Immunity and Pregnancy
If you are pregnant, you are in a very special phase in your life and may have many concerns about your health and that of your unborn child. However, you should know that strengthening your immunity is one of the most important things you can focus on for your own health as well as that of your loved one. Please continue to practice routine precautions like hygiene and care and stay in contact with your doctor as advised.
Why is immunity important in pregnancy?
Your immune system protects your unborn child and you from various ailments and infections. Your diet affects the immune system, and therefore, in order to boost it, you must consume a balanced meal with the adequate amount of macro and micro nutrients.
It is important to focus on what you eat as much as how often and how much you eat. Since you’re pregnant, your nutritional requirement is higher than normal. Make sure that the food you consume is sufficient for the appropriate development of your unborn child and for you to remain strong and healthy. A stronger immune system benefits you and your little one, strengthening both your abilities to be better equipped to fight common illnesses now as well as in future.
How much should you eat?
It is a good idea to eat small, frequent meals during pregnancy, especially to avoid or manage nausea and indigestion.
Don’t forget your doctor’s recommendations
Despite the possible disruption to your life during these times, please continue the supplements and vaccinations recommended by your doctor. These are essential to building immunity for you and your unborn child.
Stock these vital, nutritious foods in your kitchen
Foods that are high in nutrients are also easily absorbed by the body due to the presence of bioactive ingredients. They provide optimum amounts of vitamins and minerals to a pregnant woman and help in boosting the immune system of both the mother and the baby. These include
- pulses/dals that are rich in protein, fibre, folate and calcium
- green leafy vegetables like spinach & broccoli, a good source of fibre, calcium, iron and vitamins A, C and K
- oily fishes rich in omega-3 fatty acids the B12 vitamin
- dairy products high in calcium and protein
- citrus fruits rich in Vitamin C responsible for the bone development of your baby
- dry fruits like apricots, almonds, walnuts and dates - a good source of fibre, folate and iron.
If you are allergic to any of the foods mentioned above, feel free to consult a nutritionist or your doctor for alternatives.
Stay hydrated and rested
Make sure to drink adequate amounts of fluid during pregnancy. One might lose body fluids due to morning sickness or due to increased urination. Inadequate intake of water can lead to dehydration, which may put the mother at risk of lowered immunity, leading to other problems. Also, it is important to get enough sleep and adequate physical exercise during pregnancy.
If you are feeling anxious during this time, it’s absolutely normal. Remember that you can continue to manage your pregnancy by following your doctor’s advice and by ensuring that you continue to stay adequately nourished for you and your unborn child. Most importantly, stay happy and continue to enjoy this precious time in your life.