I remember being pregnant with my son Oliver and Googling every single thing that didn’t seem perfecto with my growing bump. I suffered through allergy season without medicine and drank glass after glass of agua to make sure I was properly hydrated. Pregnancy paranoia was in full effect.
If you’re pregnant right now, you know exactly what I mean, particularly with cold and flu season just around the corner. The good news? The pros say there’s plenty that you can do to help keep yourself (and your developing baby) healthy.
1. Get moving. “Exercise is a good way to keep your immune system strong,” says Stephanie Warsheski, MD, an ob-gyn at CityScape OB/GYN in New York City. She tells her patients that they can continue their pre-pregnancy workout routines; low-impact exercises like yoga and walking are also good.
2. Don’t forget to take your prenatal vitamins. Not only will you help ensure that your baby is getting the nutrients she needs, you’ll also give your own immune system an extra boost.
3. Get your flu shot. Just be sure to follow the Centers for Disease Control’s guidelines and get the shot instead of the nasal spray while you’re expecting.
4. Get a good night’s rest. Try to get at least eight hours of snooze time each night for maximum benefits, says Elizabeth Bachner, a midwife and owner of Gracefull birthing center in Los Angeles.
5. Wash your hands often. This stay-healthy tip is no-brainer, even when you’re not pregnant. “It’s the best way to prevent illness,” adds Dr. Warsheski.
6. Eat a healthful diet. An occasional treat is fine – but Bachner says that good-for-you foods like yogurt, wild salmon for omega-3s, and vitamin A-rich foods like sweet potatoes and carrots should be the norm.
7. Have sex. Yes, a session between the sheets can actually make you healthier. “An orgasm is a great immune booster as it lowers cortisol levels and increases oxytocin levels,” says Bachner.