Pregnancy changes not only the way your tummy looks, but also the bacteria living in your gut, a new study claims.
Researchers found that the gut bacteria in women in the third trimester of their pregnancies were very different to non-pregnant women, reports Science Daily.
“The findings suggest that our bodies have co-evolved with the microbiota and may actually be using them as a tool to help alter the mother’s metabolism, to support the growth of the foetus,” explains researcher Ruth Ley of Cornell University.
Although these changes in metabolism in the third trimester are similar to the unhealthy metabolism of those with obesity problems, in pregnancy the changes are beneficial.
Researchers said that during pregnancy the changes that support fat storage help the foetus grow and prepare the mother’s body for breast feeding.
Why these changes happen is not clear, but the findings suggest that it’s not down to what you eat.
“The changes in gut microbes were not related to diet, so we think the immune system or hormones play a role,” Ruth said.