Thursday, October 7, 2010

Cold Season Ahead!

Did you know that your immune system is suppressed in pregnancy? This is nature's way of keeping you from rejecting the baby as a foreign substance (genes donated by the father). Sometimes miscarriage does occur when the body's immune system works too well (think allergy or hypersensitivity) but in most cases the body does a good job of keeping the baby. The downside to this suppression is that you may also be more vulnerable to colds and other viruses.

You can strengthen your immune system's infection-fighting ability by eating a balanced diet, getting moderate, regular exercise and enough rest, along with using good hygiene techniques such as frequent hand washing, use of disposable tissues and keeping your hands away from your face (entry for germs). Maintaining a positive outlook has also been shown to help fight illness whereas quarrels suppress the immune system further so try to work out your differences in positive ways. And don't forget to laugh! Life is serious but it can also be funny, depending on our outlook. Watch a feel-good comedy video/DVD for a good belly-laugh. Doctor's orders!

A balanced diet for immune protection includes lots of fruits and vegetables, rich in vitamin c and antioxidants. You should also drink plenty of water to stay well-hydrated and avoid additional stress to your body. If you do get a cold or other illness, the healthy food and water still help so don't forget the chicken soup. Hot liquids help move viruses and germs out of the nose more quickly.

The CDC also recommends a seasonal flu shot for all pregnant women (unless you are allergic to eggs). Again, because of the suppression of the immune system in pregnancy, flu and its complications can be devastating to a pregnant woman, putting her and her baby at risk. The Flu Finder page at the Utah Dept. of Health can help you locate flu vaccine, though it will also depend on the stock available so once you locate a provider, call ahead to be sure they have the vaccine. Many pharmacies offer this service.

Also, remember that antibiotics should only be prescribed when there is a diagnosed bacterial infection. Taking them for viral infections, the common cold, flu, etc. can result in damaged intestinal flora that can result in other serious infections as well as contributing to the antibiotic resistant strains of antibiotics through improper use. If you do need such medications, be sure to take them exactly as prescribed and complete the course - again to prevent future problems with these antibiotics. More and more we are seeing resistant strains that put us in a precarious position for treating some serious infections so it is important that everyone be aware of this danger and avoid unnecessary antibiotic use.

Check out this blog for some healthy eating suggestions including "cold-season smoothies." Witchy Kitchen. For more information about boosting your immune system in pregnancy, check out Before taking supplements, be sure to consult with your health care provider. Best Blogger Tips

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