You have likely heard the saying, “We are what we eat”. Good nutrition is important in all stages of life and even more during pregnancy because it affects both the mother and the child. Studies have shown that the food that the mother consumes during pregnancy can influence the baby’s growth and development throughout life.
If you have been pregnant before you know you can get pretty down with all the hormonal changes that your body goes through. To add to it there are digestive issues or tummy troubles that one needs to battle – constipation, heartburn, acidity, bloating, and diarrhea.
Therefore, nutrition should also aim at supporting a healthy intestine. When the intestine is healthy, pregnant women are protected from some of the birth complications. Including a probiotic or good bacteria as part of the daily diet is among one the best ways to ensure good gut health.
Benefits of Probiotics During Pregnancy
1. Improves Bowel Movement
Several studies suggest that certain probiotics may improve bowel movement and ease constipation. A study on women who suffered from piles and complained of constipation after childbirth found a significant benefit after consuming a probiotic for only six weeks.
2. Reduces Heartburn and Acidity
Including a probiotic as a part of the daily diet during pregnancy has been shown to reduce heartburn, bloating, and acidity.
3. Lowers the Risk of Allergies
Women who take probiotics while they are pregnant and breastfeeding are less likely to have children with allergies than mothers who don’t suggest a research review.
4. Reduces Vaginal Infections
Probiotics may benefit in reducing the risk of vaginal infections by increasing the beneficial bacteria in the vagina which prevents the growth of harmful infection-causing organisms.
5. Better Immunity
Many women get sick less often because of a better immune system that helps to fight and resist infection.
6. Reduces Risk of Pre-eclampsia During Pregnancy
Pre-eclampsia is a complication that occurs in 2-8% of all pregnancies. It means high blood pressure and high levels of protein in the urine. A study done on Norwegian pregnant women and published in the British Medical Journal in 2018 showed that consumption of a probiotic drink especially in the third trimester of pregnancy reduced the risk of pre-eclampsia.
7. Reduces the Risk of Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes is diabetes that occurs only during pregnancy. An important study in the British Journal of Nutrition conducted by researchers in New Zealand showed that consumption of a probiotic during pregnancy significantly reduced the risk of gestational diabetes.