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Aug 09, 2022

Pregnancy

How to keep the immune system strong during pregnancy?

Your immune system is a complete superstar, working around the clock to support your health so that you can get on with living your life to the full.

During pregnancy, your body experiences a lot of change, and the way your immune system functions is just one of them. When you’re pregnant, your immune system is weakened to enable your body to protect your pregnancy1, and that’s why it’s important to look after yourself.

So just how do you keep your immune system strong during pregnancy? Well, there are steps that you can take to ensure that you’re doing everything you can to keep you and your growing baby healthy.

How to keep the immune system strong during pregnancy

What you put into your body affects your immune system, which is why a varied and balanced diet, packed with essential nutrients, is so important. Other lifestyle factors that can affect your immune system include how often you exercise, how much sleep you get and the level of stress that you might be experiencing.

All of these things are very important considerations from the moment you discover that you’re pregnant. Let’s take a look at some of the ideas that could help to support your immune system during pregnancy.

Your diet in pregnancy

The cells in your immune system need energy to function effectively, and they get that energy from the nutrients in the foods that you eat2.

During pregnancy, there’s no need for you to eat a special or modified diet, and the basic principles of eating healthily are the same as they always are. Eating a variety of different foods every day will help to ensure that you’re getting all of the nutrients that you and your baby need3.

A healthy diet during pregnancy should include4:

  • Starchy foods such as potatoes with their skins on or wholegrain varieties of bread and rice.
  • Fruits and vegetables - and plenty of them!
  • Lean meat, fish and eggs, beans and pulses and other protein sources such as tofu. These should be eaten in moderation.
  • Dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt, or dairy alternatives such as soya milk should also be eaten in moderation.

Actimel shots are a tasty source of Vitamin D and B6, which are known to support your immune system as part of a varied and balanced diet during your pregnancy.

Exercise in pregnancy

When it comes to your immune system, it’s well known that physical activity can help to reduce the risk of a number of health conditions, including type 2 diabetes, some cancers, heart disease and depression5.

This continues to be the case during your pregnancy. Try going for a walk for around 30 minutes each day, or swimming, which will support your weight and put less strain on your body as your pregnancy progresses6.

Getting enough sleep

It’s no secret that getting a good night’s sleep can help to keep your immune system healthy and working at its best7. However, it’s not unusual to feel more tired than usual during your pregnancy, especially during the first 12 weeks8.

If you’re finding it hard to sleep, try giving yourself some time to wind down before you go up to bed. You can also try supporting your bump with pillows and putting a pillow between your knees for a more comfortable and supportive sleeping position8.

Manage stress effectively

Stress can have a negative impact on your immune system, and interfere with its regular activity and ability to protect your health9.

Looking after your mental health is extremely important all of the time, and pregnancy is a big life change that can sometimes feel a little overwhelming. If you start to feel stressed during your pregnancy, talk to your midwife or GP who will be able to provide you with the advice and guidance that you need.

A balanced diet, exercise and good sleep can also help you to keep stress levels to a minimum.

Listen to your body

Pregnancy can be a little tough on your immune system, which is why it’s so important to listen to what your body needs.

Try to find activities that work for you as your body and energy levels change. If you’re finding it difficult to get a good night’s rest, an afternoon nap might help you to recharge. If you’re not used to doing much exercise, a short, daily walk could be a good place to start.

Remember that there are exciting times ahead as you progress through your pregnancy, and taking good care of yourself will go a long way in supporting your health as you prepare to meet your baby.


References

*Actimel Core, Plus, Dairy Free & 00 range contain Vitamins D and B6 to help support the normal function of the immune system. Actimel kids contains vitamin D to support the normal function of the immune system in children. **Actimel 0% Fat 0% Added Sugars : No added sugars, contains naturally occurring sugars. ***Except for Actimel Kids range. ****Vitamin B6 contributes to normal energy-yielding metabolism. △RI: Reference intake of an average adult (8400 KJ/2000 Kcal) (as per Food Information Regulations). Enjoy as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.

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