When it comes to probiotics and pregnancy, probiotic supplementation during pregnancy is a ‘must’ for its multitude of proven health benefits. When you are trying to get pregnant and carry a healthy baby to term, it has never been more important! Having a healthy gut is vital for the health of both you and your baby and to be healthy your gut needs to be full of live bacteria! That’s right. Bacteria. When you hop on the scale in the morning – you can blame about 7 lbs of “you” on the bacteria living in your intestines.
A healthy gut has somewhere around 100 trillion bacteria happily living in it. Our bodies produce these ‘good’ bacteria naturally, but there are a number of things that will upset the balance of gut bacteria. Three of the biggest things for most people are stress, poor nutrition and antibiotics.
If you, as mom, have a poor diet, have taken antibiotics, or has high stress levels – the immunity of your baby changes and will be affected for life. Each of these items alters the good bacteria inside our systems, which in turn is passed down to your baby. Studies have shown that antibiotics in particular can annihilate the good flora in our gut – and in some people, it never recovers back to baseline without intervention. Possibly even worse, babies born via c-section miss out on the bacteria that live in the vaginal canal that kick starts their immunity. Because of this, babies born via c-section have a higher rate of:
So what can you do? You can begin by taking a high-cultured probiotic to support the immunity of both you and baby. In fact, many studies have found adding probiotics to the mother’s supplement regimen BEFORE conception has even greater benefits for your baby. According to these studies, mothers who increase their probiotic intake during pregnancy can reduce their child’s risk of allergies by as much as 50 percent – specifically eczema, asthma and atopic dermatitis. Mom benefits by decreasing her risk of colds and respiratory infection. And did you know that probiotic supplementation during pregnancy may also prevent complications like preterm birth?
Additionally, probiotics taken during pregnancy can reduce the risk for pre-eclampsia, the number one reason for maternal death in the United States. Probiotics help to reduce inflammation in the intestines, which is believed to lower blood pressure. These wonderful supplements also have some magical after-pregnancy effects. Research in the British Journal of Nutrition has found that taking probiotics during the first trimester will ultimately help with faster postpartum weight loss.
But the probiotic goodness doesn’t stop there! Preliminary research is finding that taking probiotics during pregnancy can reduce the risk for post-partum depression by altering the neurotransmitters in the gut, which increases mom’s ability to deal and cope with anxiety and depression. Probiotics can even be applied to the nipple while nursing for any fussy babies needing some digestive support!
As a soon-to-be pregnant woman, it’s easy to feel bombarded with a multitude of messages about health. Remember to take time to consider your options and make informed decisions for you and your baby.
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Sarah Clark empowers couples to discover how lifestyle and diet can dramatically impact their chances of conceiving. She was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure at 28 and had both her kids with donor eggs. Not until years later did she discover that the root cause of her infertility was a food intolerance. Ready to gaze into your baby’s eyes….but struggling. Download 10 step Checklist here