It's back to school season and that means back to the illnesses.
Oh, you don't have school aged children so you're protected? Uh-uh. Think again.
No, every single person you come into contact with is susceptible. Your friend you're meeting for coffee? School Teacher. Your husband who works in an office? Co-worker has a second-grader. Your coffee barista, themselves? Walked past a school the other day and touched the railing. Boom. Everywhere.
BUT GUESS WHAT! For your tiny new baby, there's good news. For your little one, breastmilk is the BEST protector from all of the little bugs that get passed.
Your boobs are SO SMART that when your body detects a disease, it creates antibodies that are then passed from your breastmilk to your baby. You're pretty incredible, right? RIGHT.
But as we can attest, those antibodies don't necessarily protect you or your other loved ones, and as a nursing mom, you do want to be aware of which medicines that you ingest. If you're uncertain, always give your OB, pediatrician, or midwife a call.
More and more of us are becoming aware of the benefits of "alternative healing" methods for cold and flu season. We've compiled our top 5 go-tos!
*We do not need to remind you, and yet we are reminding you, to always consult a qualified medical professional before ingesting anything ESPECIALLY if you are pregnant and/or breastfeeding, and the methods below are not necessarily scientifically proven, but experience based.
On that note, here we go!
1. Apple Cider Vinegar Tonic
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp honey
dash of cayenne
hot water in a shot glass
*Mix them all together and take it down. This tonic was shared with one of our team members a long time ago by someone else who swore they'd never been sick after she started taking it. It's used quite a lot for cleansing, but the idea is the same. It aids in getting rid of whatever might be lingering in your gut and colon that bugs can feast on and spread in your body. Also, apple cider vinegar is used to kill bacteria. There are SO many other claims as well regarding the benefits of apple cider vinegar. Some are evidence-based, others not so much. In general, though, it's a safe and healthy and worth a shot.
2. Essential Oils
We recommend Pranarom's (formerly Veriditas) Good Samaritan blend or their Immunity Boost. However, there are other brands, such as DoTerra's Thieves oil that is very similar. These are specially blended oils that can be diffused or added to a carrying oil to protect the whole family from cold and flu germs. *Be sure to read directions or reach out to the manufacturer to learn the best way of applying each oil as some of the oils in the blend may not be the best for topical or internal application.
Again, we have to warn; Please make sure that these vitamins are right for you, but here's a general key:
Vitamin C- Helps build immune system. Your body doesn't produce vitamin C, so it only comes from diet and supplements
Vitamin E- Can protect the body from free radicals that cause damage to your cells and leads to illness. Can be found in food and supplements
Vitamin D- Boosts immune system. Especially for those of us in the North, this can be hard to come by as most of us get it naturally from sunlight.
*consult a medical professional on safety and dosage for breastfeeding and pregnant mamas
4. Good ol' method of washing hands
We have to add it because it's easy to forget, especially if you are in the new mommy phase before going back to work. As we mentioned, germs travel SO easily. The mail person, the Amazon packager, you get it. Washing your hands and baby's hands before and after diaper changes and meals can help TREMENDOUSLY in preventing sickness from spreading.
5. Shot of Breastmilk
Remember how we said it is pure liquid magic for your little ones? Welp, do what you need to do to get over it and throw some of that back in a shot glass. Trust us, you've put worse things in your body. Those antibodies can do wonders for the rest of your family as well. Husband freaking out about the idea? Don't tell him. Or do, but wait for the perfect moment ;-)
And a little bonus treat for keeping yourself healthy all season long. Get out and take some time for yourself! 30 minutes during a nap to do a quick yoga sesh, even better, yoga nidra (deep yogic sleep), a nap, shopping. Anything that allows you to calm your heart rate and push reset before diving back into the EXTREMELY hard work that you are doing each and every day.
You are doing a great job, mama.