What to probiotics have to do with pregnancy? For a healthy pregnancy, birth, and baby, it’s important to integrate a good probiotic into your routine early on — especially for preventing Group B Strep!
Group B Strep, a bacteria women are tested for during their third trimester, is a normal strain of bacteria found in our digestive tracts. While it’s not dangerous for us, this bacteria is potentially risky for newborns, so if you test positive, your provider may want you to be on antibiotics during labor and delivery as a precaution.
About a quarter to a third of women test positive for GBS, but it’s totally possible to prevent! Here are a few suggestions to safeguard you from a positive result:
Eating a probiotic and prebiotic-rich diet is the first step, since equipping your gut with good bacteria reduces the bad bacteria. You’ll also want to keep your sugar intake low, since sugar enables bad bacteria like GBS to grow and spread. Try to avoid any food sensitivities you might have for the same reason.
We also recommend a quality probiotic supplement for pregnancy. L. or P. Reuteri and L. rhamnosus are two strains of probiotics that are especially important to take, as they prevent not only Group B Strep bacteria, but also UTI bacteria, which are common in pregnancy. At Nourish, we like Integrative Therapeutics’ Pro Flora Women’s Probiotic for pregnancy because it contains just those two strains and can be ordered and shipped straight to you via our online supplement dispensary, Wellevate, just click to order!
To prevent a positive Group B Strep result, we also suggest supplementing with garlic. If you can stomach it, you can just chop up a garlic clove and eat it daily, or you can purchase a garlic supplement. Apple Cider Vinegar is another powerful method — just dilute a tablespoon in water and drink it after meals. ACV also raises stomach acid levels, which can also calm heartburn, another very common pregnancy complaint. If you’ve ever tested positive for GBS during a previous pregnancy, be proactive with these supplements!
Talk with your provider
If you just got a positive test result, don’t be discouraged. Talk to your provider (hopefully, it’s someone you trust!) and see if they’re open to a “watch and wait” approach. There may be some scenarios where your provider feels more comfortable using antibiotics, like if your water is broken for more than 18 hours, or if your baby is born before 37 weeks — in both of these scenarios, infection risk is higher.
Curious to learn how you can prepare your body for an amazing pregnancy and birth? Check out our Twinkle course!