There are many things you have to consider and prepare for when pregnant, and your gut should be one of them. A strong and healthy gut is vital for both mom and baby. If you have a poor diet, drink soda, take antibiotics, or have high-stress levels while pregnant, it can take a toll on your gut and your baby’s immunity. If you are taking a probiotic while pregnant, it could be essential to the health of you and your baby.
Probiotics have several health benefits for pregnant and nursing women. Studies have shown that what a woman consumes during pregnancy can have numerous effects on her and her baby, ranging from gestational diabetes and hypertension to asthma and depression.
Keep reading to learn about the benefits of taking probiotics during pregnancy.
One of the most common conditions that can cause discomfort for pregnant women is constipation. It’s often the result of hormones that cause the smooth muscle in the GI tract to relax. Dietary manipulation that includes increasing fiber and fluids can help reduce constipation. Probiotics with a prebiotic (symbiotics) can be an excellent additional nutrition therapy, too.
Because probiotics help with digestion, healthcare professionals believe that they can be beneficial for pregnant women who could be more prone to constipation or diarrhea.
Better nutrient absorption
A healthy gut also ensures that nutrients are absorbed efficiently. If the mother gets more nourishment, the baby will, too.
In 2016, a study evaluated the effect of high-dose probiotics in women during late pregnancy and their breast milk composition and if differences in breast milk can affect stool samples in newborns.
It was a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial where 66 women took either the probiotic or a placebo daily. There were decreased incidences of infantile colic and regurgitation and improved gastrointestinal function in the infants whose mother received the probiotics.
Reduce the risk of Infant atopic eczema and food allergies
Eczema, recognized by red, itchy patches of skin, is a precursor to a variety of other conditions such as food allergies and asthma, so reducing or preventing it is very important.
We know that differences in a baby’s microbiome link to increased allergy risks, and research is supporting the use of probiotics to prevent eczema.
A large Meta-analysis reported that pregnant women given probiotics during as well as the initial postpartum period reduced eczema by 22%.
Protect against Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM)
High blood sugar is never good, and it’s especially harmful during pregnancy. When glucose intolerance appears for the first time in pregnancy, it is called gestational diabetes mellitus.
During pregnancy, an imbalance in gut flora resembles metabolic dysfunction with increased inflammation and decreased insulin sensitivity.
A 2019 Meta-analysis using ten studies with a combined total of 1,139 participants, found that probiotics supplementation was effective at reducing GDM; it reduced the fasting blood glucose serum insulin levels and insulin resistance. It also shows that multi-strain probiotics are more effective than single-strain probiotics.
Did you know EndoMune Probiotics is multi-strain and multi-species? With ten different strains and 20 billion bacteria, you and your baby can rest assured you're getting the beneficial bacteria you need!
Reduced risk of Preeclampsia
Preeclampsia, a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure, is the number one cause of maternal death in the United States. Symptoms include high blood pressure, swelling of the hands and feet, and protein in urine. A study featured in the BMJ Open found a reduced risk of preeclampsia and preterm delivery when taking a probiotic supplement.
Healthy mom, healthy baby
We are all looking for ways to ensure pregnant moms and babies have all the possible advantages to a healthy and happy life.
The research shows probiotics may prevent pregnancy complications for mom and reduce baby’s risk of infant atopic eczema and food allergies.
While further studies continue, pregnant women should eat healthfully, exercise diligently, and consider taking a multi-species probiotic and prebiotic supplement.
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Want to read more on the topic? Check out our other blog posts that cover probiotics and pregnancy.