It’s pretty scary for everyone during this time of COVID-19, and doubly so for moms-to-be.
There’s still much to be learned about the coronavirus and how it affects pregnant women, and there is much pregnant moms want to know, including whether or not they should maintain in-office doctor appointments and how to protect themselves and their babies.
“Pregnant women have increased needs for good pulmonary function,” Dr. Pedro P. Arrabal, director of maternal-fetal medicine at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, told Newswise. “Therefore, any pregnant woman who has significant lung problems would be at higher risk for COVID-19 infection. This would include severe asthma, HIV, chronic heart disease, chronic lung disease, kidney disease and immunocompromise states.”
If your pregnancy is not high-risk, telemedicine visits may be an option for you after the all-important initial in-person pregnancy visit, Arrabal said. However, he added, if you are at 24 weeks gestational age and beyond, you will need to be seen in person.
In addition to practicing social distancing, washing your hands often and using gloves, hand sanitizer and/or masks if you are in a public place, here are three more ways for moms-to-be to maintain good health and reduce risks during pregnancy:
1. Vitamin D
If you’re pregnant, having healthy levels of vitamin D may be one of the single most important things you can do for you and your new baby.
British researchers concluded pregnant women should take vitamin D, saying that there is a “strong case” to support the vitamin’s benefits, which include reducing the risk of diseases such as infantile hypocalcaemia and rickets.
Vitamin D levels need to be above 50 ng/ml to protect you and your baby from some of the most serious complications of pregnancy such as premature delivery and preeclampsia, so be sure and get your levels regularly checked during pregnancy.
Food is a tremendous healer, a medicine in its own right. The right foods can help speed healing of a cold or the flu and, in other cases, can be more long-term and preventive in nature.
Foods that support a healthy pregnancy include broccoli, avocado, salmon, berries, chia seeds and eggs. Stock your kitchen with real foods, — unprocessed, whole and non-GMO (ideally organic and locally grown).
The right foods also support your gut microbiome to boost your overall health. Signs indicating your gut flora is out of balance include indigestion, gas or bloating, constipation, diarrhea or virtually any chronic disease.
For good gut health eat fermented vegetables and other fermented foods, bone broth, moringa, aloe vera, chia seeds and other high-quality fiber foods like organic psyllium.
3. Vitamin C
The only real defense against COVID-19 is your own immune system, which works best when fed right.
Vitamin C strengthens your immune system and kills pathogens, including viruses, when taken in high doses. A Korean doctor who’s giving patients and hospital staff 100,000 IUs of vitamin D and 20 to 24 grams of vitamin C by IV reports virus-infected patients are getting well in a matter of days.
Sepsis is also one of the leading causes for flu-related deaths. Sepsis killed 11 million out of 56 million people in 2017 alone. Infused vitamin C has been shown to improve chances of survival in septic patients.
Good food sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, broccoli sprouts, red and green peppers, strawberries and Brussels sprouts.
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