Taking probiotics in pregnancy improves the health of the mother and the future baby as it helps strengthen her immune system. One study suggests that it may also help reduce the risk of preeclampsia.
The Pregnant women can benefit from probiotics throughout pregnancy. It helps strengthen the immune system of both the mother and the fetus. However, a Norwegian epidemiological study carried out an investigation on 30,000 pregnant women to confirm that probiotics can also help in other health complications. All present in pregnant women such as preeclampsia and the reduction of babies born prematurely. The research concluded that 20% of the total of these mothers have reduced this problem.
What is Preeclampsia?
Preeclampsia is a serious illness that appears in approximately 8% of pregnant women. It is diagnosed at week 20 and is characterized by an abnormal response on the mother’s organism to the placenta. The body considers it a strange tissue and produces an inflammatory and immunological response. It is diagnosed by the presence of hypertension in pregnancy and proteins in the urine. The complications of this disease are serious and may cause premature birth (before week 37), disability in newborns or even the death of the mother if it is not treated correctly and on time.
The Symptoms of Preeclampsia:
- Blood pressure higher than 160 x 110 mmHg.
- A strong and constant headache.
- Pain on the right side of the abdomen.
- The decrease in the amount of urine and the urge to urinate.
- Alterations in vision as blurred or obscured view.
- The sensation of burning in the stomach.
Benefits of Probiotics, Those Friendly Bacterias
Probiotics are known as ‘friendly batteries’ and are living microorganisms that we ingest through some foods and that are not destroyed by digestion. These bacteria adhere to the intestinal epithelium and colonize our entire intestine, stimulating the microbiota (the intestinal flora). This contributes to modulate the immune response of our organism and combats the presence of other pathogens that can cause disease. The most known probiotic products are dairy products such as yogurt. But others such as fermented cabbage, soy derivatives such as tofu, soy yogurt are also the fermented food. Prebiotics, on the other hand, is a type of carbohydrate found naturally in many vegetables. Its mission is to serve as food to these friendly bacterias and allow them to grow.
According to experts’ explanation in the area of Endocrinology and Nutrition, probiotics could reduce the risk of preeclampsia by modifying the inflammatory response of the mother. These modulate our immune system and could help reduce the inflammatory situation that is related to this complication. Specialists add that a healthy diet reduces the number of complications during pregnancy (diabetes, hypertension, obesity) that are associated with a higher probability of preeclampsia.
A robust and metabolically active intestinal flora interacts with our organism in multiple aspects related to health. A healthy diet that includes vegetable fiber capable of becoming food for the beneficial bacteria of our intestine (what is publicly known as prebiotics), is a good start for any woman who plans a pregnancy. Moreover, much of that “healthy” intestinal flora, which we have favored with our diet, is going to colonize the baby’s intestine, becoming a precious inheritance that the mother can transmit.
Benefits for Mother and Baby:
Many pregnant women suffer alterations of the digestive rhythm. Constipation is very frequent and diarrhea also. Probiotics are indicated in both cases because they regulate digestive functioning. Increasing the intake of vegetables, both raw and cooked, is also a great help.
According to the Natural Medicine Journal and the Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine, the consumption of probiotics reduces the risk of gestational diabetes, another disorder that can endanger the life of the mother and the child. To take care of the flora of the mother and the child it is important to avoid the consumption of antibiotics. If they are not absolutely essential, both in the future mother and in the first months of the child’s life.
General Benefits of Probiotics in Pregnancy:
- They favor the activity of the immune mechanisms of the intestinal mucosa.
- They prevent potentially pathogenic microorganisms from growing and developing.
- Among its therapeutic benefits, it could be the prevention of colon cancer, since the intestinal flora intervenes in this pathology and there is a close relationship between the type of diet and this malignant disease.
- Protects against infections.
- It stops nausea and vomiting.
- Prevents diarrhea and constipation.
- They pass to newborns through breastfeeding.
- It helps prevent pressure rise during and after pregnancy.
It is evident that the healthier the mother’s diet, the healthier she will be and the healthier her pregnancy and her baby will be, but also, the healthier the maternal microflora, the healthier the baby’s microflora will be, so the consumption of foods with probiotics is recommended both during pregnancy and during breastfeeding.
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