We all know managing stress and staying fit while pregnant can help protect your baby’s health. But a new study by the National Institute of Health has linked inflammation to unborn child’s brain development. In fact, it may be connected to autism and ADHD.
Learn 6 ways to naturally reduce inflammation during your pregnancy.
Inflammation can cause joint pain and even pregnancy induced arthritis like symptoms happen during pregnancy. But there may be a connection between stress, colds and flu, maternal obesity, and a baby’s mental health.
It’s related to a hormone your body makes when you’re fighting a cold, or under stress, or even if you’re overweight.
You can read more about the study here on the US National Institute of Health website. The study is called “Inflammation in pregnant moms linked to childs brain development”.
Here’s what they say you need to be concerned about:
- Inflammation is part of the body’s normal defense against infections.
- The body can mount inflammatory responses to a host of factors, including:
- Drugs (e.g., smoking)
- Maternal depression
- Poverty, and
These initial studies found inflammation in pregnant mothers has been linked to mental disorders in their children.
…for example, studies suggest that the child of a pregnant mother who catches the flu may run an estimated 4-fold higher risk for developing bipolar disorder and a 3 to 7-fold higher risk for developing schizophrenia. Evidence suggests that the prenatal brain isn’t directly affected by the microorganisms, but rather by the mother’s own inflammatory response to the infection. Research shows maternal inflammation is also implicated in some cases of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).“Inflammation in pregnant moms linked to childs brain development”- NIH Study, 2018
Using artificial intelligence/machine learning technology, the researchers incorporated these findings into a model that predicts how the child may function later in life.
Although the findings are still under development, (the children studied have not reached adolescence yet) it’s still sobering!
Here’s what you can do!
6 ways to reduce inflammation naturally during your pregnancy.
- Reduce your stress. This sounds obvious but sometimes we put everyone else before ourselves. If this sounds like you, this is one area where you have permission to think of your (and your baby’s) health first. So avoid stressful situations (or people) if you can, take a break from social media or the news, read a book, take a soothing bath, light a candle, listen to classical or relaxing music. Slow down.
- Get help with your regular errands. Start with getting your groceries delivered. Many supermarkets now offer home delivery for groceries, like Shoprite, and even Whole Foods! If you’re still working a full time schedule (or on bedrest) and stressed about fitting it all in, especially if you’ve got a husband and little children at home, call up or your favorite grocer and see if they deliver. Expect to pay about $5.00 for Shoprite to handle the “picking and packing” for you, and $6.95 for delivery, or you can just pick it up curbside. Or you can try online food prep services like Hello Fresh or Blue Apron.
- Exercise: Get up and move mama! Walking as little as 20 minutes a day can help reduce stress and inflammation. And getting outside for sunshine and fresh air can help lift your mood as well. If getting outdoors isn’t in season for you, try heading to your local gym for a swim. Swimming is a great exercise during pregnancy because it relieves pressure on your joints According to Babycenter.com “swimming is a particularly good exercise in pregnancy, as the water helps to support your extra weight. This can be a huge relief, especially in the third trimester. And unlike some other forms of aerobic exercise, swimming helps you to feel cool.”
- Protect yourself from colds and flu: Yes those nasty flu bugs and colds can cause your body to create an inflammatory response, which in turn may be harmful to your baby. So if you’re around loved ones with sniffles, be sure to wipe down common places that are touched often like refrigerator doors, door knobs, faucet handles and the like with anti bacterial wipes, and wash your hands often!
- Get proper rest. Exhaustion, and stress both boost your body’s inflammation response, so be sure to get plenty of rest. Some good practices for sleeping deeper and longer include making sure your bedroom is nice and dark, cool, and quiet. Be sure to shut off your tv and cell phone well before bedtime. If you can’t resist staying of your device be sure to turn on the nighttime feature which blocks out the blue spectrum of lights, which is harder on your eyes at night, and supposedly leads to poor sleep.
- Eat healthy and maintain a healthy weight. I’m all for indulging in the occasional sweet and salty culinary delights, overall we have to make sure we’re eating well. That means eating primarily fruits, vegetables and lean meats, with healthy carbs for energy. Check in with your doctor to find out what a healthy weight range is for you, and try your best to stick to it. Studies definitely connect obesity to inflammation, and other harmful diseases. What better time than now to learn what foods are great for your body, and nourish you from the inside out.
If your suffering from back pain during your pregnancy I encourage you to try our Zero compression back brace. Hundreds of people have reported they can work better with less pain, drive, shop, and enjoy life without anyone knowing they have a brace on.
This brace has empowered me by allowing for more opportunity to build strength, increase coordination, and flexibility. From a woman’s perspective I can share that it also feels good to have a brace that displays feminine qualities while still providing the support and protection needed.– Melanie, review about our Zero Compression Back Brace for women
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Have you suffered from inflammation or arthritis during your pregnancy? I’d love to hear how you found relief, or what you’ve tried in the past! Please comment and share your experiences below!