The health of a mother directly influences her growing baby. Probiotics have enormous benefits from pre-conception, your first trimester of pregnancy, through to the birth of your baby and beyond. In fact, when you consume probiotics you will not only support your own gut health and overall health, you can also influence the health of your baby into adulthood.
What are probiotics?
Essentially, probiotics are the friendly live bacteria and yeasts (known as live microorganisms) that line your digestive tract. They provide vital support for your overall health by supporting your digestive system. They increase your body’s ability to absorb essential nutrients, improve digestion, enhance your hormone health, encourage good metabolism, and also help balance and strengthen your immune system.
When you have poor gut health and not enough of the friendly live bacteria to support your health it can cause detrimental effects. It can lead to a compromised immune system, bloating, gas, diarrhoea as well as anxiety, food allergies, diabetes and auto-immune diseases.
Benefits of consuming probiotics
Probiotics help nourish and increase the number of beneficial bacteria that helps support your gut and overall health. Supporting your microbiome in pregnancy is crucial. After all, you are your baby’s life line.
Let’s take a closer look at each stage of pregnancy and how probiotics can support your health and give your baby the best start to life.
- Probiotics have been shown to support hormone balance, increasing the prospect of healthy conception.
- Good gut health helps your body absorb essential nutrients needed for the creation of good quality egg and sperm.
- Probiotics have been defined as a key part of creating a healthy internal environment which can give your reproductive system the all clear.
You may also like to read my blog, Herbs That Naturally Increase Fertility for more information on pre-conception.
- Your gut health can have a direct correlation to the severity of nausea in pregnancy.
- Probiotics help women maintain a healthy body weight throughout the pregnancy.
- Consuming probiotics helps your body absorb essential nutrients to support your growing baby’s needs.
- Good gut health and probiotics may help stabilise blood pressure and help to prevent pre-eclampsia.
- Probiotics can not only reduce the incidence of gestational diabetes in pregnancy, but can also prevent the overgrowth of group B strep.
- Multiple trials have demonstrated a reduction in allergy and eczema in infants, when probiotics are consumed, especially in the third trimester of pregnancy.
- Probiotics may prevent necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a disease that affects the intestine in premature babies.
- During childbirth you pass on beneficial bacteria to your baby via delivery.
According to Babyology, there’s been some ground breaking research which sheds further light on how the vaginal microbiome works and what it can tell someone about the health of their body and their baby, click here to read the full article.
For more information read my blog, Gut Health During Pregnancy.
- Clinical studies demonstrate the ability of probiotics to help regulate inflammation, depression and anxiety for women after childbirth, which can reduce the risk of postnatal depression.
- Probiotics from a mother who is breastfeeding reduces the incidence of allergies and eczema in young infancy.
- Probiotics from a mother’s breast milk reduces the prevalence of colic in your infant or baby and boosts your baby’s intestinal health.
- Your baby will be born with a strong immune support system and less likely to need admission to hospital, or antibiotics, in the first year of life.
- When you pass good gut health onto your baby, there are less risks of your child developing chronic diseases later in life.
How to increase your probiotic intake during pregnancy
It’s safe to consume probiotic rich foods to support your and your baby’s health during pregnancy. Probiotic rich foods include:
- Natural organic yoghurt
- Pickled vegetables
- Apple cider vinegar
You can also take probiotics as tablets, capsules and powders that contain the live bacteria in dried form. However, supplements in pregnancy need to be from a qualified health practitioner, with good quality supplements and at effective evidence-based doses. There are also vegan options available, which make probiotics accessible to all. One that I often recommend is Metagenics Ultra Flora Mother and Baby probiotic, as it’s completely safe for mother and baby.
Contact me to book an appointment and find out how pregnancy naturopathy can help with providing safe and effective support and supplements in pregnancy.