You’ve likely heard “we are what we eat.” There is, in fact, scientific evidence that our health is drastically affected by the food choices we make. This makes it vital for pregnant women to stick to a healthy and balanced diet for the wellbeing of mother and child.
Research suggests that probiotics supplements for women should be consumed before, during and after pregnancy to support a healthy and balanced gut. When the gut is healthy, pregnant women are defended against various pregnancy and birth complications.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding it is vital to maintain good gut health. In this post, we take a look at the importance of probiotics during pregnancy and breastfeeding and how they can assist you in maintaining whole-body wellness as you nurture your growing child.
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are in essence live bacteria that are good for your body, specifically the digestive system. Commonly referred to as “good bacteria”, probiotics are known to aid in keeping your gut strong and healthy.
Awareness surrounding the benefits of probiotics supplements surfaced in the mid-1990s, so much so that today they can be found in food products like fermented foods and kefir. Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are two of the most popular probiotics today. The superstrain, B. infantis boasts a variety of benefits for your growing baby’s brain development and digestion, as discussed in this article.
Since they help move food through your digestive tract, probiotics are often recommended for the treatment of ailments like infectious diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, and inflammatory bowel disease.
Before and During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Probiotic supplements have several health benefits for pregnant and nursing women. Studies have shown that when women increase their probiotic intake during pregnancy and after birth there is almost a 50% chance of reducing the risk of allergies in their babies. Some of the other benefits of taking probiotics during pregnancy include:
Reduced risk of preeclampsia
Preeclampsia is a pregnancy complication. Symptoms include protein in the urine, high blood pressure, and swelling of hands and feet. Statistics suggest that approximately 10 to 15 percent of maternal deaths all over the world are due to this condition. Probiotics reduce the risk of this complication because they reduce the inflammation in your intestines which in turn is thought to lower your blood pressure.
Minimize morning sickness
Morning sickness often means vomiting and excess exhaustion experienced during the first trimester of pregnancy. The good news is that probiotics can help with the sensitivity of the stomach during your pregnancy. Consuming probiotics during pregnancy ensures that the balance between the “good” and the “bad” bacteria is maintained. This helps reduce nausea and encourages an increase in energy.
Improves your digestion
Probiotics aid in the breakdown of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and fiber. Thereby promoting healthy digestion. When your food is digested properly, you will not have to go through problems like constipation, gas, heartburn, and bloating during pregnancy. A healthy gut also ensures that nutrients are absorbed quickly and effectively by the cells. If the mother gets more nourishment, the baby will get them too.
Probiotics build your baby’s immunity
A recent study found that babies born via c-section may have a lower density of gut bacteria than babies born vaginally. It is believed c-section birthed babies have a higher risk of developing asthma, allergies, obesity, eczema, diabetes, and colic. Whether your baby is born vaginally or via c-section, taking probiotic supplements or consuming probiotics rich foods can help by increasing their overall immunity.
Passing along good bacteria to your child is one of the best ways to support brain development, reduce food allergies and more. However, ensuring probiotics are part of your whole body health plan after your baby is born and while your body is recovering for pregnancy is vital. Probiotics have been shown to reduce your chances of mood swings and more. Other benefits include:
Avoid postpartum depression
There is a strong connection between your brain and your gut, as is evident from the inflammatory bowel diseases. Recent research indicates that increasing your intake of probiotics during pregnancy can actually change the neurotransmitters in your gut. These changes improve your ability to deal with depression and anxiety.
Decrease chances of gestational diabetes
With gestational diabetes comes the increased risk of c-section, birth injuries, and low blood sugar in infants. Added to this, the babies of mothers with gestational diabetes have a greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes and obesity. If you want to avoid these and related complications, you must maintain your blood sugar level during and after your pregnancy. Probiotics help you maintain healthy blood sugar levels, thereby ensuring your whole body is functioning and regulating your sugar level appropriately.
Postpartum weight loss
Most women complain of putting on weight after their pregnancy. Did you know that probiotics for women can help you shed those extra pounds? Consumption of probiotics as a supplement during pregnancy until women stop breastfeeding has been linked to decreased chances of obesity in the child and mother, according to the research published in the British Journal of Nutrition. The results can be seen as soon as one year after childbirth.
Along with providing probiotics for mothers-to-be and newborns, Lovebug Probiotics provides protection for your entire family. Leading doctors, medical experts, and scientists have come together to use strains that are supported by scientific evidence. These can help you right from improving your digestion to increasing your immunity.
From our pre + postnatal probiotic to our first staged line of probiotics for babies from birth to age 4 – we’ve made sure to include the most key strains (including super strain B. infantis!) as baby grows, laying the foundation for lifelong health.
We have also received several awards including the Gold Medal Mom’s Choice Award, the NCW Eco-Excellence Award Best Supplement for Kids and the Taste for life Essentials Award in 2017.
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