Simple Ways to Support Your Health During COVID-19 Outbreak I Toronto
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Simple Ways to Support Your Health During the COVID-19 Outbreak

By Alexsia Priolo - On Maternity Leave, Naturopathic Doctor

Supporting your health right now is likely top of mind. Unfortunately there is currently no known cure to the new Coronovirus, COVID-19, however there are some simple ways to support your health and flatten the curve.

1) Avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes & wash your hands

Frequently washing your hands, is the best way to avoid getting sick and reducing the spread of infection. Hands should be washed when they’re visibly dirty, after sneezing, coughing, blowing your nose, using the washroom, handling raw food, handling garbage, changing diapers, and outdoor activities.

In addition you should wash your hands before and after preparing and eating food, touching your eyes, nose or mouth, and touching a cut or open sore.

Effectively wash your hands by:

  • Wetting your hands
  • Applying soap
  • Lather for 20 seconds, by rubbing between fingers, back of hands, fingertips, and under your nails. Most people will sing the birthday song, to make sure they’re washing long enough
  • Rinse well under warm, running water
  • Dry your hands with clean towels
  • Turn off your taps with a clean towel or perhaps elbow if necessary.

 

Washing our hands is an important step, but there are a few other things to frequently clean:

  • High contact surfaces like your cellphone, keyboard, any remote controls
  • Door knobs, handles, light switches, and touch pads (ex. microwaves, ovens) at home
  • Wipe down shared computer surfaces (like keyboards) and phones. And as always, wash your hands before and after coming into contact with them.

 

Obviously we can control when we clean our hands and what we touch – but in those times when you’re in public, consider avoiding:

  • Touching high-contact surfaces when possible
  • Handshakes (if you are unable to practice social distancing)
  • Sharing personal items, drinks, food, and utensils

 

2) Avoid exposure as much as possible

Practicing social-distancing has been highly important this week as we attempt to ‘flatten the curve.’ This includes:

  • Limiting the number of people you come in contact with
  • Maintaining a distance of about 2 meters from other people
  • Avoiding non-essential trips outside your home

 

3) Seek medical care when needed

The Ontario Ministry of Health has released a self assessment to determine if you need to seek care. Please visit their website for the full assessment, but some of the symptoms of note include:

  • Fever, new cough or difficulty breathing (or a combination of these symptoms)
  • Muscle aches, fatigue, headache, sore throat, runny nose or diarrhea. Symptoms in young children may also be non-specific (for example, lethargy, poor feeding).

The Ontario Ministry of Health advises:

  • Contact Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000, your local public health unit or your primary care physician if you’re experiencing symptoms of the 2019 novel coronavirus.
  • Please do not visit an assessment centre unless you have been referred by a healthcare professional.
  • Do not call 911 unless it is an emergency.

Please visit Ontario’s website for more information: https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus.

4) COVID-19 and Pregnancy

A recent article published by CBC, indicated there is limited evidence of COVID-19 and the impact on pregnant women. Currently no evidence of transmission between pregnant person to baby before birth is being seen.

5) Lifestyle Habits That Support Your Health

Currently, there are no supplements that can treat and cure COVID-19. That said, there are 2 simple ways to support your health during this time.

Diet

One of the best keys to a healthy immune response is a healthy diet. This includes fruits and vegetables (even if they have been frozen), healthy fats like those found in olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds, and protein at each and every meal including snacks.

Protein requirements change in pregnant people. Generally, protein requirements in non-pregnant people are 0.8g of protein per kg of body weight. During pregnancy this requirement increases to 1.1g of protein per kg of body weight. In total, pregnant people should aim for about 60g of protein in pregnancy.

For those who are breastfeeding, an additional 25g of protein is required per day.

Remember that many foods are rich in protein. Animal products and fish are great sources of protein. For those of you who are vegetarian or vegan, be sure to meet your protein needs from a wide variety of sources like grains, legumes, lentils, nuts, seeds, and even vegetables.

Going grocery shopping during this time may be causing some stress. A recent BlogTO article has curated a list of grocery stores offering home delivery.

 

Sleep

Sleep is so important to immune health. A lack of sleep affects our immune system, making is more prone to illnesses. If possible, aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Sleep hygiene is also important for sleep quality. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Stick to a sleep schedule when possible – this means that you should aim to go to sleep and wake up around the same time.
  • There are a couple of things to avoid at night, these include: exercise 2 to 3 hours before bed, caffeine-containing food and beverages, and large meals.
  • If possible, aim for a dark and cool bedroom. Ideally cellphone free – but if that’s unavoidable, switch your display to night mode to reduce the blue light exposure.

In the coming weeks, the team at West End Mamas will continue to gather helpful tips to help you and your family. In the meantime, please watch our social media accounts for regular updates. Continue to stay safe and healthy!

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