Pregnancy is the most exciting as well as critical stage in a woman's life which not only brings happiness but also many unexpected changes in her body. It is a natural stage wherein the body undergoes various hormonal changes in order to support the growth and development of the baby. These hormonal changes result in some psychological, as well as physical changes in the body, of which some changes are normal while others can be a cause of worry or concern. And one such change that nearly 90 percent of pregnant women experience during those nine crucial months is a weakened immune system. Though very common, weakening of immune system at the time of pregnancy can increase the risks of getting sick during this phase as a result of some bacterial or viral infestations in the body. Hence, it becomes vital to know what are the various factors that contribute to a low immune system during pregnancy and how an expecting mother can overcome it.

Causes and Symptoms

As mentioned above, the main reason for a weakened immune system is the hormonal imbalance in the body. Basically, after implantation of the fertilized egg which usually takes six to seven days post conception, the placenta (tissue surrounding the developing fetus) starts releasing a glycoprotein hormone called hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin). hCG production in the body increases as the pregnancy progresses, causing many unexpected changes in the body which also contributes to various pregnancy symptoms like missed period, mood swings, morning sickness, nausea, fatigue, etc. The body somewhere has to adjust itself with the increasing hormonal changes which affects the body's defense mechanism and results in low immune system.

Apart from this, nutritional deficiency can also cause immune system malfunction. Since the body is supporting both the mother and the baby by providing essential nutrients and minerals, nutritional deficiency can also lead to a weakened immune system when one is pregnant. Hence, as the body's defense mechanism weakens, apart from the common symptoms of pregnancy, the expecting mother may experience too much weakness, fatigue, and nausea, and becomes susceptible to various diseases and illnesses during this phase.

Treatment and Prevention

The best way to treat weakened immune system in place of having various antibiotics during pregnancy is to try some simple and healthy methods that can enhance the immune system. The simplest way to improve immunity is to incorporate healthy lifestyle that can minimize the risks of getting infected by any disease or infection.

First and foremost, the mother has to make healthy dietary changes by including fruits and vegetables in her diet which are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Also, as far as possible she should avoid eating junk or fast foods which are loaded with fats and calories but have no nutritional value. Hence, having a balanced pregnancy diet along with maintaining proper hygiene like washing hands before and after meal can surely enhance the immune system.

Besides these, the expecting mother can also consider taking some vitamin supplements or prenatal vitamins especially those that are high in calcium, iron, and folic acid. However, before opting for any health supplements, do consult the doctor or midwife in order to avoid any unexpected pregnancy complications. Doing some mild pregnancy exercises regularly can also boost the immunity level as exercises make the body stronger, improves blood, and nutrients circulation, as well as help in flushing various toxins out of the body.

Along with these preventive measures, avoiding things one is allergic to, drinking plenty of water, getting enough sleep, and rest to rejuvenate and strengthen the body, leading a stress free life, etc. can all help in improving this condition. However, if one experiences too much weakness and fatigue even after following the above mentioned preventive measures, do consult the health care provider to elucidate the case.

Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.