Fermented foods, or those that have naturally undergone bacterial fermentation, are rich in probiotics. Probiotics, the healthy bacteria that live in your gut, offer nutrition benefits including improved digestion and reduced skin issues. Therefore, these foods are encouraged to be added to a daily diet. But what about during pregnancy?
During pregnancy, fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, kimchi, and sauerkraut may help with the intake of vitamin K2, balance gut bacteria, and reduce diarrhea. There may even be a link between fermented dairy and decreased risk of preterm delivery (Nichols 2018). Typically, fermented foods are safe, barring underlying conditions. Intake of fermented foods and probiotics during pregnancy and breastfeeding are believed to help improve the gut microbiome of both mom and baby.
So, what about kombucha? Many pregnant women are concerned with drinking kombucha due to its alcohol content and natural detoxifying effect. While I haven’t found conclusive studies, it seems the general consensus is: if you drank it prior to pregnancy you can continue to have it in moderation. If it’s new, wait until after pregnancy and breastfeeding. But as always, ask your provider. Be mindful- some kombucha is packed with sugar and other ingredients that won’t be of benefit during pregnancy.
Edwards, S. M., Cunningham, S. A., Dunlop, A. L., & Corwin, E. J. (2017). The Maternal Gut Microbiome During Pregnancy. MCN. The American journal of maternal child nursing, 42(6), 310-317.
Nichols, L. (2018). Real Food For Pregnancy. Middletown, DE: Lily Nichols.