Depending on where you are in the world, your news feed may be overwhelmingly focused on one thing: COVID-19, also known as the novel coronavirus.
If you’re a little freaked out, we get it because, as a pregnant woman or new mom, you have both you and your little one(s) to be worried about. It is concerning when health officials start ringing alarm bells but remember that their focus in doing so is to increase preventative measures to stop the spread of this virus.
While it’s frustrating to hear, the best practical thing you can do (as is agreed upon by most medical authorities) comes down to preventative measures:
- Wash your hands well and often
- Avoid touching your face (primarily near mucus membranes — mouth, nose, and eyes)
- Avoid contact with anyone who is currently sick
It’s a bit hard to hear when you’re a mom who is keen to do as much as you possibly can to keep your babies healthy, but it really does come down to these basics.
The truth is, there’s no shortcut to health, and there’s no surefire way to ensure you won’t get sick. But on top of all advice given by medical authorities, the best thing you can do is to keep your immune system functioning to the best of its ability, so if you do fall sick (with any type of illness — viral, bacterial or otherwise) your body is well equipped to fight it off.
Here’s how you can keep your immune system in tip-top shape:
Get quality sleep
Ok, ok… we heard the collective groans through your computer screen! But hear us out: while an 8-hour night of continuous sleep is probably impossible, sleep is your body’s opportunity to repair, recover, and heal, so make sure that you get a quality night’s sleep and fit in power naps when you’ve got the time or when it’s the only option to get some rest.
It may be tempting to turn to supplements, but unless you’re deficient in a particular nutrient, consuming them through food is your best bet. Dark leafy greens and berries are packed with antioxidants that support a healthy immune system–and remember, variety is key! Different fruits and veggies contain varied vitamins and minerals, so keeping your plate colorful is a good indicator that you’re doing things right.
If you want to really boost your immunity, try to increase your consumption of zinc (you actually need more of this during pregnancy and lactation!). It’s been shown to help regulate the immune system and shorten colds. You can get it in beef, oysters, wild rice, peas, and peanuts.
Regular physical activity is important for your cardiovascular and overall health. Of course, you may not be wanting to head to the gym or a group fitness class right now (depending on your location), so a home workout or run outside may be more appealing. It also can allow you to control the intensity, so you’re not working yourself to fatigue (which can work against your immune system).
If you’re lacking inspiration, try a workout in the Baby2Body app — they’re all designed to be done in the comfort of your living room, and of course, built to be safe for your stage of pregnancy or motherhood.
Take time to breathe
You’re probably feeling more stressed than normal because of the mass media coverage of the virus, so we understand if this is a tough one. But remember: it’s out of your control, and your best line of defense for you and your family is to focus on your individual health and hygiene. Too much stress can suppress your immune system, which will only make you more susceptible to germs. Try daily breathing exercises, 30 minutes in the evening with a good book, or a gentle morning yoga flow. Check out these tips on creating a relaxing space in your home, and try our quick breathing exercises in the Zen Den (you can control the duration from 1-5 minutes!).
At the moment, we’re not sure how, or if, COVID-19 will affect pregnant women differently than others. We recommend speaking with your doctor or OB for guidance specific to your personal health and pregnancy, and for more general advice, you can stay informed with regular updates from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists here or from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention here.
Baby2Body is here to help you prioritize your health and wellness with in-home workouts, nutritious recipes, and meditations to help you stay calm during these uncertain times.
In order to bring this to as many of you as possible, we are offering a 30% discount on our Lifetime Package, available exclusively on the Baby2Body website.