Tag: Pregnancy

How Can I Safely Boost My Immunity During Pregnancy?

With the Coronavirus outbreak, pregnant women around the world are wondering how they can safely boost their immunity during pregnancy. Let’s consider the most commonly prescribed immune-boosting nutrients.  More importantly, are they safe to take during pregnancy?

Vitamin A

Increases our resistance to infection, boosts antibody production and enhances the activity of our immune system. Vitamin A is found in egg yolk, full-fat dairy products, liver and fish liver oils. Too much vitamin A, however, can cause birth defects.  For that reason, it’s not safe to eat liver or pate during pregnancy. 

You can eat foods high in carotenoids such as apricots, carrots and green leafy vegetables and convert the carotenoids to vitamin A.  However, a quarter of the population lack the enzyme required for conversion.

Dunaliella salina is a natural source of mixed carotenoids including beta-carotene. Supplementing with beta-carotene on its own may inhibit the absorption of lutein (another carotenoid) by up to 50%.  Lutein is important for baby’s eye development.

If you are vegan or are intolerant to eggs or dairy, it would be a good idea to speak to your nutritionist or naturopath about supplementing with vitamin A.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is necessary for a healthy immune system.  Not only that, it helps us absorb iron which is essential during pregnancy (more on iron below).

The RDI is 60mg, although you can increase this dose to 2000mg daily during pregnancy if you are ill.

Vitamin D

There is research* to suggest that having healthy vitamin D levels may improve clinical outcomes of patients with Covid-19.  Many prenatal vitamins contain 1000iu of vitamin D, however it is best to have a blood test and consult with a healthcare professional before taking a higher dose than this.


One of the most important minerals during pregnancy, especially from 16 weeks when hemodilution kicks in (doubling of blood volume).

Iron deficiency can lead to dysfunction and disease including poor immune function so it’s important to get supplementation right.

  • If you are anaemic, it’s a good idea to speak to your doctor about an iron infusion.  It is very difficult to boost iron stores through supplementation during pregnancy.
  • If you are mildly deficient, then speak to your naturopath or nutritionist about the appropriate dose for you. Even though the RDI is 27mg daily during pregnancy, you may need up to 100mg of elemental iron daily.


Zinc is the most important mineral during the entire preconception, pregnancy and postnatal period. Involved in over 200 enzyme reactions in the body, zinc maintains a healthy immune system.

It is a common deficiency and even though the RDI during pregnancy is 11mg daily, many women will need a higher dose than that to correct their deficiency. Remember, like everything, it’s essential to have a chat with your health professional rather than self-medicating with high doses.


The benefits of probiotics during pregnancy extend further than just the prevention of allergies and eczema. Look for a multi-strain probiotic to support the immune system as well as gut health.

Lifestyle and mind/body medicine

Pregnancy is already a time that can evoke anxious thoughts and feelings without worldwide pandemics occurring.

Remember that pregnancy itself weakens your immune system and stress can weaken it even further. If you find yourself becoming stressed out, switch off from watching/listening to the media and go for a walk, meditate or do some yoga.

Try to distance yourself from people as much as you possibly can until this pandemic is over. Focus on eating nutritious meals, exercise, fresh air, sun and try to sleep 8 hours every night (if your bladder lets you!)

Disclaimer: The nutrients mentioned in this article are for immune support only.  They have not been proven to prevent or treat COVID-19.

*Vitamin D research

About the Author

Nikki Warren is an experienced fertility naturopath and herbalist based on the Sunshine Coast who launched NaturoBest in 2016.  NaturoBest is a unique prenatal and preconception supplement range that was born out of a desire to supply high quality products that help pregnant women achieve good pregnancy and birth outcomes and maximise the health potential of their babies. 

The range is unique in that it has a separate, evidence-based multivitamin and mineral for the first trimester of pregnancy, designed to minimise the symptoms of morning sickness and it is the first on the Australian market to contain 500mcg of active folate as the patented Quatrefolic®.


Read more pregnancy and baby blogs HERE. 




10 Things all New Dads Need to Know

When my partner first became a dad, he figured he knew what he was doing. Bathe them, change them, love them, play with them. Piece of pie, right?

Then our daughter was born and he realised something I already knew – there is a whole heck of a lot more to it than that, especially when they are newborns. There are poo explosions at 2am, and crazy mood swings. Oh, and arguments about who’s more tired. And that’s just the beginning!

I asked him to share his top 10 things he wished he knew before we had our daughter and he gladly accepted the challenge. So, without further ado, here is a dad’s guide on how to prepare for the craziness of what’s to come.

Baby Care Tips for New Dads

  1. Try to keep a routine for your baby: Bath, lotion, swaddle, dummy, even the room temperature. Try to keep it all the same.
  2. Two words – Baby poo: How many, how often, what colour, what texture. It’s exciting stuff and probably one of the main conversations around the dinner table – if you manage to time dinner for when the baby is asleep.
  3. Breastfeeding is full on: Babies want milk ALL THE TIME. Expect your partner to pretty much be a full-time milk maid from now on.
  4. Nappy changes really aren’t that bad: Just make sure you have triple the amount of wipes you think you’ll need. And always wipe from front to back.

General Tips for New Dads

  1. Expect a whole new level of tiredness: Work, baby, broken sleep. Repeat. You’re be worn out within a week but trust me, there’s no point complaining about it. Your partner is just as tired as you are.
  2. Expect crazy moods from your partner: Pregnancy mood swings were nuts. New mum mood swings are next level. Crying one minute to giving me the stink eye the next because I unloaded the dishwasher the wrong way.
  3. Clean up as you go: Because otherwise it will snowball. Never think you’re going to get around to it later because it’s never going to be a good time.
  4. Take over when you can: Baths, nappy changes, even late night laps around the house. As tired as I was, there was something peaceful about walking my daughter around the house at 4am.
  5. Happy mum, happy baby: Ask if she wants water or snacks, cut up her food so she can eat one-handed, hold the baby so she can sleep or shower. Little things like these make a massive difference.
  6. A new mother is always right: It’s not worth your effort to argue so just go with it. Smile, nod and pass her the bickies.

Yes, it’s hard. But it’s also awesome. Nothing compares to seeing your baby smile up at you and realise you’re her dad. It’s corny stuff, but it makes everything worth it.

Even the mood swings.

Read more pregnancy and baby blogs HERE





All Things Breastfeeding: Tips and Tricks with MidWife Cath Curtin

Midwife Cath Curtin is an expert in women’s health, pre-pregnancy, antenatal care and education, pregnancy, labour and birth, postnatal care, breastfeeding, and parenting.

When COVID-19 stopped face-to-face appointments and resulted in the cancellation of antenatal classes, Midwife Cath partnered with Cell Care to create Tummy Talks – free online antenatal classes and education session that expectant parents could access from the comfort and safety of their home. The Pregnancy and Birth classes were so popular, Breastfeeding and Postnatal classes have now been added.

Here, Midwife Cath shares some of her knowledge on all things breastfeeding:

Feeding Tips and tricks

The best tip is to keep the baby close and feed the baby frequently. In the early days and weeks while establishing breastfeeding it is vital the woman rests and eats a healthy diet. It is also very important for the woman to drink water – when feeding a baby, a woman experiences increased calorie and nutrient needs – so food and lots of water is a must! Breast milk has all the nutrients your baby needs for the first six months of life. Your baby may not require any added water or solid foods other than breastmilk in the first 6 months.

Another good tip is to wrap a new born baby when breastfeeding. All babies have primitive reflexes, one of them is the startle reflex. This is where the baby may throw their arms everywhere, or jolt their body making attachment a challenge. Wrapping the baby and keeping them close to your body will keep them nice and calm.

It’s important to remember that every baby, breast and nipple is unique. What works for one person, may not work for another. Everyone is different, and that’s okay.

How to position your baby for good attachment

Babies are very clever!  They know exactly what to do from the very beginning – one of their strongest primitive and natural reflexes is to suck and that is so they can live. Yet, it can come as a surprise to some mothers when they discover breastfeeding isn’t always easy.

A baby is best positioned across the mum in a cradle hold so the baby can self-attach. This positioning and gentle introduction to the nipple will trigger the baby’s rooting reflex meaning the baby will manoeuvre itself around to find and latch on to the nipple. Two fingers in the peace sign can be used to position the nipple in place.

It’s important that mother is relaxed and comfortable while feeding. Feel some pain or discomfort during the first few seconds of feeding is normal as baby is working to get the nipple into the right position. If pain does continue for longer, you may need to take the baby off, reposition and try again.

Keeping up or increasing supply

The best and easiest way to keep the breast lactating is to keep the baby close and feed frequently. Lactation works on demand and supply.  And, breastfeeding the baby frequently for a few days will certainly help increase the supply.

It is important to remain well hydrated and well fed when breastfeeding. Basically, the mother’s body is giving energy, life and weight gain to your baby so maintaining a satisfying and nutritious diet is necessary.

It’s important to feed in a comfortable position and try not to feed ‘on the run’. If the baby is still searching for a feed, offer some ‘quick’ top up breast feeds…every little feed helps.

It is important to alternate breasts during a feed to keep the milk moving.  Feeding from one side only can lead to mastitis as the brain does not discriminate when it lets down the milk into the breasts. So, when the baby starts to suck and the brain lets the milk down (ejection of the milk) it lets down to both breasts.  

Midwife Cath, in conjunction with Cell Care are offering FREE online antenatal classes for expecting women, which covers pregnancy and birth, breastfeeding and postnatal care. For more information or to register visit the Tummy Talks website.  


You can read more of our pregnancy and baby blogs here. 






dental problems in pregnancy

Can Pregnancy Increase Your Risk of Dental Problems?

Dr Fay Callaghan – 1300 Smiles Dentists

Dear Dr Fay, is it true that pregnancy increases your risk of dental problems?

Yes, it certainly is true that pregnancy can increase your risk of dental problems. During pregnancy, your increased hormones can affect your body’s response to plaque, which can lead to oral health issues such as gum disease and an increased risk of tooth decay. Morning sickness and eating sugary foods due to cravings can also contribute to these issues. However, being pregnant doesn’t automatically damage your teeth.

If you are pregnant, be sure to continue the regular check-ups with your dentist, and be sure to let your dentist know that you’re pregnant.

1300 764 537

Read more expert blogs for Cairns here. 




It It True That Pregnancy Increases Your Risk of Dental Problems?

Dr Moataz Shafik – 1300SMILES Dentists

Dear Dr Shafik, is it true that pregnancy increases your risk of dental problems?

Yes, it certainly is true. During pregnancy, your increased hormones can affect your body’s response to plaque, which can lead to oral health issues such as gum disease and an increase in the risk of tooth decay. Morning sickness and eating sugary foods due to cravings can also contribute to these issues. However, being pregnant doesn’t automatically damage your teeth.

If you are pregnant, be sure to continue the regular check-ups with your dentist, and be sure to let your dentist know that you’re pregnant.

1300 764 537



Since Having a Baby I Experience Continence Issues…

Calanna Whole Health Pharmacy

Dear Jana, since having a baby I’ve noticed that a little urine leaks out when I sneeze or laugh. What can I do?

Many women experience continence issues, especially during pregnancy or after childbirth. The symptoms of a weakened pelvic floor include leaking small amounts of urine when coughing, sneezing, laughing or running, failing to reach the toilet in time, reduced sensation in the vagina or a sensation of heaviness.

Strengthening the pelvic floor muscle by completing pelvic floor exercises at least three times every day should help, and if it doesn’t, then it is important to see your general practitioner or women’s health physiotherapist for further treatment options.

Fb:  Calanna Whole Health Pharmacy