Mama, you're not alone if you feel like you (and your kids) are constantly getting sick. After almost two years of being in near isolation, our immune systems are playing catch up.
When our kids get sick, it’s insanely disruptive. Work still needs to get done, but childcare is no longer an option. Caregiving for a sick child has no breaks. And often, it is not appreciated either.
But getting sick yourself as a mom while still having to parent? That’s a whole new level of hard.
So although we can’t prevent your little ones from bringing home new germs every week, we can share some easy ways to support your immune system so you can stay feeling your best!
We get it. Resting can seem impossible as a mom when you are constantly busy. But as a result, your immune system pays the price.
One of the best ways to keep your immune system strong is to get enough sleep. When you're well-rested, your body is better able to fight off infection. This might sound easier said than done when you have young children, but when it comes to sleep, quality is just as important as quantity. A nighttime routine can make all the difference.
You can increase the production of melatonin (your sleep hormone) by doing the following:
- Putting away tech devices at least 30 minutes before bed (as tempting as it is to scroll!)
- Dimming the lights
- Using blackout curtains and limiting light in the bedroom
- Making the environment a little cooler if possible
- Limiting caffeine after 2 pm
By creating a relaxing bedtime routine you can sleep soundly knowing you're setting yourself up for success.
Eat your vitamins – and take them too
While it's easy to get in the habit of finishing off your toddler's meal for lunch, it's important to eat foods that are nutrient-dense. This means eating a variety of colourful fruits and vegetables that provide immune-boosting antioxidants.
One of our favourite ways to get in our fruits and veggies is to make a smoothie for breakfast or lunch. Did you know that frozen fruits and veggies often have higher levels of nutrients than fresh produce?
Berry Banana Greens Smoothie
- 1/2 cup frozen wild blueberries
1/2 cup frozen raspberries, or strawberries
- 1/4 cup frozen leafy greens, such as spinach or kale
- 1/2 frozen banana
- 1 cup dairy-free milk
- 1/2 cup coconut yogurt (great source of probiotics to support your microbiome)
Simply add everything to your blender, blend until smooth and enjoy!
Beyond a healthy diet, another great way to make sure you are giving your body all the nutrients it needs to thrive is by taking a high-quality multivitamin. Mama Recovery provides 24 research-backed vitamins, minerals and herbs that help your body and mind recover during the first year of postpartum.
Research shows that people with more diverse social networks are less likely to become ill- so there's one more excuse to go to that mom meetup, take the yoga class, and go out with your girlfriends a little more often!
Did you know that high-intensity exercise may have a negative impact on immunity? This isn’t to say all exercise is harmful, in fact exercise can be very beneficial to maintaining a healthy immune system. Moving your body helps improve circulation and lymphatic flow, which helps keep your immune system strong. Exercise also boosts endorphins, which reduce stress hormones and protects your immune system.
Consider what kinds of movement make you feel good, and what will work with your lifestyle. Because you'll be more likely to do it consistently, that type of exercise will be most beneficial. Just moving your body for 30-60 minutes a day is a great way to keep your immune system strong. This will look different for everyone, and if you’re a busy mom, it will probably look different every day, but walking, yoga, pilates, swimming, chasing your toddler around, or kicking a ball around with your kids at the park are all great options!
5. Supportive supplements
- Zinc - A vital mineral for overall health, zinc can help ensure your immune cells are functioning well and if you do get sick, it may shorten the duration of a viral illness.
- Vitamin D3 - Vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased risk for infection, so make sure you're getting enough by working with your healthcare provider to find the right dose just for you, usually between 600-4000 IU per day.
- Propolis - This sticky substance is used by bees to seal their hives. Propolis is thought to modulate the immune system by increasing production of immune cells and regulating inflammation. You can often find it in throat sprays that taste like honey- yum!
- Elderberry- Traditionally taken as an extract or syrup, elderberry is rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, and may shorten the duration, and lessen the severity of flu symptoms if you get sick.
- Probiotics- Gut health is key to good overall health, but especially for your immune system. More than 70% of your immune system is located in your gut. Taking a high-potency probiotic with multiple different bacterial strains can be a great way to keep your microbiome healthy so it can keep you healthy.
Kids are germ magnets. Especially when they first start school or child care, they bring home ALL the germs, and that's a good thing- It strengthens their immune system in the long run. But, it's important to prioritize your health so you can feel your absolute best and show up as the mama you are meant to be.
Mama Recovery makes it easy to get all the nutrients you need to thrive as a busy mom.