Whether you’re trying for a baby, currently pregnant or coping with a newborn, there’s one simple thing you can do to massively improve things for both you and your baby – improve your gut health.
Why is gut health so important during pregnancy?
The lining of your gut, like every surface of your body, is covered in trillions of microscopic creatures, mostly bacteria. These organisms create a micro-ecosystem called the microbiome. And though we don’t really notice it’s there, it plays an oversized role in your own and your baby’s health – even affecting mood and behaviour for both of you.
Imagine your gut microbiome like a tiny beautiful Amazon rainforest, filled with all kinds of diverse living organisms. This natural ecosystem is responsible for your – and your baby’s – digestion, mental health, disease protection, heart health, strong bones and clear skin.
Unfortunately, modern life takes its toll on your gut microbiome. Chemicals, stress, sugar, antibiotics and pollution can kill off your gut bugs, depleting the diversity of your microbiome. This damage is called “gut dysbiosis” and it has been linked to health issues for you and your baby including the following:
- Antibiotic-associated diarrhea
- Autoimmune diseases
- Dental cavities
- Depression and anxiety
- Gastric ulcers
- Hardening of the arteries
- Inflammatory bowel diseases
Your baby inherits his or her microbiome from you
Each person’s microbiome is as unique as their fingerprint. The mix of bacteria in your baby’s body will be different from everyone else’s mix. This mix is determined partly by your gut microbiota — the environment that your baby is exposed to at birth — and partly from diet and lifestyle after birth.
So it’s of primary importance that your own gut is in great shape, so that you can get your baby off to the best possible start!
How can you get your gut into great shape?
The key to a healthy microbiome is nourishing a balance among the nearly 1,000 different species of bacteria in your gut. There are two ways to maintain this balance — helping the microbes already there to grow by giving them the foods they like (prebiotic) and adding living microbes directly to your system (probiotic).
Imagine that you are trying to restore an area of the Amazon rainforest that has become depleted by modern chemicals and pollution. You would need to reintroduce the flora and fauna into the area – those are the probiotics. But you also need to replant the trees and vegetation that those creatures are going to eat (prebiotics). It’s no use putting living creatures into the ecosystem, without also supplying the food they need to eat!
Your gut is exactly the same. It’s a living ecosystem – and the bacteria you’re introducing need a special diet, to survive and thrive.
What exactly are Probiotics and Prebiotics?
Probiotics are products that contain live organisms, usually specific strains of bacteria that directly add to the population of healthy microbes in your gut.
Dr. Michael Mosley in NHS trials aired on BBC2’s Trust Me I’m a Doctor found that the most effective probiotic food is a fermented drink called kefir.
The best therapeutic-grade kefir is made by fermenting goats milk (which unlike cow’s milk, is hypoallergenic for the vast majority of people) with live kefir “grains,” which offer a wide synergistic range of live bacteria, rather than just a few man-made strains. For maximum benefit, kefir should be pure and unflavoured, without sugar or sweeteners which can harm gut bugs. Pure kefir has a tart and tangy taste, but can be blended with fresh fruit and 100% pure stevia for increased palatability. Our Chuckling Goat kefir is university-tested to be one of the most diverse and pure, natural kefirs available today.
Prebiotics are specialized plant fibers. They act like fertilizers that stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut. Prebiotics are found in many fruits and vegetables, especially those that contain complex carbohydrates, such as fiber and resistant starch. These carbs aren’t digestible by your body, so they pass through the digestive system to become food for the bacteria and other microbes.
Can’t I just eat fibre to get prebiotics?
You can eat fibre – and you should! But prebiotics are not always the same as general fibre. There are many specialist foods required by your gut bugs for full gut health, including specific fibres like IMO, Xyloglucan, and Arabinan. These are found in items like red miso, orange peel, tamarind seed and maitake mushroom. These exotic items may be difficult and time-consuming to source, buy and consume. That’s why we’ve made it easy for you, by sourcing every required natural fibre that has been approved as safe for use during pregnancy.
How exactly can prebiotics + probiotics help me when I’m trying for a baby?
When your gut microbiome is damaged, you will experience something called “gut dysbiosis.” Gut dysbiosis has been found to contribute to infertility in women. So improving your gut health can help you on your way to a healthy pregnancy.
How about during pregnancy?
Improving gut health during pregnancy has been found to have multiple benefits for both you and your baby, including helping to prevent eczema in newborns by 45%, safely preventing mood disorder during pregnancy, lowering pre-eclampsia and premature birth risk.
What if I’ve already given birth?
It’s never too late to benefit your baby by getting gut-healthy! Breastfeeding is a great time to take kefir + prebiotics. Benefits of gut health during this time include helping mums heal faster post-partum, helping keep energy up for new mums by improving levels of B12, helping to prevent mastitis, and helping to prevent colic, acid reflux and constipation in infants.
Where can I find probiotics and prebiotics specifically designed for use before, during and after pregnancy?
Chuckling Goat, the gut health experts, have created a unique system to make it safe, quick, easy and efficient for you to achieve full gut health, in a two-step protocol. This award-winning company creates all their natural, chemical-free products by hand, on their family farm in Wales. Chuckling Goat is a member of the Royal College of Obstetrician’s “Mum Plus One,” the NHS’ “talkwellness”, and the British Dieticians’ Association’s “Healthier You.”
At Chuckling Goat we recommend probiotic kefir and prebiotic fibre. Our newly launched Pregnancy Prebiotic, contains all of the specific natural fibres that are approved for use during pregnancy.
How long should I take the probiotic kefir + prebiotic combination?
Start taking your probiotic kefir + prebiotic combination as soon as you know you’re trying for a baby – and keep taking it until you stop breastfeeding! We’re with you for great gut health, every step of the way. Both the kefir and prebiotic provides benefits for gut health before, during and after pregnancy. We recommend blending 170 ml of kefir and 10 g of prebiotics into a healthy smoothie, along with your chosen fresh fruit, and consuming daily.
Our Pregnancy Prebiotic is available now
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