Listen up, women: Probiotics may help you shed post-pregnancy weight. But there’s a catch. You’ve got to start them early, first trimester to be exact.

Recent research conducted in Europe has shown that pregnant women given probiotics in the first trimester of pregnancy were less likely to develop central obesity, which is characterized by a body mass index of 30 or higher or a waist circumference greater than 31.5 inches. At one year following childbirth only 25% of women given probiotics developed central obesity, compared to 43% given diet advice alone. 40% of women receiving neither probiotics nor advice developed central obesity.

Although preliminary, this study is good news for women worried about losing the post-delivery pounds. Nothing beats getting back into nature and walking the birthing weight off, but taking probiotics throughout pregnancy is a helpful addition, especially since it offers so many other benefits as well.

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