Immune system of steel during pregnancy
During pregnancy, women’s immune system undergoes some changes to favor the growth of a new human being, such as the decrease in the cytotoxic activity of the cells, which is responsible of destroying the “abnormal” cells, thus promoting a safe environment for the baby.
According to English nutritionist Dr. Marilyn Glenville, author of the book Getting Pregnant Faster, “Pregnancy suppresses the body’s immune system which means your body is less able to fight off infection and illnesses, making it more susceptible to colds and flu”.
But there are natural ways to help those defenses go up. We share some of the best tips.
When it comes to strengthening the immune system, vitamin C is queen.
The entire range of citrus fruits contain high levels of this vitamin, but there are foods that exceed these amount by far:
- Red peppers
Known to be a powerful defense boost, echinacea reduces the chances of catching a cold by 58%, as well as being an excellent anti-inflammatory agent. This food supplement is preventive if included in the daily diet, but you can use it to fight the symptoms of a current flu.
The sun is the main source of vitamin D, which is essential for the proper functioning of our immune system. Include a sun bath in your daily routine so that your skin absorbs its properties, as well as a good amount of fish such as salmon and tuna weekly which are also rich in this vitamin.
Almonds for snack
Add a handful of almonds to your breakfast or mid-afternoon snack to keep colds away. The nutrients in the skin of almonds help the white blood cells to detect viruses and prevent their spread through our body.
They are also rich in manganese, a mineral that strengthens bones and keeps the immune system healthy; riboflavin, responsible for helping the functioning of our cells and converting the food we consume into energy; as well as copper, which plays an important role in the development of our brain, helps in the production of energy and keeps the nervous and immune systems healthy.
Unwind and de-stress
Keeping a cheerful spirit is vital to maintaining optimal health and keep diseases aside. Find the relaxation technique that best suits you, from practicing yoga, stretching, breathing exercises and massages. All of them promote relaxation and deep sleep at night.
Talking about deep sleep
A restoring sleep helps balance the immune system and reduces the chances of getting sick. Try to maintain a routine in the hours of sleep as much as possible: go to bed and get up at the same time to regulate your sleep cycles.
It sounds great, but many pregnant women find it difficult to get a comfortable sleeping position. We compiled a list of tips, that may be helpful for you:
- Back sleepers:
Particularly during the second and third trimester this position can cause dizziness or a feeling of shortness of breath, this is because the vena cava, responsible for irrigating the heart, can be oppressed by the new weight in your body. Try placing some pillows under your shoulders and head so that you are not lying flat horizontally. Putting a pillow under your knees will ease the tension on your back.
Even though specialists recommend that you sleep lying on your left side to favor blood supply for you and your baby, the truth is that it will be difficult for you to sleep 9 months on the same side. Try placing a pillow under your belly and a cushion between your legs throughout your feet, to try to keep a parallel distance. A third pillow behind your back will help maintain the position.
- Lie on your tummy:
As your belly grows, it will get uncomfortable at certain point for you to sleep lying on your tummy, but you can try a position between lying on your side and over your belly, with your upper leg flexed to form a “4”. You can put a very thin pillow under your knee and the belly.
Do you have some tips you have found useful during your pregnancy? Please share with others on the comments section below. ❦