Our society is exposed to thousands of infections that can variably affect different vulnerable groups in the community: children, older adults and pregnant women. Pregnancy is a period of special care and great uncertainty regarding what should and should not be done. But something that we are all clear about is the importance of keeping the immune system strong during this stage! We invite you to continue reading to learn all the tips we have to optimize your immunity if you are pregnant.


You may not know it yet, but pregnancy itself disrupts the immune system. To ensure a viable pregnancy, the mother's immune system has to “accept” the growing baby as “her own” rather than “foreign.” It does this by somewhat shutting down the area of ​​the immune system involved in mounting a response against foreign threats (e.g., bacteria, viruses, abnormal cells) to just the right degree in order to ensure immunological tolerance for the baby. This adaptation must also provide the mother with sufficient immunity to fight other infections. This system can be weakened by factors such as stress and constant exposure to environmental infections.

Pregnancy is a stage of special care for the mother and the developing baby, and in this sense it is very important to recognize how the immune system changes and adapts, being very clear about how to act when we require nutritional intervention as a complement.


An excellent starting point is to start with a Multinutrient that provides optimal intake of nutrients that support the immune system such as vitamin A , C , D and Zinc .

Usually the consumption of vitamin A can raise doubts regarding its consumption at this stage, however, everything will depend on the dose to be consumed. The deficiency of this vitamin can be just as harmful as its excess or toxicity since it is vital for embryonic development and the immune response. Furthermore, neonatal vitamin A deficiency is a risk factor for infectious diseases (For example : Measles). A daily vitamin A intake of 2000IU is totally appropriate during pregnancy. We can also increase the intake of provitamin A (For example: Beta carotene) from the consumption of foods such as carrots, spinach and pumpkin by consuming them accompanied by a source of natural fat to promote absorption.

Along with the consumption of the Multinutrient , it may be prudent to further increase the intake of certain nutrients to ensure immune support at a therapeutic level:

Vitamin C has well-demonstrated effectiveness against viral infections and can reduce the incidence and severity of pneumonia. It may also be protective against urinary tract infections, something that is sometimes common for expectant mothers. The upper limit for vitamin C during pregnancy is 1800 mg per day, which means there is room to take more supplemental vitamin C per day if needed to fight an infection. However, this should always be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Vitamin D improves the immune response against respiratory tract infections and the common cold. Its deficiency can increase the risk of infection in general terms and has been shown to increase the risk of pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, emergency cesarean delivery, low birth weight, recurrent pregnancy loss and postpartum depression, being It is essential to optimize its levels during pregnancy. A daily supplemental dose of 1000 IU of vitamin D3 is an excellent starting point along with adequate sunlight exposure. The upper limit of vitamin D during pregnancy is 4000 IU per day. To determine if you need to take a higher dose, we recommend checking your blood vitamin D levels at the beginning of pregnancy and ideally when scheduling it.

Zinc can stimulate immune cell activity, inhibit viral replication, and shorten the duration of colds. The upper limit for zinc during pregnancy is 34 mg per day. Therefore, you could add an additional 15 mg of zinc to your multinutrient (which usually contains around 10 mg) for additional immune support as needed in the short term (e.g. 1-3 months).

Probiotic supplements work synergistically along with the above nutrients to strengthen immunity, especially with respect to respiratory health. For example, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains may reduce the risk of upper respiratory tract infections. The proprietary consortium of LAB4B strains of Lactobacillus salivarius, Lactobacillus paracasei, Bifidobacterium bifidum and Bifidobacterium lactis (Present in our Bioflora Capsules ) was used in the Swansea Baby study in a group of pregnant women and their newborn babies at a total daily dose of 10 billion proving to be safe to consume, ability to reduce the risk of atopy in the baby and demonstrated additional immunological benefits.

Given the prevalence of constipation during pregnancy, a daily probiotic may also help maintain bowel regularity.

Magnesium helps control stress and sleep quality. Given the prevalence of high stress and lack of sleep during pregnancy, and its negative impact on immunity, magnesium may be another useful nutrient. The upper limit of magnesium during pregnancy is 350 mg per day. We typically increase the dosage through supplements when calming therapeutic support is required, usually in the form of citrate, which is also helpful for bowel regularity.


During pregnancy, many things can feel out of control. This can put additional pressure on your stress levels, which can then weaken immunity. We would like to invite you to focus your energies on what you can control: your nutrition and lifestyle.

Sleep, rest and relaxation are vitally important to maintain a strong immune system. Since pregnancy itself requires a large energy demand, it is important to prioritize rest and take care of sleep hygiene.

Create a sanctuary space where you go for “your time.” It could be a comfortable chair with a lovely cushion and an aromatherapy candle. Establish a daily retreat routine to this space to practice a relaxation technique you love, such as meditation, reading, singing, or listening to music.

Incorporate a 20- to 30-minute nap into your day to give your body more time to rest and repair. Yes, you heard us right, we ask you to take a nap!

Get Moving: Gentle daily exercise is essential during pregnancy to support nutrient circulation, improve mental health and immunity. Go for a walk in the park, practice prenatal yoga, or find an exercise routine that's right for you.

To obtain personalized advice, you can write to us nutricion@biocarechile.cl


Valeria Riquelme


[i] Morelli, S., et al. The maternal immune system during pregnancy and its influence on fetal development. Research and Reports in Biology . 2015; 6: 171-189.

[ii] Becker, W et al. Dietary habits, nutrient intake and biomarkers for folate, vitamin D, iodine and iron status among women of childbearing age in Sweden. Uppsala Journal of Medical Sciences. 2016; 121(4): 271-275.

[iii] Christian, L. Stress and Immune Function During Pregnancy. Current Directions in Psychological Science. 2015; 24(1): 3-9.

[iv] Racicot, K., Mor, G. Risks associated with viral infections during pregnancy. Journal of Clinical Investigation. 2017; 127(5): 1591-1599.

[v] Silasi, M., et al. Viral Infections During Pregnancy. American Journal of Reproductive Immunology. 2015; 73(3):199-213.

[vi] Memoli, M., et al. Influenza in pregnancy. Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses. 2012;, 7(6): 1033-1039.

[vii] Robertson, C., et al. SARS and Pregnancy: A Case Report. Emerging Infectious Diseases. 2004; 10(2): 345-348.

[viii] Brown, B., Wright, C. Safety and efficacy of supplements in pregnancy. Nutrition Reviews. 2020 [Epub ahead of print]

[ix] Gutierrez-Mazariegos J et al. Vitamin A: a multifunctional tool for development. Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2011; 22 (6): 603-10.

[x] Huang Z et al. Role of vitamin A in the immune system. J Clin Med. 2018; 7 (9): 258.

[xi] Iyer N, et al. Vitamin A at the interface of host-commensal-pathogen interactions. PLoS Pathog. 2019; 15 (6): e1007750.

[xii] Katona P, Katona-Apte J. The interaction between nutrition and infection. Clin Infect Dis. 2008; 46 (10): 1582-8.

[xiii] Bastos MS et al. Vitamin A and pregnancy: a narrative review. Nutrients. 2019; 11 (3): 681.

[xiv] Mateljan, G., 2020. Vitamin A. [online] Whfoods.com.

[xv] Hemilä H. Vitamin C and SARS coronavirus. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. 2003; 52 (6): 1049-1050.

[xvi] Hemilä H, Chalker E. Vitamin C Can Shorten the Length of Stay in the ICU: A Meta-Analysis. Nutrients. 2019; 11(4): 708.

[xvii] Ochoa-Brust GJ, et al. Daily intake of 100 mg ascorbic acid as urinary tract infection prophylactic agent during pregnancy. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2007; 86:783–787.

[xviii] Yamshchikov et al. Vitamin D for treatment and prevention of infectious diseases: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Endocrine Practice. 2009; 15 (5): 438-49.

[xix] Ginde AA, Mansbach JM, Camargo CA. Association between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level and upper respiratory tract infection in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Arch Intern Med. 2009; 169 (4): 384-90.

[xx] Van der Pligt P, et al. Associations of maternal vitamin D deficiency with pregnancy and neonatal complications in developing countries: a systematic review. Nutrients. 2018; 10:640–661.

[xxi] Goncalves DR, Braga, et al. Recurrent pregnancy loss and vitamin D: a review of the literature. Am J Reprod Immunol. 2018; 80:e13022.

[xxii] Wang J, Liu N, et al. Association between vitamin D deficiency and antepartum and postpartum depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal studies. Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2018;298:1045–1059.

[xxiii] Caballero B, Allen L, Prentice A (eds.). Encyclopedia of Human Nutrition. Academic Press, San Diego, pp.447-454.

[xxiv] Turner RB. The treatment of rhinovirus infections: progress and potential. Antiviral Res. 2001; 49:1-14.

[xxv] Goutham R, Rowland K. Zinc for the common cold – not if , but when. J Fam Pract. 2011; 60 (11): 669-671.

[xxvi] Garaiova I et al. Probiotics and vitamin C for the prevention of respiratory tract infections in children attending preschool: a randomized controlled pilot study. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2015; 69: 373-379.

[xxvii] Allen SJ et al. Probiotics in the prevention of eczema: a randomized controlled trial. Arch Dis Child. 2014; 99 (11): 1014-1019.

[xxviii] Mirghafourvand M et al. The effect of probiotic yogurt on constipation in pregnant women: a randomized controlled clinical trial. Iran Red Crescent Med J. 2016; 18 (11): e39870.

[xxix] Held et al. Oral Mg (2+) supplementation reverses age-related neuroendocrine and sleep EEG changes in humans. Pharmacopsychiatry. 2002; 35 (4): 135-43.

[xxx] Abbasi et al. The effect of magnesium supplementation on primary insomnia in elderly: A double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Res Med Sci. 2012 Dec; 17 (12): 1161-9

[xxxi] Manes et al. Randomized controlled trial comparing efficacy and acceptability of split- and standard-dose sodium picosulfate plus magnesium citrate for bowel cleansing prior to colonoscopy. Endoscopy. 2014. Aug; 46 (8): 662-9.

[xxxii] Cohen S et al. Sleep habits and susceptibility to the common cold. Arch Intern Med. 2009; 169 (1): 62-7.

[xxxiii] Sharma A, Madaan V, Petty FD. Exercise for mental health. Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry. 2006; 8 (2): 106.

[xxxiv] Nieman DC, Wentz LM. The compelling link between physical activity and the body's defense system. Journal of Sport and Health Science. 2019; 8 (3): 201-217.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.