During systemic infection and inflammation, immune effector cells are in high demand and are rapidly consumed at sites of need. Although adaptive immune cells have high proliferative potential, innate immune cells are mostly postmitotic and need to be replenished from bone marrow (BM) hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells. We here review how early hematopoiesis has been shaped to deliver efficient responses to increased need. On the basis of most recent findings, we develop an integrated view of how cytokines, chemokines, as well as conserved pathogen structures, are sensed, leading to divisional activation, proliferation, differentiation, and migration of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells, all aimed at efficient contribution to immune responses and rapid reestablishment of hematopoietic homeostasis. We also outline how chronic inflammatory processes might impinge on hematopoiesis, potentially fostering hematopoietic stem cell diseases, and, how clinical benefit is and could be achieved by learning from nature.