With these uncertain times, I’m hearing a lot from my clients that are new mums with concerns for the health of themselves and their babies. Obviously the first question is “what can I do to support my immune system?”, and “what are things that I can take while breastfeeding?”.
I’ve put together a list of things that are important right now for new mums in addition to social distancing and hand washing, including everything from following a good gut health diet to the things you can do to support mental health.
7 ways to boost your immune system as a new mum
- Ensure you’re taking a pregnancy breastfeeding multivitamin – Not all of these are made equally. It is important to take a high-quality supplement, preferably a practitioner only multivitamin.
- Take extra zinc, vitamin C, vitamin D and vitamin A supplements – All of these nutrients support your body in fighting off viruses by supporting your immune cells and their ability to defend. Getting the dosages right is the real key, which changes from Mum to Mum depending on their diet, how frequently they are feeding and their immune health history, so see me personally for your specific dosages.
- Get as much sleep as possible – I know this is much easier said than done, but our immunes systems do a lot of their work whilst we are sleeping. So where possible, nap with your baby and go to bed when they do.
- Eat a diet rich in vegetables, bone broths, garlic, onions, ginger and particularly fresh herbs – all of these things have been shown to support natural killer cells and reduce the severity of viruses. Did you know that thyme, for example, has antiviral and antibacterial oils, or that mushrooms trigger an immune response in humans putting your immune system effectively on “high alert”?
- Look after your gut health – Our immune system begins in the gut, so ensuring that your good flora and digestion are healthy and functioning at their best will support your immune defences.
- Herbs can be used in new mum whilst breastfeeding – If you’re a client of mine, you will already be taking some herbs that are specific to post-birth recovery which support the immune system and your recovery.
- Stay connected – I’m hearing from a few of my new Mums out there how hard social distancing is, given they already feel socially isolated being a new Mum. This is a real concern for mental health. I would encourage you to start online mothers groups and facetime as much as possible with the loved ones that you are trying to protect, such as grandparents. Remember the old rule: speak to at least 3 different people a day whilst at home on your own with a young baby to protect your mental health as well.
We are all still working here at Merge Health, so please book in to see us on Telehealth to tailor herbs or supplements to your specific needs.
By Samatha Van Dort – Women’s Health & Fertility Expert