9 May 2023 | 5 min Read
Author | 677 Articles
Probiotics offer a host of health benefits and have gained a lot of popularity in recent times. The Food and Agricultural Organisation defines probiotics as live microorganisms that when administered in moderate amounts, confer health benefits in the host. What makes them different from other supplements is the fact that they are naturally found in different food items.
But is it safe to consume probiotics during pregnancy? If yes, then what are the natural probiotic-rich foods that you should include in your pregnancy diet? We help answer all your questions in this post.
Probiotics promote the development of healthy bacteria in your intestine and prevent stomach issues during pregnancy / Image credit: Freepik
In general, probiotics help maintain and modulate a natural balance of bacterial flora in the body, especially in your intestines. Probiotics also inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria and stimulate the development of beneficial bacteria.
The reduction in the bad bacterial load further helps prevent infections and improves your overall well-being and health during pregnancy. Additionally, consuming probiotics during pregnancy also promotes your breast milk’s immunoprotective potential, which may reduce the risk of inflammatory skin conditions like eczema, in the first two years of your child’s life.
Yes, it is safe to consume probiotics during pregnancy as they are unlikely to cause any adverse effects. Plus, current research does not indicate the probability of any harmful effects or significant risks on the health of the mum or the baby after regularly consuming probiotics.
However, be cautious about adding probiotics into your pregnancy diet, and consult your healthcare provider to rule out the possibility of any side effects or risks.
Probiotics have been associated with many maternal and fetal health benefits. We have discussed the most common ones in this section.
Probiotics containing Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus rhamnosus are the most widely used during pregnancy due to their long-term benefits. You can also opt for other over-the-counter probiotics that contain other nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and folic acid, as they are beneficial for both your and your baby’s health.
However, always check with your healthcare provider to determine the safety of the probiotics before adding them to your pregnancy diet.
Yogurt is a probiotic-enriched food item that you can safely incorporate into your pregnancy diet / Image credit: Freepik
You can readily find probiotics in the market in the form of dietary supplements. In addition, there are some fermented foods that are also good sources of probiotics.
However, keep in mind that all fermented foods may not contain good bacteria, and baking them or canning them can further destroy their nutritional qualities. Dairy products are also rich in probiotics, but make sure to pick only pasteurised versions to prevent stomach infections during pregnancy.
Some natural foods that contain probiotics include:
Probiotics contain beneficial bacteria that enhance your digestive and gut health during pregnancy. Additionally, consuming probiotics during pregnancy can offer various health benefits, such as reduced blood pressure, and also prevent the risk of several pregnancy complications. However, do consult your doctor before adding any probiotic-rich foods or supplements to your diet to prevent risks or drug interactions.
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Cover Image Credit: Freepik.com