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New moms staying healthy

We're all trying to avoid getting sick during cold and flu season, but for new mothers, it's tough NOT to get sick.  Changes to a woman's natural immune system starts as early as the first trimester and lasts as long as six weeks postpartum.  Laura Kalehoff, Executive Editor for American Baby magazine, offers some tips on how to boost your defense system.  

First, make sure to get immunized.  Vaccinations are safe for fetuses and it's always good for moms-to-be to have the protection as well.  New moms are three times more likely to be hospitalized for flu than other women.  So play it safe and get the shot.  

Don't forget to wash your hands.  You should scrub your hands often with soap and hot water, for 15 to 20 seconds each time.  If you happen to be in a place where you aren't near a sick, use hand sanitizer.  Doing this will help you avoid common illnesses as well as viruses.  

It's also beneficial to break into a sweat.  30 minutes of moderately intense exercise five times a week may result in fewer colds.  And adults who work out that often have 43% fewer days of upper respiratory tract infection symptoms.

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Also, pick the right foods when you eat.  Following a healthy diet is one of the best ways to keep your body armed against illness.  Naturally, some foods are better for you than others.  Studies show that eating yogurt daily stimulates immune cells in health people.  And there is also strong evidence garlic and both green and black teas help boost your immune system.  

And finally, make sure you get enough sleep.  Skimping on shut eye makes you more vulnerable to colds.  In a recent study, people who sleep less than seven hours a night were found to be three-times more likely to catch a cold than those who sleep eight hours a night.  And if pregnancy or your newborn have been making it difficult to sleep at night, make sure to take a nap when you can during the day.

For more tips on how to stay healthy and other parenting advice, visit