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Probiotics or good bacteria are live microorganisms that live not only in our intestines, probiotics can be found in milk products, such as yogurt and kefir. The most common probiotic bacteria are Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus. These beneficial bacteria have been used for centuries, because they stimulate the growth and maintain the bacterial balance in the gut. Also, probiotics can decrease the number of harmful and pathogenic bacteria, helping our body to deal with them. Because of a these facts, probiotics have found to be very useful for pregnant women.

Probiotics Usage During Pregnancy

Probiotics are considered safe and beneficial for pregnant women. First of all these helpful bacteria promote healthy digestive and immune systems. Pregnant women are frequently under a lot of stress, because of what's happening inside them. All the hormonal changes, accompanied by the stress can provoke problems with their digestive system, and result in diarrhea, constipation or heartburn. Probiotics are found to be very helpful in these situations, maintaining healthy digestive system and boosting up immune system as well.

Women experiencing problems with urinary tract infections, allergies or irritable bowel syndrome or Crohn’s disease also reported beneficial influence of probiotics.

Some recent researches have established the connection between the probiotics used by a pregnant woman and obesity of their children. Women who used probiotics during the first trimester of the pregnancy have been linked to fewer chances of having obese children. Mothers using probiotics can pass these good bacteria to their unborn child through the birth canal, while nursing moms transfer the same good bacteria through the breast milk to their babies. Either way, these children have been proven to have fewer chances for obesity later in their life, than other children. Central obesity (fat located in the belly area), also known as the adiposity, is one form of the obesity which may be prevented using probiotics in pregnancy.

Can Probiotics Cause Health Problems

Always be careful when using probiotics, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, use only products recommended by your doctor. These good bacteria can be found in: fermented milk products (sour cream, kefir, yogurt, cheese), but also in soy drinks, miso, tempeh and some other juices.

Several adverse effects have been reported in people consuming too much probiotics. Too much of these products can cause gasses, diarrhea, bloating or even some abdominal pains. Wrong dosage of probiotics can also be responsible for increased risk of infections, rashes and autoimmune reactions of your body.

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