Winter time means sick time whether we like it or not. Along with the mittens, scarves, and pompom hats comes colds, the flu, and in the worst cases pneumonia. As a pregnant mom, it is important for you to shield yourself from any bacteria and viruses possible. But how can you protect yourself from getting that nasty cold or flu your child brought home from school?
“Preventing transmission, especially if with small children in the house, is not easy,” admits Larry Anderson, MD, a professor of pediatric infectious diseases at the Emory School of Medicine in Atlanta.
1. Wash your hands
This age-old piece of advice definitely pays off. If you know your child is sick with the flu or has a cold make sure to spend more time than usual at the sink and not just washing dishes! Washing your hands using hot or warm water is an important part in killing off the bacteria that can lay dormant.
2. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
When unable to wash your hands, make sure to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer instead of any old hand sanitizer you can find. Having alcohol in it ensures that the sanitizer is strong enough to kill the bacteria as well as sterilize the area. Nowadays, many stores sell sanitizers with fun fruity smells that are pocket-sized and are cute enough to carry in your purse.
3. Stay safe from sneezes
I know it can be cute when your little child sneezes and you just want to wipe his nose for him, but be careful. It is best for you to not be close when he’s sneezing or when he is cleaning up. Remember that this is temporary and it doesn’t mean you love your child any less, you just need your health to be a priority now as well. This applies to adults too. When others are sneezing around you try your best to not be close by.
While this has become somewhat of a controversial topic over the course of the past couple of years, vaccination does help boost immunity. Having your children and partner vaccinated can help you and the baby in the long run.
5. Don’t share
Don’t share means don’t share a cup, don’t share utensils, don’t share food, and don’t share kisses. I know this may be difficult but in this situation, the key is not giving in. Keeping your loved ones at a little bit of a distance is difficult but very necessary.
6. Make the kitchen off-limits
This can really lighten your load and help keep the food germ free! No children or sick partners in the kitchen means more space for you and fewer bacteria for everyone to eat! This is a key part of keeping yourself well that many people forget- contaminating the food source in the house will lead to everyone getting sick and no one being happy.
7. Use hot water on laundry day
Another key to keeping yourself and the rest of your family well. Bacteria is sitting on the clothes that were worn when your child was sick. It is imperative to remember to not only wash the clothes right away but to wash them in hot water.
8. Have your child take a hot bath or shower
Similar to washing your clothes in hot water, it is important to have your child scrubbed of any lingering germs that may be on him/her. Have your partner do the scrubbing as you are more susceptible to getting sick.
9. Make sure you get lots of sleep
Sleep is an important part of immunity. Sleep is where your body repairs and heals itself and where you are constantly rebooting. Make sure you get more than enough sleep!
10. Eat healthy meals
Even if you have been slacking lately and all you’ve been eating is ramen, now is the perfect time to start eating more healthy. The nutrients and vitamins you eat daily, are the key components to helping you keep your immunity up and keep the germs at bay.