-Wendy Fowler, LM, CPM

The best way to deal with Covid during pregnancy to prevent infection. Even here there are mixed opinions. The following are suggestions you can research and implement into your own family. Please take this seriously, it may have a large effect on your ultimate birth outcome (as in complications and where you give birth).

Absolutely do this:

  • Drink water daily: half of your body weight in ounces, preferably not from disposable plastic water bottles.
  • Cut out refined sugar (white sugar, brown sugar, sugar in the raw, organic sugar, sugar cane, corn syrup in any form) and processed foods (boxed, canned, packaged, and fast food).
  • Avoid frankenfood oils (Canola, vegetable, Crisco)
  • Drink NORA tea, especially with rose hips (adding lemon balm might help your stress level)
  • Get outside daily for 30 minutes of sun and fresh air
  • Exercise 3-4x a week for 30 minutes minimum
  • A fresh lemon or lime in your water 2x each day

The NORA tea has vitamins D, C and zinc in it but I have not been able to tell how much and it won’t be standardized since it’s from a food source. I suggest you consider taking the supplements from the list below as well to ensure you’re getting enough to fight off infection.

Supplements:

  • 4000IU Vitamin D3+K2 (the TwinLabs sublingual tablet from Natural Grocers or vitacost.com is what I take).
  • 11mg zinc daily (I take the MegaFood brand but only because I trust the brand, I have not researched this type of zinc) if you’re pregnant. Non-pregnant adults should take 25-50g per day to prevent. Evidence on zinc is sparse but since side effects are minimal according to the WHO, if you have been exposed to Covid and want to take a temporarily higher dose you could consider raising it.
  • 500mg Liposomal Vitamin C

Consider this:

  • Bone broth (homemade is best, recipe link below).
  • Elderberry syrup-we take this all winter long. It is hard to find information on if it will prevent Covid but it is proven to reduce the duration of the flu when taken at the first sign of symptoms so many families take it as a flu preventative (no studies have been done that I know of that prove this is effective but unless you have an autoimmune disorder, it is unlikely to have any negative effects). You can make your own for much cheaper than buying it and it’s really easy.
  • Quercetin (250-500mg) daily is suggested to prevent Covid BUT it may not be best for pregnant women to get this in pill form. To get that much through food eat a LOT of red onions and peppers each day, apples with the peel, and the best source: capers. Use this list and this list to choose foods high in quercetin and consider making the honey-onion syrup and Immuni-TEA (below)

Immuni-TEA:

Place the following in a pan:

3 organic green tea bags

organic orange peels (amount not specified)

1/2 organic red onion

1” of the end of a ginger root, grated

4-6c water

Boil then simmer 15-20 minutes. Drink 3 cups per day

Add if desired: raw honey

The ImmuniTEA was suggested to me to be taken if sick but because it has quercetin in it from the onion, it could be a great preventative for the pregnant woman who doesn’t need to take it in capsule form. You could also keep the ingredients on hand in case you do get sick. I drank it daily when I had Covid in Decemer 2020.

Consider If You Get Sick:

If you or a family members gets sick and are able to stay home (not in the hospital) the following can be used to help support your body so consider keeping it on hand just in case.

  • All of the above suggestions (don’t exercise but sit or stroll in the sun if you can):
  • Bone broth-home made with organic ingredients-if you have trouble finding the bones, buy an organic chicken and use the bones & leftover meat to make broth.
  • Coconut water for rehydration-throw in a splash of fruit juice and dash of salt (omit fruit juice if you like coconut water)
  • Increase the zinc. Again only 11mg is suggested for pregnant women daily but in an acute situation, you might want it higher. I’m not finding much research on this so trust your gut. As a non-pregnant woman I’ll do 75-100mg if I get sick.

I know this can be overwhelming and for some it is a gigantic lifestyle change. The reality is that these foods (broths, NORA tea) are basic and should be part of our normal menus, especially in the winter and if you’re pregnant. This is a great time to make the change. We added elderberry syrup into our routine years ago and now my kids ask for it each fall-they long to smell it simmering. As we have witnessed the controversy peak with natural treatments and doctors being restricted in what they are allowed to prescribe, it is imperative that we take our health-and our family’s health-into our own hands. Not that we don’t use mainstream medicine when needed, but that we do not stay in a place of full dependence on mainstream options.

Choose what intuitively sounds right for your family from among the options I’ve listed. Get everyone on the same preventative page in your house if you can so that you create a buffer of resiliency around yourself and your unborn baby. And while you’re doing all this-try not to stress, as stress decreases your immune system as well. I know that’s a nearly impossible order, but aiming to reduce stress will help some, even if you can’t diminish it all together. Reach out to me to talk if you need to, my door is always open.

PS: These suggestions are great for men, non-pregnant women, and children too. Substitute the honey with another sweetened like maple syrup if using with children under 1 year of age and research the appropriate doses of supplements for your child’s age/weight.

On Masks:

This is so controversial. The bottom line is that each family must research and weigh the data-easier said than done right now. My personal opinion is that the masks, especially as they’re being used, are not effective and may even increase the transmission of disease due to the inability to don and doff it correctly as the CDC recommends. If you touch your mask after it’s been put on, you should throw it away or wash it. I have concerns about the possible reduction in oxygen for the unborn baby if the mother is wearing a mask. There are other risks to long term mask wearing that are starting to surface. Some data shows the masks may be effective. It’s really hard to navigate. Again, you must decide what is best for your family. If you feel the data points to masks being effectively, please try not to touch it, wear it appropriately-covering your mouth and nose and take it off when alone, exercising, outdoors, etc.

On Gatherings:

Obviously exposure increases as gathering size increases. This risk must be weighed with the side effects that come from lack of social interactions and physical touch. Please use wisdom and common sense, wash your hands often and build you immune system.