Getting the Flu During Pregnancy Could Affect Your Baby's Mental Health: Here's How to Prevent It

pregnat bellyBecause pregnant women don't have enough to worry about, what with their keeping the growing human inside them healthy, a new study has been released that shows a connection between gestational flu and bipolar disorder in babies. Fantastic. Researchers say that flu-related bipolar disorder remains quite low (there's a 3-4 percent chance of this happening), but still, babies could be four times more likely to be diagnosed with the disorder later on in life. "The chances are still quite small. I don't think it should raise alarms for mothers," lead study author Alan Brown said. Sure. Easy for you to say, Brown. You're not a pregnant mother!

The debate between whether or not to get a flu shot while pregnant has raged on for years, and it doesn't look like the twain shall ever meet. But if you're concerned about flu-related bipolar disorder, or just getting the flu while pregnant, and don't want to get the shot, try these 5 natural alternatives.

1. Wash your hands. Constantly. The easiest way to pick up germs is by touching something. Wash your hands multiple times during the day and sing "Happy Birthday" while lathering up.

2. Eat healthful food that's rich in nutrients. When you're pregnant, it's okay to sneak an extra cookie of two, but come flu season, you should try to stock up on foods that will help boost your immune system. Avoid processed food, instead opting for veggies and fruits that are high in antioxidants.

3. Rest up. Don't push yourself. When you're pregnant, you need more rest as is (or, at least it feels that way). When you're feeling the familiar first twinges of sickness coming on, take it easy. Call out of work if necessary. Your body needs time to recuperate.

4. Avoid stress (as much as possible). Stress triggers sickness. It really is as simple as that.

5. Garlic. Fresh garlic has long been touted for its anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-yeast properties, and has always been a big "anti-flu remedy" among the natural set. But before taking any herbs and or supplements during your pregnancy, please consult a doctor.

What natural alternatives to flu shots do you use?

 

Image via tofslie/Flickr

pregnancy health, natural parenting