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How to avoid getting sick this winter [for new and expecting moms]

December 30, 2015

Getting sick sucks. Duh. But getting sick when you’re pregnant or have a newborn takes the misery to a whole new level. Not only are you restricted on what kind of medications and treatments you can use, but you have to worry about protecting your little one from getting sick, and treating him/her if you do end up spreading the germs. Oh, and if you have older kids around you’ll probably be tempted to just quarantine your entire family and home. You’d think that reminding them 37 times per day to wash their hands and cover their mouths is enough, but those little stinkers still find a way to bring home every rash, flu, cold, or head lice that comes within a mile of them.

But don’t you worry, brave mama. The war against germs is not over just because your little baby makes you a bit more vulnerable. You can still win against those germs and keep yourself and your tiny baby safe from those awful winter illnesses by taking a few precautionary steps:

Build up your defenses

The best offense is a solid defense. Get your body in tip-top shape so that those nasty germs don’t stand a chance against your fortress of an immune system. This means:

  • Eating healthy. Give your body the ammo it needs to fight against bacteria by eatings lots of fruits and vegetables, and staying hydrated. Don’t forget to take your prenatal vitamins, and talk with your doctor about any other supplements he/she may recommend for boosting your immune system.
  • Rest, relax, and eliminate stress. Your body’s defenses can’t focus on what’s important if you’re all worked up about the sink full of dishes, or the ridiculous cliff-hanger on the last episode of The Walking Dead. Stress has a real impact on your immune system, so do your best not to sweat the small stuff.
  • Exercise. Regular physical activity is another key component of a healthy, fully-functional body.

Attack the strongholds

Meet your new best friend, Lysol. Here’s what you do: take a minute to do a mental inventory of the most-touched surfaces in your life. These usually include door knobs, faucet knobs, cupboard and fridge handles, remote controls, and keyboards. Wipe, spray, torch, or do whatever you have to do, to these places and any others you can think of that are probably swarming with nasty germs.

Opt for the shot

Get the flu shot. This is probably the most important thing you can do to prevent getting sick. The flu is especially rough on pregnant woman and young babies, but the vaccine is safe for you all during pregnancy. If you get the shot when you’re pregnant your baby will be protected forthe  first 6 months, which is good because babies can’t get the shot themselves when they’re that young.

Keep your distance

Steer clear of anyone who is sick or shows signs of sickness. Don’t hesitate to make it known that you’re being extra vigilant in your efforts to avoid sickness, and hopefully your friends and family will match your efforts by warning you if they become sick and are planning to be in your company.

Along these lines, sit away from others at the doctor’s office and avoid touching busy surfaces. Wash your hands and disinfect germy surfaces in public, like shopping cart handles. Consider skipping out on the crowded movie premier or baby convention if you’re concerned about getting ill.

Recruit some allies

Get everyone in your household or in close proximity to you to support you on your mission to stay healthy. Ask them to take extra measures to reduce germs so they don’t spread them to you and your baby. Encourage them to take the same steps as you as far as keeping a healthy body – eating healthy, exercising, reducing stress, etc.

Is there anything we missed? What other steps do you take to avoid getting sick?

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Author Info

Avatar for Angela Silva

Angela Silva

Angela graduated with her B.S. in Exercise and Wellness and is a NASM certified personal trainer who specializes in postpartum fitness and recovery. She enjoys writing, cracking jokes, and spending time with her family, preferably while fishing. She shares many of her life adventures on Instagram as @angelagrams

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