Friday, June 22, 2012

Pregnant Women and Their Immune System

All this while, I thought pregnancy, especially, its second trisemester would be a walk in the park. I was in good faith that pregnancy’s hardest part would always be the nausea and throwing up episodes in the first trisemester. But I think I was wrong.

Unlike what is typically seen on TV, principally during the maternal milk commercials, the whole pregnancy experience of mine thus far is not all calm, easy and stress-free period. I mean pregnancy indeed is beautiful and miraculous moment for every pregnant woman in many ways (remember the cute baby kicks I brag every now and then?); it's just that sometimes, the physical discomforts that expecting mothers have to go through during the 9 months gestation period are, in my opinion, pretty laborious.

On top of so many uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms that intensify on monthly basis, do you know that women’s immune system runs at really low speed when they are pregnant? This means some of them are more prone to catching bugs or viruses out there when they are pregnant than they normally do. I totally understated this part until I fell sick way too many times during my pregnancy.

I have probably bored you; hence made you rolled your eyes, with the same old flu/fever/runny nose/sore throat stories in my blog or tweets every other month. However, in all fairness, my husband (plus his wallet) and I are more fed up and worn-out in going through all these series of sickness during my pregnancy. I kid you not but in just two weeks after I recovered from my last bout of runny nose and sore throat, I had agonizing throat infection this week and it was pretty nasty. On Monday evening, my husband had to send me to see a doctor in the hospital’s Emergency Unit to get myself checked and medicated as the hospital’s clinic was not in operation during public holiday.

Since I fell pregnant, I think there was only one time when I could manage not seeing doctor before my monthly Gynae visit schedule was due. The rests of the months were filled with seeing the hospital’s general physicians or my Gynae out of the regular schedules because I was ill and not supposed to take over-the-counter medications without doctor’s prescription.

When I sought explanation from my Gynae and the Emergency Unit’s doctor in the hospital (during my Gynae’s absence) on why my body is incredibly vulnerable these days, despite my undoubtedly growing (and stronger looking) body size – they gave me the same answer: my dropping immune system.

So, my point is – if you are pregnant and feel that you have come down with flu or colds more often than usual, fret not. You are not weird and absolutely not alone. It’s all part and parcel of being pregnant. To prevent our pregnant bodies from falling sick too frequently, I think the least we could do now is to be extra careful with our food intake (say bye-bye to ice cream, cold drinks or deep fried, spicy and oily food), drink plenty of water, have enough rests and try to stay away from people who are ill (because I know their virus would infect our bodies first more than anyone else’s in proximity for the moment!). Also, I personally do not dare taking extra vitamin C or multivitamins in order to boost my immune system when I fall sick during this pregnancy – unless I’m temporarily prescribed with additional vitamins from doctors. For that reason, when I am not feeling well, I just take my pregnancy supplements that my Gynae prescribes me as per normal.

Finger crossed – no more flu and its annoying buddies on me until September!

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