Prenatal Gut Health–Part One

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This week I have been reflecting back on my pregnancy journey with the girls. I reread my post, Week 31: Premature labor scare! and all of the old feelings of fear and uncertainty came back to me again. My biggest goal during my pregnancy was taking great care of my gut.

I started writing these posts when I was 21 weeks pregnant. Here is an excerpt from a post I wrote when I was 21 weeks pregnant, Gut Health During Pregnancy Part 1.

The most powerful way to influence the health of your gut is through your diet:

  • Avoid food toxins found in processed foods
  • Avoid refined sugars
  • Avoid refined grains
  • Avoid artificial sweeteners
  • Eat more fermentable fiber
  • Hydrate well with clean filtered water
  • Eat plenty of probiotic rich foods
  • Consume more bone broth

Other important strategies include:

  • Improve stress management
  • Get plenty of daily movement
  • Minimize the use of antibiotics
  • Eliminate the use of NSAIDS, steroids, antacids and other medications
  • Minimize exposure to chlorinated water

This quote summarizes these tips best:

Pregnant women need to consider their health during the pregnancy as well as their health after the pregnancy.  Taking simple steps to incorporate the above lifestyle and diet changes during pregnancy will have powerful and long lasting results after the baby arrives.

Even though I put into practice all of the steps listed above. The girls still arrived early at 34 weeks. That does not mean that all of my efforts were unimportant.

Even if you see signs that your preferred outcome is expected, don’t let go of your mission. Stay the course and stick to your principles because eventually you will see their benefit. In this post I describe how I took care of myself when I had a short stay in the hospital, Week 32: Home from the hospital and back again and reminiscing.

If you are currently pregnant or planning to get pregnant, know that taking the steps now to take awesome care of your gut is so important. The most powerful way you can impact yours and your baby’s health is by taking care of your gut.

The girls spent a week in the NICU which I will discuss in part two of this article. Fortunately, their stay was part of the hospital’s standard of practice, not out of necessity. Of course, I assumed my prenatal care had a big part in their health and size.  Fortunately science has given us the information we need to take care of ourself through nutrition and exercise during pregnancy. Now we just have to put it into practice. 🙂

Remember that whatever you are eating, your baby is eating. This article cites the impact of probiotics for mama.

Recent studies have found that consuming probiotic supplements beginning in the first trimester of pregnancy and continuing their use through at least the first six months of exclusive breastfeeding can help women lose weight after the birth of their baby.  Supplements with Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium were linked to less central obesity (defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more or a waist circumference over 80 centimeters).

The bottom line is this, if you feel better, you move more. If you move more, you feel better. You can see how this cycle continues.

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