Sometimes we can feel powerless over germs.
Even after all our hand washing and sanitizing, we can still get sick.
Although there’s no magical pill to avoid common viruses, there’s a few extra things we can do to lessen our chances.
In this post, we’re counting 17 ways you can help stop the spread of germs during pregnancy.
How to Stop Germs During Pregnancy: 17 Tips
The best way to prevent germs is to wash your hands, keep physical distance and avoid sick people. But there’s some other tricks you can use to minimize your chances of getting a virus.
#1 Keep Sanitizer in Front of the Door
One rule for making habits is that the easier it is to do, the easier it is to keep. While you may have hand sanitizer in your purse or in your home, make sure to place a pump bottle by the door or at least in the hallway. This way, when you’re taking off your jacket, you’ll conventionally see the sanitizer and take a squirt, ensuring you don’t bring any germs inside. If you live in an apartment building and need to touch shared doorknobs or elevator buttons, this is an especially good idea.
#2 Balance Humidity
Some research suggests that you may be more protected from viruses in a home with normal humidity than a low level. One study concluded that high humidity helps stop virus particles from remaining in the air and traveling far distances by quickly inactivating them. That’s not to say keeping your home humid will stop you from getting sick—but it could make it less likely.
Experts say keeping relative humidity levels of about 40% to 60% could help. Controlling the humidity is also a trick used in hospitals to protect patients. To measure the levels in your home, you’ll need a hygrometer which can be found for about $10 online.
#3 Ventilate Your Home
When there’s fresh, new air circulating, it makes it difficult for viruses to stick around. In commercial buildings, there’s typically a heating, ventilation and air conditioning system that automatically does this. Inside your home, you can do this by opening windows and doors to let outside air flow through.
To put it simply, Shelly Miller, a mechanical engineering professor at the University of Colorado Boulder says, “Bringing in this air dilutes any contaminant in a building, whether a virus or something else.”
Interestingly, in a 2019 tuberculosis outbreak at a university in Taiwan, engineers discovered many rooms were under-ventilated. Once this problem was fixed, the outbreak stopped.
So, how can you tell if your house is ventilated? You can buy a CO2 meter for about $100 online. Miller says a well-ventilated room will measure about 800 ppm of CO2. Higher levels could mean you need more ventilation. If you can’t get enough outside air in your home, consider buying a high-quality air cleaner/air purifier.
#4 Consider Copper
Did you know that copper alloys have antimicrobial properties? That means it can continuously kill bacteria found on taps, doorknobs and other fixtures. Studies have shown its effectiveness in hospital room equipment.
So, if you’re looking for new fixtures, cooper is a good choice. If you’re not in the market for big home buys anytime soon, consider smaller ways you can work copper into your home. For example, copper pots, pans, doorknobs and switch plates can share the same benefit.
#5 Sanitize Kid’s Hands From School
If you have kids, make it a habit that they wash their hands directly after coming home from school. It may be difficult to enforce every day at first, but with practice, it will become as natural as taking off their shoes when they enter the house. If they’re not washing for long enough, tell them to sing Happy Birthday twice before turning off the tap.
#6 Keep Moisturizer Everywhere
Lotion won’t banish germs, but it can encourage you to keep doing the things that do. When we wash and sanitize our hands so much, they become dry. Instead of washing them less, simply leave moisturizer in multiple areas around the home. Large pump bottles are the easiest. Leave them in places easy to access, like:
- Next to the soap in the washroom
- Next to your dish soap
- On the coffee table
- On your nightstand
If you really hate dry hands, make it a habit to apply lotion every time you wash them.
#7 Replace Face Touching with Another Habit
You’ve heard it a million times: “Don’t touch your face!” Most of us know that touching our faces is like opening the gateway for germs to walk into our body. But how do we actually stop the habit? First, we need to become conscious of how much we’re touching our face. Try to pay attention and take mental note. Then, replace it with another action. For example, let’s say you have a nervous habit of touching your face when you’re anxious. Instead, touch your opposite arm or squeeze and release your fist. You’ll have to remind yourself at first, but over time, the new touch will become a habit and leave your face touching behind.
#8 Dry Hands Thoroughly
This is another tip that doesn’t get rid of germs but makes being clean easier on your hands. If they’re starting to look weathered from all the water, you probably aren’t drying your hands well. Instead of giving them a quick wipe, remind yourself to take a few extra seconds to dry between each finger.
#9 Keep Tissues Everywhere
When you don’t have tissues handy, you’re going to use what you have—whether that’s your hand or sleeve. That can quickly spread germs to others. To prevent this, have tissues conveniently located in multiple areas around your home. Although the bathroom and bedroom are obvious places, stick a box in your living room, hallway, kitchen, dining room and anywhere else.
#10 Balance Your Immune System in Real Ways
Having a balanced immune system means that your body can efficiently fight off viruses without overreacting to non-threats. Many supplements claim to be “immune-boosting” but don’t have much data to back it up. The things you can do to boost your immune system aren’t as quick and simple, but they work:
- Improving your diet
- Getting exercise
- Getting enough sleep
- Managing stress levels
All of these factors improve your overall health, which can help your body fight off germs.
#11 Snotty Buddy
The Snotty Buddy is the easiest way to clean your baby’s nose. Traditional bulb syringes take multiple attempts, making your child fuss and they usually don’t effectively clear the nose.
The Snotty Buddy is a tube with hygienic filters. Simply put one end into your baby’s nose and the filtered end into your mouth. Suck it like a straw to dislodge the mucus, then clean it for next time. The changeable filters block the mucus from entering your mouth, but allow air to pass through to create a strong suction. The best part? The Snotty Buddy is only $9.99.
#12 Wash Doorknobs
So often when we’re cleaning, we focus on the major messes and forget the most commonly touched areas. While you’re wiping down counters and surfaces, don’t forget to look for knobs around it. That includes:
- Faucet knobs
- Cupboard or pantry knobs
- Fridge handles
- Microwave door handles
#13 Clean Hand Railing
Hand railings are an afterthought but they can be an easy way people transfer germs to other family members. A quick clean with a sanitizer wipe will do the trick.
#14 Use Paper Towel on Public Taps
Many public bathrooms have automatic taps and dryers. However, some still have regular taps and paper towels for drying. If you’re using the latter, don’t use your clean hands to turn off the dirty tap. Instead, dry your hands with paper towels and then use it to turn off the tap before throwing it out.
#15 Clean Screens
Your phone is probably your most commonly touched item every day. Try to keep wipes handy so you can give it a quick clean. Don’t forget about technology items like iPads or keyboards.
#16 Wash Remotes
Another commonly touched item is remotes. Whenever you wipe down your coffee table, try to make it a habit to wipe your remotes too.
#17 Non-Contact Thermometer
Especially during flu season, we may be taking our own and family members’ temperatures to see if we’re sick. Unfortunately, this is an easy way to spread germs. Despite your best efforts, a mouth or ear thermometer can transfer germs to another person. The easiest solution is to get a non-contact thermometer. You can choose from an Infrared Forehead Thermometer or the Ultra-Portable Android Smartphone Non-Contact Thermometer.
Summary: How to
There is no surefire way to prevent germs during pregnancy or at any time. However, there’s many steps you can take that can minimize your chances of getting sick. In general, you should wash your hands frequently and sanitize surfaces, items and screens. You may want to try some lesser-known tricks too, like improving home ventilation, using copper and balancing humidity.
P.S. The Snotty Buddy is a Hassle-Free Hack You Won’t Regret. Get it for only $9.99!