Probiotics and Prebiotics in Pregnancy

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A balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle will make you and your growing baby healthy. It is very important to know the right thing to eat at this time. Knowledge brings awareness and will help you in taking better care of yourself and the baby.

One of the most researched topics among expecting mothers is the consumption of probiotics. We have collated some useful information on probiotics and prebiotics that will help you during pregnancy.

What are Probiotics and Prebiotics

Probiotics or good bacteria are micro-organisms that are present in our intestines. These organisms break down the food we eat and help in the process of digestion whereas prebiotics are stimulants for the good bacteria to grow. These foods are not digested by our body but they remain in our colon, triggering the growth of the good bacteria.

Is it Safe to Take Probiotics and Prebiotics during Pregnancy?

So, can you take probiotics while pregnant? According to research done by the National Library of Medicine and the National Institute of Health, probiotics do not cause any complications while birth or infection during pregnancy. There are many health benefits in fact, that come with consuming probiotics.

Dr. William Sears, a famous paediatrician from the Children’s Hospital in Boston writes in his blog, “It’s quite safe to take probiotics during pregnancy. Probiotics are very popular in most of the countries, especially in Europe, and their health benefits are gradually being more valued.”

During pregnancy, the composition of bacteria plays a pivotal role in maintaining a healthy metabolism. There are several research papers connecting a healthy digestive system to improve maternal health. Moreover, recent studies show that consumption of probiotics reduces the bad bacteria in the body thus lowering the potential of certain infections.

How Common is Using Probiotic in Pregnancy

While pregnant women commonly face health issues like indigestion, heartburn, and constipation, consuming specific probiotics helps in easy relief. Taking specific probiotic bacteria, such as Bifidobacteriumlongum reduces the abdominal pain and improves bowel movement. Several nutritionists and doctors advise mothers to consume probiotics every day. There are many benefits of taking them:

Benefits of Taking Probiotics or Prebiotics during Pregnancy

During pregnancy, consumption of probiotics and prebiotics:

  • Benefits in effective digestion.
  • Augments good bacteria and counters growth of harmful bacteria in the body.
  • Breaks down food to be completely utilized by the body.
  • Essential for healing infertility.
  • Helps in reducing inflammation of the colon’s lining and treats inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Strengthens the immune system of mother and baby.
  • Maintains a healthy urinary system.
  • Balances the cholesterol level.
  • Prevents vaginal infection like bacterial vaginosis.

Foods Containing Prebiotics

For expecting mothers, getting probiotics in natural form through their daily meal is a good option. Food rich in probiotics are:

  • Yogurt

  • Kefir

  • Dark Chocolate

  • Pickles

  • Kombucha Tea

  • Milk

  • Onions

  • Barley

  • Garlic

  • Soya beans

  • Oats

Foods Containing Probiotics

One can get probiotic naturally from these foods:

  • Lassi

  • Dhokla

  • Dosa

  • Miso

  • Kimchi

  • Cheddar

  • Buttermilk

These are fairly common foods that are consumed on a regular basis. So if you’re pregnant, there’s no need to reduce the frequency of eating these.

A healthy pregnancy can be ensured by maintaining a healthy diet. Take time to chart food recipes that integrate probiotics and prebiotics in your daily diet. During pregnancy, cravings can get the better of you but do not miss on prebiotic- rich food.

You can choose to get your probiotics from supplement capsules but it is always good to seek advice from your doctor before taking any pills. In case of any allergy call the doctor immediately. Relying on a healthy lifestyle is the best way to get through pregnancy and will facilitate the healthy development of the baby.