By Beatrice Thorne, Head of Product & Experience at Eve Wellness
Morning sickness, breast tenderness and low energy levels are all commonly known symptoms of pregnancy. Lesser known are the symptoms surrounding gut health and how the gut changes during pregnancy.
The gut microbiome, which consists of no less than 100 trillion bacteria, is essential to everything from mental health, to metabolism, immunity and more. And it’s perhaps unsurprising to learn that our gut health is profoundly affected during pregnancy.
During the prenatal period, women experience a myriad of changes, including some profound alterations to gut function and bacterial balance. These alterations are one of the body’s intelligent ways of ensuring your baby has the best possible start in life; and setting up their microbiome, immunity and gut health is one of the very best ways to do this.
Also weighing into gut health changes are the fluctuations of estrogen and progesterone which impact our microbiome. Combined, all this change in our most central body of systems can lead to some uncomfortable signs such as bloating, digestive discomfort, diarrhea, constipation, yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis (which, by the way, can also be linked to bacterial balance and gut health!)
As good gut health has a direct correlation with good immunity in adults, studies show that your balance of gut bacteria also influences your baby’s developing immune system. So as well as supporting mum’s gut health through the ups and downs of pregnancy, the composition of the maternal gut microbiome contributes to the long-term health of the child.
Therefore, nurturing your microbiome and gut health during pregnancy is a great way to increase your chances of a more comfortable pregnancy, while also providing a wonderful environment for a growing baby. Some suggested ways to support resilient, stable gut health are eating nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables with every meal to feed your gut’s good bacteria and diversity, sipping on nourishing bone broths and adding a daily probiotic.
But what to look for when choosing a probiotic?
Due to the phenomenal power of microbes, probiotics can support a vast range of wellness factors. However, they are perhaps best understood for their ability to alleviate gut issues and support balanced gut health.
The probiotic strain lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001™ is something of a queen for supporting pregnancy, postpartum and breastfeeding. Studies have shown that this strain supports inflammation, healthy immunity in mother and baby, as well as blood sugar balance during pregnancy – important especially considering how many people struggle with gestational diabetes.
Furthermore, there have also been some fascinating studies done around this strain and postnatal depression, showing improvements to mood and mental health scores. Another strain to look out for is Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM®. Over 300 research papers have been published on its positive health effects, supporting a healthy gut environment with less abdominal pain and bloating.
Probiotic strains such as these can also help the development of your baby’s microbiome, which is laid down in the first few years of life and is linked to health outcomes for the rest of their lives.
Eve Wellness has recently released Queen V – a premium probiotic that contains key strains (including those mentioned above), designed to deliver powerful beneficial bacteria that supports the overall health and diversity of gut microflora. Happy tum – happy mum!