A new study has found that the choices you make during your pregnancy can help determine whether or not you gain weight during the 12 month postpartum period.
In the study, pregnant women who did the best job of avoiding weight gain were the ones who were given dietary counseling along with probiotic capsules containing Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.
Probiotic supplementation begin during the first trimester of pregnancy and continued for 6 months after birth or as long as the women were exclusively breastfeeding.
Women who received dietary advice but only placebo capsules were almost twice as likely to be considered to have central obesity in the postpartum period.
Women who received no dietary advice or probiotics had about the same amount of weight gain as women who received only dietary advice.
It is not known exactly how the probiotics helped the women avoid gaining weight during the postpartum period. Additional studies will hopefully provide additional information.
However, encouraging healthy, normal bacteria in the intestines, together with a balanced healthy diet is a good plan for every woman, pregnant or otherwise.
Lactobacillus cultures can frequently be found in yogurt. If yogurt with live cultures is not available in your area, you can purchase probiotic supplements in most health food stores or online.