Probiotics during Pregnancy

“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.”-Hippocrates 

I’m going to share with you one of my favorite ways of having a healthy pregnancy and delivery: Probiotics.

A probiotic is the good bacteria in your body that protects you from illness. Did you know that the mucous membranes of your digestive, urinary, and vaginal tracts are lined with probiotics? That last one is especially important during pregnancy as we want healthy vaginal tissues during pregnancy and delivery.

Adding a probiotic to your daily diet can help protect you from the following during pregnancy:

-colds and other mild illnesses

-urinary tract infections

-constipation

-pre-eclampsia

-gestational diabetes

-intrauterine growth restriction

-group B strep

-premature labor

Also, probiotics have several amazing benefits postpartum and for your baby as well! Recent studies are finding that women who started taking a probiotic during the first trimester and continues taking it through pregnancy and into the postpartum period were able to lose weight faster. The probiotic is also passed through breast milk, giving a boost to your baby’s health. By taking a probiotic while nursing you are protecting your baby from:

– ear infections

-allergies

-asthma

-eczema

-colic (one study found a decease of crying by 75% when a probiotic was given!)

-colds and flu

I’m terrible at remembering to take vitamins, so I prefer to get my probiotics through my food (I know I won’t forget to eat!). Yogurt and kefir were my go-to probiotic snacks during all 3 pregnancies. Not everyday, but at least a few times a week to encourage a healthy gut. Other food sources include: fermented pickles and carrots, sauerkraut, and  spirulina.

If you are interested in taking a probiotic supplement, or if you have any questions, be sure to talk it over with your midwife at your next appointment.

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