Morning sickness is likely the worst aspect of being pregnant. Over 85% of pregnant women must deal with the symptom in the first trimester, and the jury is still out on effective remedies. Still, new theories of suggestions abound. For those women who still hope for a cure for temporary nausea and vomiting, the University of California, Davis, proposes a new suggestion: probiotics.
According to a study published in 2021, probiotics may help restore the natural balance of the gut microbiome thrown out of whack during pregnancy. The rebalancing act may reduce the symptoms of morning sickness stemming from the GI system.
Are Probiotics Safe To Take When Pregnant?
There are many probiotic strains, so finding a definitive answer to whether all probiotics are safe during pregnancy is challenging. The most popular probiotic strains, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, are safe, and most medical professionals agree that probiotics, in general, are safe and pose no safety concerns to women or their pregnancies. Still, to be extra cautious, it is best to consult your physician before adding a probiotic supplement to your diet.
Symptoms Probiotics May Help Reduce
The UC Davis study had a small sample size of 32 pregnant women. Those women submitted a daily survey over 16 days. The results showed a 33 percent reduction in vomiting and a 16% reduction in nausea.
While the study is not authoritative with such a small sample size, it does point to benefits already associated with probiotics, specifically, improved digestive health. Some OB-GYNs already include probiotics in prenatal vitamins.
How Probiotics Help Balance Gut Bacteria
Probiotic supplements consist of good bacteria strains. The strains help the gastrointestinal system break down food and remove contaminants.
Many people do not have a well-balanced or healthy gut microbiome because of years of nutritional abuse and neglect stemming from convenience foods. The belief is that by taking probiotic supplements or eating probiotic-rich foods, you can restore the balance of good bacteria in the GI system.
Current research is slim on the actual benefits of consuming probiotics. It is challenging to measure the efficacy of supplements and food sources. Also, because probiotics are living organisms, it is hard to say how many survive the journey into the stomach. Still, early research suggests some benefits to probiotics.
Best Probiotic Foods
To increase your daily consumption of probiotics, you want to focus on traditional food sources. The richest probiotic foods include:
- Greek yogurt
You want to ease into probiotic increases. While medical professionals consider them safe, you do not know how you will react to specific probiotic strains. Many people record their probiotic intake in a food and supplement journal. The journal should help you analyze how different strains make you feel.
Also, before you add probiotic-rich foods to your diet, talk to your primary care physician. They can help you find safe dietary choices.
Taking a Probiotic Supplement
Probiotics are generally safe for you and your little one. You can give children Wellements Organic Probiotic Drops and talk to your doctor about an appropriate supplement option for yourself.
When choosing a supplement, only choose options from reputable manufacturers. Also, look at the ingredients or strains list to determine if it includes the probiotics you are most concerned with. Do not rush into a buying decision. Take your time and research the different strains and available products.
Morning sickness is a common symptom of pregnancy, which most women wish they could avoid. Probiotics may help relieve the symptom, but research is still thin. Talk to your OB-GYN to learn if probiotic supplements are something you should consider taking.