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Replenishing Your Immune System After Having a Baby

Having a baby takes a lot out of you and definitely wears down your body’s natural defenses.  I haven’t found any studies, but anecdotally, acupuncturists and chiropractors agree that most women patients who’ve had children complain that they never quite regain the level of health they enjoyed prior to having children.

Personally, it seems that every time I spend several weeks doing the right things to regain my health, I encounter a major setback, whether that’s mastitis, a major car accident, and now, the friggin’ flu.  I guess I shouldn’t be too upset, it seems many healthy people have also had some flu symptoms this year.

My acupuncturist told me it takes up to a full year to recover from childbirth.  She told me not to do anything (work/career-wise) until then.  I don’t know if that’s financially FEASIBLE for us, but it’s something for me to keep in mind . . . to take it easy and to not push things too hard.  When I’m tired, I rest.  When I’m hungry, I eat.

And, since I’m utterly tired of getting sick so frequently in the past 4 months, I’m going to take extreme measures to rebuild my immune defenses.  No more occasional pieces of chocolate or tastings of ice cream.  I’m so done with that stuff.  I’m posting a piece of paper on the wall that will read “NO SUGAR . . . remember what it feels like to have the flu.”  Motivation, right there!

So, I’ll indulge in my Florida oranges, pineapple, and occasional strawberries.  But, no refined sugar, immune system crippling indulgences for this gal.  I utterly can’t afford it . . . I have a baby boy to look after.  And, if I can’t even muster the energy to pick him up or change a dirty diaper, then I’m no help to him.

I’m off to refuel on some antioxidants: green tea with ginger and citrus flavors.

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2 Responses

  1. Dolly, could you maybe send me a brief summary of why refined sugars cripple the immune system? I have a pretty strong sweet tooth, and love a little dessert a few times a week. I always try to not overdo it, and I’ve pumped up my workouts in the last couple of months and lost 7 lbs. I almost never get sick. If I feel a little cold coming on, I take extra vitamins (usually zinc and Vit C) and drink an Odwalla Superfood juice. I know that I feel a little bloated after eating sugar, but that goes away within a hour or so. I have not noticed a correlation between sugar and illness in my own body. But I know you’ve done a lot of research in this area. v(I should have emailed this to you privately…could you write me back?)

  2. Thank you for writing this. I can see that almost two years have passed since you posted the article, and am wondering how you feel now. I gave birth to my third child six months ago. It was a high risk pregnancy thanks to a structural problem with the placenta and umbilical cord, and then my father died the day after my baby was born six weeks early by c-section. Since then my health has really taken a hit, and I’m grappling with a series of lame autoimmune problems (e.g. thyroid, raynaud’s) plus the H1N1 and a bad reaction to my seasonal flu shot. Sometimes seems like things couldn’t get worse, although I know that is silly and of course they could. I’m just so very, very tired. Have been seeing an acupuncturist and several doctors. Hope someone can help me work through this so I can regain my strength and vitality and be a good mom to my three kids.

    Thanks again. I don’t feel as alone.

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