The Shocking Truth About Probiotic Intake During Pregnancy
Why Probiotics Are Good For Mom
I love that probiotics and healthy gut flora have had widespread media attention recently because those friendly little bacteria are as integral to our health as our unborn child's. Healthy flora in the gut is necessary for:
- Absorption and metabolism of the b-vitamin family
- Ensuring unfriendly bacteria like candida (yeast), viruses, and fungi cannot take up residence in the gut
- Providing our body's first line of defence against environmental toxins
Removing from our body 40% of the toxins found in our food
- Strengthening our immune system
How A Mom's Friendly Bacteria Affect Her Unborn Child
That is all fine and good, but how does the flora in a mother's digestive system affect the health of her unborn child? A mother's healthy bacteria not only live in her gut, but in her birth canal and milk ducts as well. This bacteria cannot be transferred across the placental barrier, but when the baby exits the birth canal there is a very important exchange of "friendly" bacteria between mother and child that populates the baby's own intestinal tract with the good little critters. After birth a mother again transfers healthy flora to her baby through her breast milk. I believe this exchange of bacteria between mother and child is crucial to the health of her baby throughout his/her entire life.
Studies have shown that inclusion of probiotics in your pregnancy diet and breastfeeding diet will provide your baby with many benefits, including:
- Lower incidences of allergies in the newborn due to improved immune function
- Reduction in the risk for eczema in both the newborn and infancy stages
- Better colonization of friendly bacteria in the newborn leading to better immune function and digestion throughout life
- Healthier levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the placenta for fetal growth
Now Is The Time for A Pregnant Woman To Take Action
If you are planning pregnancy, now is the time to take action and rebalance your gut flora. If you are already pregnant, it is never too late to start. However, pregnant women should introduce probiotics to their diets slowly because an increase in flora also stimulates detoxification, which is something we want to avoid during pregnancy.
How Pregnant Women Can Include Probiotics In Their Pregnancy Diets
There are 2 ways to include probiotics to your pregnancy diet and breastfeeding diet, thereby increasing the friendly bacteria in your gut:
- The best way - eat or drink fermented foods like sauerkraut, kefir, sugar/sweetener free organic yogurt, kombucha, or buttermilk
- Add a probiotic supplement to your daily supplement regime. A good amount of probiotic bacteria in a supplement is 50 billion cells. I highly recommend Ultimate Flora by Renew Life.
3 Important Books
I highly recommend you read 3 books to learn more about the importance of healthy digestion and children's health:
Clean Gut ~ Alejandro Junger
Natural Baby - Healthy Child ~ Murray Clarke, ND
Gut and Psychology Syndrome ~ Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride
Are you shocked by the importance of a mother's digestive flora to her unborn child?
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Love and Happiness,
Krystal Bernier, Holistic Nutritionist