Being under the weather while pregnant is no fun. On top of feeling miserable, there’s the added concern that taking anything to help you feel better could be harmful to your baby. Depending on your situation, a limited number of medications may be safe, but others would be better off avoided. If you do catch a bug, talk to your doctor about what’s best for you and yours. In the meantime, follow these steps to boost your immune system and, with any luck, prevent getting sick in the first place.
Get your Zs
Pregnant women should get at least six to eight hours of sleep each night. Remember, your body is working hard to create a new person, so it needs a chance to rest and renew. If you’re getting less than eight hours, try to find some time to nap during the day. Though taking a snooze at the office will likely be frowned upon, a few moments of shut-eye during your lunch break could be just the fix. If you’re a stay-at-home mom, modify the age-old “sleep when baby sleeps” adage and start napping right along with your older children. The housework can wait, and the extra rest will be well worth it for you and your baby.
Eat your veggies
A healthy diet is important for many reasons, and never more so than when expecting. You’re eating for two (or more, if you’re expecting multiples!), so skip the drive-thru and dig into some green leafy veggies, whole grain breads and colorful fruits. Dark berries such as blueberries, blackberries and cranberries are an excellent source of anti- oxidants, which combat free radicals, help keep your body healthy, and reduce your risk of certain cancers and illnesses. Worried about pesticides on your veggies? Visit foodnews.org for a list of the “Dirty Dozen” foods you should consider buying organic.
Take your vitamins
If you’re already taking a prenatal vitamin, consider yourself ahead of the game. These nutrient-packed pills are a prime example of good things coming in small packages. Chock-full of key nutrients for you and your little one (including iron, folic acid, calcium and more), prenatal vitamins help both mom and baby stay healthy and strong. Even the most conscientious eaters can fall short in meeting their daily vitamin and mineral quotas, so pop those prenatals to make certain you’re getting the nutrients you need. Be sure to let your doctor know what brand of vitamin you choose to take, and ask if she recommends taking any additional supplements based on your needs.
Nope, this isn’t permission to splurge on a fancy body lotion, but it is permission to go out and pick up a snazzy new water bottle. Start hydrating from the inside out. An intake of eight to ten glasses a day is the absolute minimum, and you might find you need even more when there’s a bun in your oven. Good ol’ H20 flushes out toxins, counters dehydration, and can help prevent early labor in some cases.
Make time to relax
Pregnancy can be a stressful time, especially if you have young children, a demanding job or other pressing obligations.Trying to balance it all can be a recipe for exhaustion. Carve out time to get a massage, meditate, listen to soothing music, take a yoga class, or spend some alone time with your partner. Our busy lifestyles urge us to do more and more, but pregnancy is a good excuse to take it easy and slow things down for a while.
Feel like the days are flying by and you can’t keep up? Get a handle on your hours and minutes by managing your time.If you have a smartphone, look for an app like Evernote, which makes it easy to keep track of web clippings, voice mails, emails and more. If you prefer a more old-fashioned method, pull out a pen and paper and write everything down. Calendars, lists, sticky notes … take advantage of anything that will simplify your life and serve as a backup for your (now pregnant and possibly forgetful) brain. You’ll get more done in less time, and that will lead to less stress and more energy for combating germs.Plus, you may rack up a few spare minutes to fit in that aforementioned nap.
Steer clear of germs
The best way to prevent infection and illness is to minimize exposure.Although limiting your contact with those who might be ill is a good way to reduce your chances of getting sick, there’s no need to become a hermit for nine months. Play it safe, but try not to worry about every germ you encounter. Focus on taking care of yourself, practicing healthy habits, and enjoying your pregnancy. Who knows? In nine months, you might have kicked the habit of relying on medication to fix what ails you and find you have a better grasp on staying well to begin with.