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Yogurt May Help During Pregnancy… Or Hurt?

Full-fat, probiotic yogurt may be extra good for you and your baby.

Two studies published last week highlight the potential benefits and harms of various kinds of yogurt during pregnancy.

The first study, led by Ekaterina Maslova of the Harvard School of Public Health, found that women who consumed low-fat yogurt once a day actually had an increased risk of having a kid with asthma and allergic rhinitis (hay fever) than women who didn’t eat daily servings of low-fat yogurt. Though it’s unclear why– or whether the results of this study can be duplicated– researchers suspect that it may have something to do with removing the fat from the yogurt. Fatty acids found in dairy products might protect against the development of allergies in kids. Women who drank milk were at no increased risk of having children with asthma.

The other study suggests that probiotics in yogurt might help prevent preeclampsia, a potentially dangerous pregnancy condition that develops after 20 weeks in approximately 5% of all pregnancies. Researchers looked at the diets and children of 33,000 Norwegian women and found a small drop in preeclampsia cases in the women who consumed probiotic yogurt throughout pregnancy.

Authors of both studies say more research needs to be done and are not rushing out to tell women to eat or not eat yogurt!

I figure if you’re going to take anything from these very preliminary studies, it’s that full-fat, probiotic yogurt might be good for you and your baby. Or not. Either way, it’s pretty delicious and generally endorsed by nutritionists and pregnancy experts. In fact, Greek yogurt is considered by some as a pregnancy “super food” as it tends to have twice the protein as other types of yogurt and lots of calcium and probiotics. Avoid yogurts with lots of unnecessary refined sugars but probiotics are considered fine during pregnancy.

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