As a mumma of a baby (or mum of more than one child), you’ll be only too familiar with how hectic life is and how easy it is to get run down. Throw in some sleep deprivation plus the cold and flu season, and you’ll be wanting all the immunity boosting tips you can get to help you stay well.
There are no sick days when you’re home with your bub, and mumlife must go on. First and foremost, to keep those germs away, remember to frequently wash your hands well, and try not to touch your face. To help support your immune system, we’ve created this simple list of 4 hacks to keep you as healthy and as strong as possible to care for your baby and yourself.
1. Get some more sleep
Mums usually laugh when the phrase ‘sleep when the baby sleeps’ is suggested, but honestly, try to think of sleep as a vitamin for your immune system, particularly during cold weather. Your baby needs you to be at your best, and resting your body is one way to ensure you fight off any nasty bugs. Wherever you can, reschedule, outsource, or reorganise your life so that you get at least 30 minutes of sleep or downtime during the day.
2. Increase immunity-boosting foods
- Load up on antioxidants, including foods such as citrus fruit, spinach, blueberries, strawberries, dark chocolate, and red cabbage.
- Add extra garlic, onion, turmeric, chilli, and ginger to wholesome comfort meals such as soups and casseroles.
- Probiotic-packed foods such as natural Greek yoghurt and sauerkraut help to support good gut health. 70% of your immune system is in your gut!
- Eat selenium-rich foods, including brazil nuts, oats, eggs, brown rice, and dairy foods.
- Foods high in Vitamin E can reduce your risk of infection, such as pine nuts, almonds, salmon, and avocado.
- Zinc is essential for the maintenance of your immune system, so eat plenty of nuts, seeds, legumes, meat, and shellfish.
- Fill up on foods rich in Omega-3s (which is essential for optimal health), including fish, chia seeds, and eggs.
- Stay hydrated. If you don’t feel like drinking a lot of cold water, you could always have it warm, or drink liquids in the form of teas and broths.
3. Get your nutrient levels tested
Make an appointment with your GP to get your levels tested. Despite their best efforts to eat a balanced diet, many new mums are surprised to find that they’re deficient in vital nutrients that support a healthy immune system, such as zinc, Omega-3, Vitamin D, selenium, and Vitamin D (which isn’t as easy to get in the form of sunlight in the colder months). Your doctor or naturopath may recommend that you take some supplements.
5. Protect your mental health
You might be tempted to stay home more in the cold weather and avoid crowds of potentially germ-carrying people, but it’s important to get out in the fresh air and to socialise. Exercise and social interaction are vital to protecting your mental health. When we feel happy, it helps to promote a healthier lifestyle and boosts our immune system. Here are some suggestions:
Please note: The tips in this article are for informational purposes only. Please see your doctor, nutritionist, or naturopath before making any dietary changes or taking supplements.