Monday, October 1, 2012

Natural Remedies - Immune System During Pregnancy

Since becoming pregnant and dealing with morning sickness and fatigue, we started eating more junk.  Not only junk, but convenience foods, fast food and most organic, homemade foods have been non-existent due to the high cost of the other foods.  Then, I've been on strict and modified bed rest for about 5-6 weeks now and I haven't been able to cook, and hubby doesn't cook - so, yes you guessed it - processed food.

I believe that all of this has contributed to my now, 4th infection, this pregnancy.  I've had to take antibiotics 3 times and well, I'm really tired of how they make me feel and how they wipe out the good bacteria as well.  My body feels almost deathly, that is the best I can describe - definitely not just pregnant, but ill.  I'm currently battling 2 infections at the same time in different places in my body and I decided to forego the doctor's plans for yet another antibiotic for the 2nd infection, since I'm currently on one for the other infection and try natural approaches to see if they can offer me benefits and boost my immune system.  Here is what I'm trying, most of which I have taken before a few years ago when I had extensive immune system problems, but only a few of those are safe during pregnancy and here they are:

  • Probiotics - these put the good bacteria back in your gut, which consists of the majority of your immune system.  I use Nature's Way Primadophilus Bifidus, which contains 4 different strains that consist of amounts in the billions.  You will find these refrigerated and you want to keep them that way so they stay alive!
  • Garlic - this is one I've done for colds, bronchitis and now for immune system and as a natural antibiotic/bacterial, etc.  I take 1-2 fresh cloves and cut them up into small pieces and swallow with water.  Be careful though, because I've gotten choked before when trying to swallow too many at a time or not cutting them small enough.
  • Vitamin C - I'm cautious as to how much of the powdered form I take of this during pregnancy and I rather am opting for the chewable and pill form that gives 500-1000mg.  I also upped my intake of organic orange juice other vitamin-c rich fruits.
  • Organic food - we need to slowly make our way back to eating organic meat and vegetables.  We still do milk only organic but everything else kind of fell by the wayside and I think that was a big factor in my infectious situation.  Eating a lot more meat and also eating non-organic, hormone and antibiotic filled beef probably wasn't a good thing and I'm trying to cut it out.
  • Vegetables/Fruits - these have been sorely lacking in my food intake and I've been adding them back in this past week with a veggie tray, fruit tray and salads daily.
  • Cut Sugar and White Flour - both of these can enable bad bacteria to grow and thus help in lowering your immune system function.  I've had too much of both and trying to cut back.  Not making my homemade bread and snacks has really caused us to dip into more less-filling snacks and sweats.  They just don't fill you up, the way homemade, healthy, fiber-rich foods do.

That is all I can think of for now that is safe during pregnancy, the list would be much longer if you weren't pregnant.  Some things I've learned from this pregnancy that I would do differently would have been to get to a healthy weight, taken better care of my body pre-pregnancy with exercise/supplements/probiotics, had a plan for bed rest and those times I was too sick to make homemade foods and reduce stress.  So I'm telling some of you who may want to become pregnant these tips and my future self if I ever do get pregnant again.

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