Natural ways and tips for immune health during pregnancy

Tips and tricks to support your immunity during pregnancy...naturally

Immune Health

Audrey Sckoropad
Audrey Sckoropad
@AVogel_ca


05 May 2022

As a mother of three, I remember looking for natural ways to help support my immune health safely during my pregnancies. Luckily, I found a few tricks and tips when I was pregnant with my first daughter that have been very helpful throughout all of my other pregnancies and nursing journeys. Let me share with you!

Immune system fluctuations

Having a changing immune system during pregnancy is actually normal and how nature intended it to be! The developing fetus is a whole separate entity from the mother. Pregnancy lowers the immune system so the body doesn't see the fetus as a foreign invader. Because if it did, it could possibly attack it. It may be designed this way, but getting sick while pregnant is not pleasant, and some illnesses could affect the baby.

Even if there is truth to the fact that there are changes in a woman's immune system as she becomes pregnant, it isn't accurate to say that she becomes more vulnerable to all viral illnesses. For example, a study suggests that during pregnancy a woman may be more susceptible to malaria and conversely more resistant to HIV.

The work of Dr Brice Gaudillière, in science immunology, shows that the immune response fluctuates during pregnancy.
At first, for an embryo to implant successfully, immune cells flood into the lining of the womb and cause inflammation. This heightening state of the immune system lasts for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy to allow for the fetus to get fully established.

And then over the next 15 weeks, the mother's immune system is repressed to allow for the fetal cells to grow and develop. The fathers antigens found in fetal cells would be at risk of attack if the immune system was running at full speed. Near delivery, inflammation returns to help with labor response with a more aggressive immune system.

Natural remedies during pregnancy for common cold

I've always looked to natural remedies for myself. Even more so during pregnancy, as we become aware of the importance of taking care of our bodies because of its direct effect on the growing baby we carry.

Here are a few tips:

  1. Gargle with Saltwater 
    This method you all must have tried since childhood. Doing gargle with salt water helps to give relief to sore throat and also prevents infections in the respiratory system. Simple and foolproof. You simply mix 1 tbsp. of salt in warm water and gargle it for a few seconds.
  2. Steam bowl 
    Steam helps to give you relief from congestion in the chest. It clears the mucus and gives you instant relief.  
    How to use: Take a bowl of hot water. Add some eucalyptus oil in it. (Only 4-5 drops) Take a towel and cover your face Inhale the steam. It helps in opening up the blocked nose.
  3. Hydration 
    Pregnant or nursing, this is essential. Especially if you have a cold, it helps loosen mucus and replenish the liquids that your body loses through runny nose and sweat.
  4. Herbal remedies
    For a safe and effective option as a prevention and for the treatment of the cold and flu, I highly recommend the Echinaforce tabs and liquid. They are both made from fresh organic echinacea that has been clinically proven for its ability to reduce symptoms and duration of upper respiratory infections. It is also the only echinacea product on the market in Canada approved by Health Canada for pregnant and nursing women. I remember having a bad cold during my first pregnancy and being recommended to try Echinaforce. I gave it a try and was amazed at how it helped me feel better quickly. It's since been my go-to natural remedy for myself and my kids. I love that it comes in different forms; from tabs, spray to liquid. 
  5. Consume foods high in vitamin C. 
    Foods high in vitamin C can help support your immune system naturally. Try all types of citrus fruits including oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, as well as strawberries, melon, kiwi, goji berries, and mango. Also reach for vegetables high in vitamin C such as tomatoes, bell peppers, red cabbage, broccoli, and spinach.
  6. Add turmeric and garlic to your diet 
    Turmeric has been known for its anti-inflammatory properties that can kill cough-producing germs right away. Adding it to a curry, rice or drinking it in a warm golden milk are some ways to enjoy it. Garlic is a superfood in that it contains more than 100 sulfuric compounds, which are brilliant at killing bacteria in the body. While garlic is at its most potent when raw, if that's a little hard to stomach, you will also benefit from adding a clove or 2 to your favorite cooked meals.
  7. Stay active 
    Exercise is great for immunity as it improves blood flow, flushes toxins, and is a natural stress reliever. Aiming for 20 minutes 3-4 times a week is good enough. Just make sure you have an ok from your health care provider if you're starting a different workout routine to what you were doing before you were pregnant.

Sources

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3025805/
https://www.familyeducation.com/pregnancy/adjusting-new-motherhood/youre-postpartum-not-picture-perfect
https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2017/09/immune-system-changes-during-pregnancy-are-precisely-timed.html
https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciimmunol.aan2946
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2377219/

 

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A.Vogel Echinaforce® Extra Echinacea Tablets

30 Tabs

Can be taken by pregnant and breast feeding women. Sugar- and gluten-free
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