even preeclampsia in pregnancy. In such cases, the increased level of maternal inflammatory responses and the level of inflammatory cytokines including interleukin -1, IL-6, IL-8, and tumor necrosis factor – may affect fetal brain development and circulatory system, and can increase the risk of fetal mental disorders . Moreover, coronavirus including SARSCoV, MERS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2 are associated with miscarriages, intrauterine growth restriction , preterm birth, low birth weight, and perinatal death. However, there is no vertical transmission of SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 from mothers with SARS, MERS, and COVID-19 to their fetuses . There has always been an intricate link between COVID-19 infection and micronutrients absorption. COVID-19 infection may affect absorption of micronutrients, cause certain complications such as diarrhea, and fever . The malabsorption and nutrients losses during diarrhea, can lead to weak immune system, micronutrients deficiency and aggravate infection. In addition, fever substantially increases micronutrients requirements in viral infected individuals .
How Each Immune Cell Experiences Pregnancy
The researchers used mass cytometry, a technique developed at Stanford, to simultaneously measure up to 50 properties of each immune cell in the blood samples. They counted the types of immune cells, assessed what signaling pathways were most active in each cell, and determined how the cells reacted to being stimulated with compounds that mimic infection with viruses and bacteria.
With an advanced statistical modeling technique, introduced for the first time in this study, the scientists then described in detail how the immune system changes throughout pregnancy.
This algorithm is telling us how specific immune cell types are experiencing pregnancy, Gaudilliere said.
Instead of grouping the womens blood samples by trimester for analysis, their model treated gestational age as a continuous variable, allowing the researchers to account for the exact time during pregnancy at which each sample was taken. The mathematical model also incorporated knowledge from the existing scientific literature of how immune cells behave in nonpregnant individuals to help determine which findings were most likely to be important. The model improved understanding of the immune system much as mapping software that knows which streets are one-way gives better driving directions. If there are several models that are statistically equivalent, we are interested in the model that is most consistent with our existing knowledge of immunology, said Aghaeepour.
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Immune System In Flux
To allow the developing embryo to implant, some of its cells actively invade the wombs lining. This leads to an inflammatory cascade, similar to the events that occur during wound healing.
If inflammation is prevented from occurring, implantation cannot proceed, highlighting the importance of inflammatory molecules and cells in this process.
This pro-inflammatory environment dominates the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. During the following 15 weeks, the developing fetus is in a state of rapid growth and development. Anti-inflammatory cells and molecules prevail.
Some fetal cells express cell surface markers, or antigens, that originate from the father. Under normal circumstances, the mothers immune system would recognize these as foreign and attack the cells.
Regulatory T cells , which are a specialized form of white blood cell that promote an anti-inflammatory environment, actively protect such fetal cells.
Low levels of Tregs have been linked to miscarriage.
During the final stage of pregnancy, the immune system switches back to a pro-inflammatory state. Without this, the mother cannot go into labor. Preterm labor, in turn, may be associated with abnormal immune responses.
A host of factors influence how the immune system behaves during pregnancy, and increasingly, scientists believe that the mothers microbiome has a part to play.
Your Mental Health Matters
Now is the time I want you to do all you can to boost your immune system and look after your mental health during pregnancy. As we know, excessive stress can have a negative impact on the immune system so let’s start right now, and implement some positive steps to reducing your stress.
As always, please consult your doctor about any medical questions you may have and if you are unwell please seek medical advice immediately.
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Is It Safe To Take Emergen
It is safe to take Emergen-C while pregnant, despite the previously mentioned unknowns about its efficacy. Whether or not you choose to take the supplement is more of a risk-reward question you have to ask yourself and your healthcare provider.
“The World Health Organization doesnât recommend the widespread supplementation of vitamin C during pregnancy,” says , MD, an OBGYN at Rejuvenating Fertility Center in New York, NY. “That doesnât mean vitamin C use during pregnancy could harm you, but it does mean thereâs not enough evidence that the benefits outweigh the risk.”
For adults, a tolerable upper intake level of vitamin C is 2,000 daily . Side effects associated with taking too much vitamin C are rare, but it still should be noted. Side effects can include bouts of diarrhea and overall gastrointestinal upset. So while it’s OK to use Emergen-C, there’s no need to take it frequently.
Every pregnancy is different. Be sure to consult with a healthcare provider about your circumstances if you have any questions about taking Emergen-C while pregnant.
Work On Your Gut Health
Many people dont realize that almost ¾ of the immune system resides in the gut. Poor diet, certain medications, and stress can all deplete the healthy bacteria found in the GI tract. The result is a compromised immune system, leading to higher rates of illness and infection. Consider adding a probiotic to a daily routine to introduce healthy intestinal flora into the body. Speak with a healthcare provider to find out which probiotic will be safest and most effective during pregnancy.
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Tips For Boosting Your Immune System In Pregnancy
De-Stress and Take CareStress management and self-care should not be an optionprenatal yogaprenatal massagesYou Can Never Go Wrong With SleepDream SessionsKeep It MovingFood Is MedicineLiterally!Check out our Prenatal Immune Boosting Smoothie Recipe.online Holistic Nutritionist AppointmentImmune Boosting Supplements
- Probiotics At least 70% of our immune system is located in the gut!
- Echinacea – one of the safest cold-fighting herbs that can be used throughout pregnancy and postpartum
Online and In-Clinic Naturopathic Medicine Appointments
Dont Forget Your Zinc
You may have read that zinc is important for sperm production and the trace mineral plays an important role in helping to support your immune system too. A recent study found that people who took zinc lozenges as soon as cold symptoms started recovered faster than those who did not.
‘The body requires zinc for the production, repair, and functioning of DNA the basic building block of cells, so getting an adequate amount of zinc is particularly important during pregnancy,’ adds Dr Glenville.
Zinc is found naturally in many foods, including dairy products, some shellfish, beans, nuts and bread and cereal products, such as wheat germ. Although oysters are the richest natural source of zinc, pregnant women are advised against eating them raw due to the risk of food-borne illness and high levels of mercury they may contain.
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Exercise Can Boost Your Immune System When Pregnant
I know after many years of teaching prenatal exercise classes that exercise reduces your risk of a long list of non-contagious diseases like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. And first trimester exercise also significantly reduces the risk of contagious diseases caused by viruses.
Many studies have shown that intense, prolonged exercise is associated with a lower risk of infection and better immune function.
Consistent exercise seems to prevent the natural decline in immune health that occurs as we age, making it particularly important for the elderly.
Most evidence shows that regular prenatal workouts and exercise, even intense or prolonged exercise, is good for your immune system.
Sleep is Essential for Your Pregnancy Immune System
Unsurprisingly, sleep deprivation can also decrease immune health.
Sleep deprivation significantly decreases immune function and increases the risk of infection. One of the best ways to ensure your immune system is operating at peak capacity is to get as much sleep as your body needs every night. 7 to 9 hours ideal.
Sleep deprivation causes a long list of problems, including:
1. Muscle loss and fat gain
2. Decreased mental function
Tips for a Good Night Sleep:
1. Go to bed at the same time every night.
2. Sleep in a cool, quiet, dark room.
3. Don’t set an alarm.
4. Avoid all stimulants and stressful stimuli.
Limit Your Alcohol Intake
Manage Your Stress Levels
How Can The Baby Be Protected From The Coronavirus During Pregnancy
Many viruses have a hard time breaking through the maternal-placental-fetal immunity super team that I speak of above, but there are some viruses that have been found to pass from mother to baby.
While we are learning more and more about SARS-CoV-2 each day, so far, there have been no reports of babies being born with the virus even if the mother tested positive.
The placenta may block the entry of the virus into the womb, but babies can contract the infection from their mothers shortly after birth.
Many hospitals are practicing mandatory mother-baby social distancing to keep that from happening:
- Keeping babies of infected mothers in the nursery if there is space available, or placing the bassinet at least 6 feet away from the mother, preferably with a physical barrier between them such as a curtain.
- Strictly limiting visitors to the maternity and newborn care units. Many hospitals have limited visitors to one designated support person . In some extreme, rare, cases, hospitals have implemented a no visitor policy on their maternity ward. There is much debate about visitor and infant separation protocols throughout the medical community. Personally, while I understand the importance of protecting newborns with fragile immunity, I also think it is very important for birthing people to have support. I am allowing one designated visitor.
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Can I Take Immune Support Products While Pregnant
Being sick is not something anyone looks forward to, but this is especially true while being pregnant.
While you are pregnant, your body is hard at work making sure the baby gets everything it needs to continue to grow strong and healthy. This causes a lot of physical strain on your body and getting sick during pregnancy can present a lot of additional challenges that nobody looks forward to.
Immune support supplements may potentially be a good way to make sure your body is strong while pregnant and can help you avoid getting sick, but the question is: is taking these supplements during pregnancy safe?
Healthy Expression Of Feelings
Finding a counselor or support group can help you manage everyday stress, which has a positive effect on the immune system. Less stress means less cortisol and inflammation inside your body, and thats a good thing! If leaving the house to go to an appointment or meeting isnt a good option for you right now, try therapy or group meetings over the phone or via video chat. Pregnancy can bring about many changes, including hormonal and emotional changes for any mother. Getting a regular outlet to express your feelings and learn about solutions for dealing with stressors is a helpful way to stay healthy for you and your growing family.
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What Home Remedies Can Lower The Risk Of Covid
- The best home remedy for lowering the risk of developing COVID-19 is social distancing as much as possible and frequent hand-washing with soap and water for at least 2030 seconds .
- Avoid touching your face unless you have thoroughly washed your hands.
- Drink something warm daily, such as black, white, or green tea. I usually add clove, cinnamon, and orange to my tea.
- Sanitizing every frequently touched surface, such as doorknobs, fridge handles, countertops, and your phone, at least once per day has also been shown to help prevent the spread of the virus.
Number 7 Homemade Chicken Soup
Whilst theres no good evidence to show any immune-boosting benefits of chicken soup, we do know that stress weakens the immune system, so if a little comfort food helps to reduce your stress levels, I think thats a good thing! Besides, chicken soup contains chicken which is a good source of zinc, veggies which are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants and you can even add in some garlic for the allicin.
But, overall, just remember that a nourishing diet rich in fresh fruits, vegies, wholegrains, lean proteins and dairy products is going to be the best recipe for boosting your immunity during pregnancy.
Feel free to ask any questions you have in the comments below and if you havent already done so, ensure that you download my free pregnancy meal plan. Just go to www.melaniemcgrice.com/pregnancy.
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Keep Your Hands Clean
We cant avoid all germs in life, but we can avoid most of the germs which set up camp on our hands. Its estimated that 80% of common infections like colds and influenza are spread by hands. Adopting a thorough and frequent hand-washing routine is the best way to protect yourself and your baby.
When should I wash my hands?
- Before, during and after preparing food
- Before eating
- Before and after caring for someone whos sick
- Before or after treating cuts or wounds
- After using the bathroom
- After changing nappies or helping a child use the bathroom
- After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
- After touching a pet, their food or their waste
- After touching bins
How to wash hands correctly?
Theres no need to use antibacterial soaps, gel hand wash is found to be the most effective.
Use a hand sanitiser with at least 60% alcohol when you cant access running water. Rub the antibacterial gel into your hands for about 20 seconds, until they feel completely dry. Pay attention to instructions on the bottle as they may vary by manufacturer.