PROBIOTICS, Something every pregnant woman should consider?
Firstly let’s briefly explain what probiotics are and their role in our bodies. Probiotics are the living and naturally occurring “good” bacteria or microorganisms that live in our digestive tract and perform several functions vital to our health and that of the baby during pregnancy. Our digestive tract starts in our mouth and include the oesophagus, stomach, large and small intestines and anus.
· Probiotics help with digestion of the food we eat and support our digestive health
· Probiotics may help boost your immune system and inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria
· Reduce severity of certain allergies and eczema
Are probiotics safe for pregnancy?
There is no research showing probiotics are unsafe during pregnancy although research is currently limited but according to the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the National Institute of Health (NIH) probiotics are probably safe to use during pregnancy.
Even with the lack of multiple research conducted, (http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-complications/miscarriage/) researchers found no association between the use of probiotics and: miscarriages, malformation, incidence of Caesarean sections, birth weight or length of time of pregnancy.
What are the benefits of Probiotics during pregnancy?
The exact way probiotics work is still being debated and research is still being conducted on their precise function but the current thinking is that in the same way “bad” bacteria attack the body, the “good” bacteria attack destructive invaders.
Here are just a few of the reasons to consider probiotics during your pregnancy……
· Immune system support for mom and baby. Supplementing probiotics while pregnant increases a babies overall immunity and should mom continue to breastfeed this will continue.
· By using probiotics, the mother is colonizing her GI tract. This helps to keep mom regular and support her gut health. By this colonizing process the baby inherits an immunity from the mom that can last for the first 2 years of the babies’ life.
· Prevent the development of eczema and certain allergies in infants during the first 2 years of life only if mom is breastfeeding.
· Decreases risk of asthma in children later on in life
· Decrease Fussiness in infants. Establishing good bacteria in a new born’s digestive tract has been shown to decrease crying as most new-borns experience gassiness after birth.
· Healthy weight gain for mom. Probiotics taken during pregnancy can help with the metabolism of insulin and help mom maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
· Probiotics may decrease risk of pre-eclampsia. Studies show that if a pregnant woman consumes a milk based probiotic daily or weekly throughout her pregnancy, her risk for developing pre-eclampsia decreases significantly.
· Probiotics may decrease risk of gestational diabetes
By consuming foods with naturally occurring probiotics or by taking a probiotic supplement you can help increase your and your babies gut health and immunity and may be able to avoid many risks and complications to both yourself and the baby. It is worth your while to discuss probiotics further with your healthcare professional if you are thinking of falling pregnant or are already expecting.