If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, there are many probiotic benefits you should know. Probiotics are the “good bacteria” that, when incorporated into your diet or taken in supplement form, can improve your health during pregnancy and beyond.
Here are five benefits of probiotics during pregnancy.
1. Improved digestion — According to the American Pregnancy Association, probiotics
balance out the bad bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract and help the digestive system work more efficiently. This is important for all women.
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2. Decreased constipation and diarrhea —
Because probiotics help digestion, elimination of waste becomes easier. Constipation and diarrhea are among the most common discomforts experienced by pregnant women, the American Pregnancy Association said.
3. Improved immune system for mom and baby —
A healthy gut flora can be passed from the expectant mother to the fetus, according to Chicago Parent
. Women who take probiotics during pregnancy reduce their child’s risk of developing allergies by up to 50 percent, the article noted.
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4. Reduced risk of preeclampsia —
This condition is associated with high blood pressure in the expectant mother, and it is the most common cause of maternal death among American women, says Chicago Parent. Probiotics help reduce intestinal inflammation which is believed to have a lowering effect on blood pressure. A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology showed that women who consumed fermented milk products containing probiotics early in their pregnancies had a lower risk of preeclampsia.
5. Healthier breast feeding — According to Livestrong
, babies who are breastfed by mothers who take probiotics have less diarrhea, constipation, and colic between the ages of 2 months and 6 months. Additionally, healthy gut flora in the mother is passed along to baby during breast feeding, encouraging healthy digestion and a robust immune system.
As the American Pregnancy Association explains, in addition to these probiotic benefits, these supplements are generally considered safe to try. The National Institutes of Health have determined that there are no health risks with consuming probiotics for expectant or nursing mothers.
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