It goes without saying that a pregnant mother is more-or-less a goddess. With the power to make impactful choices not only for herself but also the little life blooming within her uniquely made body. It’s indeed one of the most challenging moments of a female being, more complicated than you might actually think.
One moment feeling over the moon with the news of your little one’s existence and the next, filled with a mixture of feelings and these are what you would bluntly call confusion. To celebrate or to be sad you wonder! Not knowing exactly how this new venture will change your life but regardless you take on the challenge.
Morning by morning as you notice your growing belly, a bond never to be broken is what you feel, those tiny kicks are now what crowns your evenings. A change of priorities it is. To protect and defend this being with your own life if you must.
What really happens during pregnancy?
Pregnancy is a state of sustained immune suppression with a tendency to deteriorate as the pregnancy advances.
Peter Medawar, a great transplant immunologist suggests that this immune suppression is to minimise the possibility of rejection of the foetus by the mother’s body since it is much a foreign body at the time.
If a baby should be healthy, the mother must be even healthier and, in this article, we’ll understand how best to foster the mother’s immunity for the benefit of two.
Achieving the goal:
Healthy diet: the organic immune system booster
Not merely a good quantity but the right choice of food is what matters during this journey of pregnancy. The popular saying that a pregnant woman eats for two should not directly translate into volumes but rather the nutrient content.
Having timely meals with small frequent feeds compared to few larger ones is the preferred as your growing baby needs a continuous supply of nutrients for proper growth and this plays it well.
A diet rich in carefully selected fruits and vegetables is an organic approach to boosting the body’s immunity and as such a pregnant mother needs to take more of these.
Drinking plenty of water
Scientists recommend that an average adult take about 3 litres of water a day. With pregnancy comes the frequent toilet visits, and for some, excessive vomiting or sweating with lots of water being lost, all of which needs to be replaced.
Water is crucial for formation of the amniotic fluid from which the foetus derives its nourishment. With pregnant women being at increased risk of infections, water is a good aid in elimination of infectious and toxic substances, in away contributing to a heightened immunity for both mother and baby.
Supplementing with minerals and the best vitamins to boost your immune system
These play a great role in boosting the immune performance of the body. Some of the best vitamins to boost your immunity include Vitamin C which is powered with anti-oxidant properties.
Vitamin B12 necessary for synthesis of red blood cells that aid in transporting oxygen to body tissues. Zinc is a mineral of importance in wound healing in addition to its anti-oxidant properties.
Keeping a healthy weight
This might be a tough one considering the sorts of cravings that come with pregnancy and for some mothers, food aversions. It takes some determination however to reach or maintain a healthy weight during this period through a proper diet, physical activity and rest.
Many of the pregnancy related complications including gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia have been associated with maternal over weight and obesity which may increase risk of preterm delivery.
Regular physical exercises
Non- vigorous exercises are good for both the mother and her unborn baby, these benefits have been found to continue all the way through childhood and up to adulthood.
Exercise has some anti-inflammatory properties and by reducing the risk of chronic illnesses which lower the body’s immunity making it more prone to infections, regular exercises are one sure way of keeping a strong maternal and foetal immunity.
At this point, it is best to say that good sleep could be the solution to a lot of problems. Pregnant mothers are at an increased risk of inadequate sleep especially due to the physiological changes in pregnancy.
A study found that sleep deficiency has a negative effect on the body’s immune process ultimately being a large cause of pregnancy-related complications commonly pre-term delivery with a reduced birth weight.
Keeping a peaceful mind through meditation
A moment to close off all those external stressors, unsolicited advice as you may have noticed by now that a lot of it comes in during this period, and allowing yourself some alone time in the company of your growing baby.
You’ll be surprised at how much it helps to feel in control of your own journey. The calmness is to die for.
Appreciating some good break time
The pregnant body is just like a factory working 24 hours each day and the mix of hormones does not make it any easier. There is no harm in recognizing that you are worn out. It is simply a kind reminder from your body to take the much-deserved rest.
Remember to treat yourself kindly by realizing how much you can do rather than piling loads of work on yourself. Frequent breaks have the power to leave you refreshed and stronger to conquer your day’s duties.
A pregnant mother is directly responsible for the health of her growing baby. Taking good care of herself by making the right choices is the first step towards getting a healthy baby.