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Tips to Stay Healthy While Pregnant This Cold, Flu and COVID-19 Season

Tips to Stay Healthy While Pregnant This Cold, Flu and COVID-19 Season

Coughing, sneezing, fever, chills … no one likes to get sick, particularly when expecting! But with temperatures dropping, fewer people masking and more people gathering indoors, cases of flu, COVID-19 and seasonal colds are on the rise, leaving you exposed to unwanted germs.

Pregnant women are more susceptible to getting sick as their bodies are working overtime to grow that baby inside, making it harder for them to fight off infections. But you can take precautions to boost your immune system and give your body a fighting chance. Here are 10 ways you can put up your defenses against unwelcome illnesses.

Defense #1: SANITIZE

  • To help prevent the spread of germs, practice good hand hygiene—frequently wash your hands for at least 20 seconds! *BONUS: try humming “Happy Birthday” twice to ensure you have scrubbed long enough. If you cannot wash your hands, use hand sanitizer--*tip: be sure it has an alcohol level of 60 percent or more.

Defense #2: AVOID

  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands to help prevent the accidental introduction of bacteria, viruses and other germs. Also, now is a good time to stop sharing food and drinks, especially with young children who may be exposed to germs at school.

Defense #3: VACCINATE

  • Sickness can be more severe in pregnant women and the amount of over-the-counter medication recommended to treat the symptoms is limited to those expecting. Consider getting vaccinated for COVID-19, along with getting an annual flu shot, to provide yourself with an added layer of protection. While these vaccinations may not stop you from getting sick, they may help reduce the severity of the illness.

Defense #4: ISOLATE

  • Stay away from people who may be sick. And if you are not feeling the best, stay home to avoid exposing others. Also, consider limiting your potential for exposure to illness by isolating yourself from large crowds—or, at the very least, try keeping a safe distance between yourself and others.

Defense #5: MASK

  • While the popularity and usage of masks has faded, there are certain benefits to masking up. A properly fitted mask can help you cover your sniffles and sneezes while also serving as a layer of defense against the transmission of respiratory diseases.

Defense #6: DISINFECT

  • Frequently clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs—including at home and work. High-touch surfaces such as doorknobs, phones, keyboards and countertops should get top priority.

Defense #7: HYDRATE

  • Drink lots of water to keep your body hydrated (*tip: try to drink at least eight- to 10-glasses per day). If plain water is not your thing, try adding nutrient-rich fruit slices such as oranges, kiwi, lemons, limes or strawberries. These fruit can add a hint of flavor while packing a Vitamin C punch, which can help support your overall immune system.

Defense #8: NOURISH

  • Eating a well-balanced diet rich in nutritious foods is essential during pregnancy. But a healthy diet also can help boost your immune system and help to ward off germs and infections. Load up on citrus fruits (see #7) as well as vegetables, such as spinach (for the Vitamin C), Greek yogurt (for the probiotics), blueberries, broccoli, apples and green tea (for the antioxidants), and eggs (for the Vitamin D).

Defense #9: EXERCISE

  • Keep up on your exercise routine. Try to get 15 to 20 minutes of physical activity per day, *BONUS: Exercising can help reduce stress, promote circulation, improve overall mood and help with sleep (see #10 below on the importance of rest).

Defense #10: REST

  • While it may be hard as your belly continues to grow, be sure to take time to rest when you are tired as well as get a good night’s sleep. Your body will need time to recharge to keep your defenses up. If you do get sick, consult your medical provider to discuss treatment options that can help ease symptoms and shorten the duration of your sickness.

We are here to help you stay healthy. At the new Level II Cosgrove Maternity Center, consider our team of experts an added layer of defense against unwanted bacteria, viruses and other germs. To learn more about our team, visit our website.