Pregnancy puts a lot of stress on the female body. Some women take foods, such as Activia brand yogurt, that have been supplemented with special bacteria known as probiotics. These bacteria can promote the health of your digestive tract and also can protect against conditions such as bacterial vaginosis. Activia is safe to eat during pregnancy, but you should always talk to your doctor before taking probiotic supplements.
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What Is Activia?
Activia is a brand of yogurt made by Dannon which has been supplemented with certain kinds of bacteria, including Bifidobacterium lactis, the Dannon website explains. These bacteria are considered to be probiotic, which means they are similar to the bacteria found naturally in your digestive tract. The bacteria in Activia are able to pass through the digestive tract and colonize the intestines, where they have many beneficial effects.
Probiotics and Digestion
The bacteria in your intestines play an important role in digestion, metabolism and immunity. Consuming foods with probiotic bacteria, such as Activia, boosts the levels of these healthy bacteria in your gut, according to renowned pediatrician Dr. William Sears writing on the website Parenting.com. These bacteria can help prevent harmful organisms from colonizing your digestive tract, which helps prevent diarrhea. Probiotic bacteria also help break food down in your intestines and promote the synthesis of short-chain fatty acids, which are a kind of fat that helps maintain your health and reduces inflammation.
Probiotics and Vaginosis
According to the World Health Organization, foods such as Activia can also prevent a condition known as bacterial vaginosis. Bacterial vaginosis is caused by harmful bacteria colonizing your vagina. Women with bacterial vaginosis often do not display any symptoms of this type of infection, but it increases their risk of developing complications during pregnancy, such as endometriosis, pre-term labor and pelvic inflammatory disease. Consuming foods with probiotic bacteria, such as Activia, can eliminate the harmful bacteria from your vagina and reduce your risk of these pregnancy complications.
There is no evidence that consuming Activia or other foods with probiotic bacteria poses any threat to you or your fetus under normal circumstances. Some women may develop gas or bloating when taking probiotics, but these symptoms usually subside as your digestive tract adjusts to the increased levels of bacteria. You should talk to your doctor before adding Activia to your diet, as there are rare cases of probiotic bacteria getting into the blood or infecting heart valves, but these typically only occur in patients with severe health problems such as a depleted immune system.