What Are The Benefits Of Probiotics During Pregnancy
Probiotics, whether from foods or supplements, help your digestive system work more efficiently. As noted above, probiotics are assumed to lessen the presence of bad bacteria. Helping your intestines move food along and reducing bad bacteria help reduce the likelihood of experiencing health complications.
Probiotics are understood to help with the following:
- Reduced Pediatric atopic dermatitis
One study by the Natural Medicine Journal reported probiotic use reduced the probabilities of experiencing gestational diabetes mellitus.
The Best Probiotics You Should Be Taking While Breastfeeding
Are probiotics safe while breastfeeding? Yes but be sure to find ones that will benefit you while you are breastfeeding to not only improve your immune system but also boost your milk supply. Here are the best probiotics to take while breastfeeding and what to look for when buying one.
Pink Stork Total Lactation Probiotic
A lot of moms use this probiotic after suffering from mastitis. These are great for preventing clogged ducts which can cause mastitis and are so painful! Most also found that not only did it make them more regular but it also helped their babies with colic. I love that it is third party tested. It has 10 billion CFUs.
Strains used: Lactobacillus paracasei, Enterococcus faecium, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Bifidobacterium infantis, Lactobacillus helveticus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, and Lactobacillus reuteri
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Happy Gut = Happy Baby
A well-functioning gut microbiome affects babys brain, immune system, and gastrointestinal systems. When its not working like it should immune disease, allergies, and autism are just some of the symptoms.Probiotics during pregnancy not only reduce the risk of gastrointestinal disorders for baby, but can help prevent disease throughout their life .
Should You Take Probiotics During Pregnancy
Pregnancy can be an exciting time full of new experiences and learnings, especially when it comes to diet and supplements.
However, if youre pregnant and feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information available, know that youre not alone.
Youve likely discovered that conflicting evidence abounds on health and wellness websites. Plus, many people friends, family, co-workers, or even strangers might feel warranted to give you their personal opinion on whats safe and whats not when youre pregnant.
Its understandable if this makes you wary about adding new foods and supplements to your diet, including probiotics.
This article breaks down the latest research on the safety of taking probiotics during pregnancy, enabling you to make an informed decision when choosing pregnancy supplements.
Taking certain amounts may offer health benefits like improved digestive health and reduced risk of heart disease .
Research has found most strains of probiotics, including Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, to be safe to take long term .
However, some researchers are exploring if the overuse of probiotic supplements could lead to the transfer of genes resistant to infectious pathogens, antibiotic resistance, and other negative health consequences .
Regardless, rest assured that studies have found that taking probiotic supplements during pregnancy is safe and not associated with adverse outcomes.
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Probiotic bacteria are generally found in fermented foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, and kefir. If you cant stomach these foods while pregnant, or if you just feel you arent getting enough, another way you can boost the number of good bacteria in your gut is by taking a probiotic supplement.
Probiotic supplements are a blend of different varieties of good bacteria. These supplements improve the balance and diversity of bacteria in your body. This, in turn, causes the good bacteria to crowd out the harmful bacteria. This reduces the potential for infections and other health issues. Probiotics can also lead to a healthier digestive system, creating a friendly space for nutrients to absorb in your body.
It Reduces The Risk Of Pre
A research paper was published in the Journal of Clinical Gynecology & Obstetrics. It studied the probiotics effects on preventing pre-term deliveries. It showed that taking Lactobacilli, a probiotic strain present in most dairy products, in the early stages of pregnancy greatly lowered the risks of pre-term birth. These bacteria also appeared to play a key role in vaginal health, fighting pathogens, and maintaining a womans pH level down there.
Another review published in 2020 found that those who took probiotics are more likely to carry their babies up to full term. In addition, they have a significantly lower risk of death and necrotizing fasciitis.
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Best Probiotics During Pregnancy
As seen, there are several amazing probiotic supplements available for use during pregnancy.
Our top pick for the best prenatal probiotic is Mama Bird Probiotics by Best Nest.
However, if youre looking for probiotics that resolve specific health areas, such as improving vaginal health or reducing bloating and/or acid reflux, we recommend BiomeMD® for Women by 1MD, Probiotic 40 Gut Boost + by Nuzena, and Probiotic Prenatal + by Mary Ruths.
If youre still interested in looking at other products, we suggest checking out FH PRObiotic for Men by Fairhaven Health to help improve sperm health parameters as well as Daily Synbiotic by Seed for a broad-spectrum probiotic that can be taken by both women and men.
Are Probiotics Safe In Pregnancy
This is the question that is first in the minds of all newly expectant mums looking to add probiotics to their health regime: are probiotics safe to take when pregnant or breastfeeding?
Generally, probiotics and prebiotics are considered safe during pregnancy, as confirmed by the results of large scientific studies1,2. A number of organisations including Babycentre UK29 and the American Pregnancy Association30 have also suggested probiotic supplementation during pregnancy to be safe and beneficial.
However, there is still one probiotic in particular, Saccharomyces boulardii, that is lacking in clinical research in pregnant women. This unique probiotic strain has shown many positive health benefits, including reducing diarrhoea, exerting anti-inflammatory effects and inhibiting the growth of harmful bugs but due to a lack of testing in this one vulnerable subset of the population, pregnant women should exercise caution when considering this probiotic. Some researchers have therefore suggested not to use it at all, or to check with a doctor before using it.
With the exception of Saccharomyces boulardii, probiotics are confirmed to be safe for use in pregnancy however, expectant mums who are considered more ‘at risk, or those with a health condition should always check with their GP before taking any supplement, including probiotics.
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How To Choose The Ones That Are The Best For You
Since there are dozens of probiotics out there, you need to look for certain features that are common for the best ones.
1. Easy to swallow
Most pregnant women have morning sickness. It’s easily the least pleasant thing about being pregnant. That’s why you need to look for a probiotic that won’t trigger that nausea with a bad smell, or unpleasant taste. Also, larger pills can be trapped in your throat, and make you throw up, too. Pay close attention to directions â some pills are meant to be taken on an empty stomach, while you need to take others with food.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a health-conscious mom to be, or you have a baby that is sensitive, you might want to consider taking hypoallergenic probiotics. Always pay attention to the ingredients of what you’re taking while you’re pregnant. There are certain things that you don’t mind, but that isn’t particularly good for the little one growing in your stomach.
If you’re a vegetarian, pay attention to gelatin additives that are common in gummy probiotics.
Just read the ingredient list, and pay attention to statements like gluten free, kosher, GMO-free, sugar-free, maltodextrin free, dairy and soy free, etc.
4. Shelf stable
Many probiotics out there need to be refrigerated, or they won’t work as well. If you’re a busy mom-to-be, this might be a nuisance. Luckily, there are probiotic formulas that are shelf stable. They work better, and they won’t get lost in your stuffed fridge.
Probiotics And Pregnancy: Moms Health
One of the two very important considerations during pregnancy is your own health. Probiotics can help you optimize health, giving you a greater chance of feeling your best.
For example, pregnancy is notorious for causing constipation and slowing digestion. One of the primary reasons people come to Natren looking for probiotics is their ability to help optimize and keep digestion regular.
Did you know that the immune system can weaken during pregnancy? This is another reason that probiotics may be a good choice for you.
You may not think about good bacteria being related to your immune system, but the truth is that your digestive system is actually the hub of your immunity. Thats why finding the best probiotic to take while pregnant means finding one that can improve the functioning of your digestive system, which may have a positive effect on immunity.
Changes To The Vaginal Microbiome During Pregnancy
The importance of a healthy vaginal microbiome is only magnified during pregnancy.
There are more opportunities for disturbancethe dramatic changes in hormone levels and changes in sexual activity.2
And there are more opportunities for healthy benefits. An optimal balance helps support your natural defenses to protect vaginal health. This balance is important during any point of your life but especially during pregnancy.
The importance of a healthy vaginal microbiome is only magnified during pregnancy.
Balanced vaginal flora is also important for your newborn babys microflora development. It is during childbirth that you pass along your microflora to help seed your baby’s microbiota, which is critical to the immune system and neurodevelopment.4
What Supplements Should Be Avoided During Pregnancy
There are a whole host of foods you should avoid during pregnancy, but what about supplements during pregnancy?
Supplements to avoid during pregnancy include:
- Vitamin A *
- Vitamin E *
- Black Cohosh, a type of buttercup that can be taken to ease period cramps and menopausal hot flashes
- Dong Quai, a root used in Chinese medicine
- Yohimbe, the bark of an African tree
- Vitamin E and A can occur naturally in some foods and are part of a healthy diet, but taking additional supplements can potentially cause pregnancy complications.
You should also avoid probiotics if you have an immune disorder, allergies to specific bacteria or yeast, have had pancreatitis, or if youre recovering from major surgery.
Other medications can also be limited with probiotics, so speak with your doctor if youre taking antibiotics or antifungal meds and you want to see if probiotics could work for you.
*Its always best to speak with your doctor about supplements, particularly if youre pregnant, trying to conceive, or breastfeeding.
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Breast Milk And The Placenta Help Shape The Babys Microbiome
It is important that the womans microbiome is balanced during pregnancy because her own microbiome can affect the development of her babys microbiome. The womans microbiome naturally changes during her pregnancy, however, if external factors lead to additional changes, there can be an effect on the health of the baby.12, 13 For instance, if a pregnant woman experiences stress during pregnancy, it may affect her microbiome, and consequently, impact the babys microbiome.14
Taking probiotics may help balance the maternal microbiome. Studies have shown that a baby has a reduced risk of developing allergic symptoms when the woman takes probiotics. When women were given the Lactobacillus rhamnosus, LGG® probiotic strain during pregnancy and breastfeeding , their newborn babies had a 50% lower risk of eczema compared to the babies whose mothers were given a placebo.4When the babies were 4,4, 5 and 7 years old,4, 6 this positive effect remained, demonstrating that the LGG® probiotic had a long-term beneficial effect.Taking a combination of three probiotics during pregnancy and breastfeeding has also been associated with a reduction in babies developing eczema.7
Flora Bloom Probiotics For Women
Why its great: These are an excellent choice for women at any stage in their lives, pregnancy included. This 10 billion CFUs proprietary blend of probiotic strains targets digestive, urinary, and vaginal wellness. Its recommended to take 2 of the delayed release capsules per day.The urinary health component makes this supplement stand out on our list. This prebiotic and probiotic blend contains cranberry and D-mannose for urinary tract wellness. If this is a supplementation you need, it just makes sense to include it in your probiotic.
Keep in mind: The dosing for these is 2 pills instead of 1.
Good for: Mommas who are looking for a long-term answer to their probiotic needs.
Best Probiotic For Constipation Biomemd By 1md
Nothings worse than constipation throughout pregnancy! Thats why weve included the best probiotic for constipation on our list.
BiomeMD provides much-needed relief for constipation and its associated discomfort and inflammation.
This potent supplement is comprised of 15 different probiotic strains including the key strains of Bifidobacterium lactis HN019 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG which have been clinically verified to reduce total gut transit time and relieve the most symptoms associated with constipation.
BiomeMD also includes human identical oligosaccharides along with XOS, FOS, and GOS as a part of its prebiotic blend.
- Contains 15 probiotic strains and 4 prebiotics
- Includes 2 of the most potent probiotics for constipation relief
- Only 1 capsule per day
- Doesnt disclose the concentration of each strain
- 2 capsules per serving
Probiotics Help Reduce Pregnancy Complications
Taking probiotic supplements can actually work to protect you against preterm delivery and various other pregnancy complications.
One study found that the length of pregnancy was significantly longer in those who took a probiotic supplement in comparison to those who took a placebo supplement.
There is a reduced risk of death in those who took probiotic supplements. They also noted a reduced risk of the child developing any life-threatening infections that can occur during pregnancy.
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It Molds Your Childs Microbiome
One of the major reasons why expecting mothers are hesitant to take probiotics is the fear that it can negatively affect their babys health. Probiotics, after all, are a type of bacteria. And newborn babies are especially susceptible to infection from a wide range of bacteria, protozoa, fungi, and viruses.
But as various studies have proven, probiotics are safe for pregnant women and full-term newborns. Plus, mothers tend to pass on beneficial microbes to their babies during breastfeeding. These beneficial microbes help populate the newborns microbiome which leads to a healthy gut and a strong immune system.
Another lesser known benefits of probiotics to newborns is better brain health. When a babys microbiome is balanced, it strengthens the gutbrain axis the communication network that connects the brain with the guts. This, in turn, helps in your babys early brain development.
Benefits Of Probiotics During Pregnancy
Expectant mothers can support many aspects of their health naturally by taking pregnancy probiotics. They may find their digestion is just not the same, or they may want to boost their immune system or avoid developing health conditions they had suffered in a previous pregnancy. To read more about how probiotics can support in many ways, including for vaginal and digestive health, take a look at our article: Benefits of probiotics.
The benefits of probiotics for women in pregnancy are far-reaching, influencing the following areas:
Lets take a look at some of these common pregnancy worries and what may help.
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The Pros Of Probiotics
Probiotics are healthy bacteria strains that support your digestive health. They are often taken to help with digestion or to treat irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn?s disease, and colitis. They can also help with allergy-related issues and oral health problems. Probiotics also show promise in treating a variety of skin conditions. The list goes on!
Your gut health also influences your brain health via the gut-brain axis. Simply put, there is bidirectional communication between your brain and your gut. It has been shown that an unhealthy gut microbiome is linked to a higher occurrence of anxiety and depression. In some cases, the supplementation of probiotics can be used to reduce symptoms.
In pregnant women specifically, an increase in probiotic consumption has been linked to better metabolism. One study showed that probiotics increased glucose metabolism in overweight mothers, which reduced the risk of complications associated with the pregnancy. This and the other many benefits of probiotics are great reasons to consider increasing your intake during pregnancy.
Reducing Your Chances Of Vaginal Infection
Of course, keeping your vagina healthy during pregnancy is pretty important.
You might have heard about how probiotics can be used to treat bacterial vaginosis , which can increase your odds of getting HIV, genital herpes, chlamydia, pelvic inflammatory disease, and gonorrhea, and even premature labor.
Once again, there havent been enough studies for us to definitively say that probiotics can treat vaginal infections, but there has been some evidence to suggest that they can.
Its best to have a chat with your doctor if you think probiotics could help treat a vaginal infection they may suggest that antibiotics are the best solution.
But probiotics may be able to prevent or reduce your chances of getting a vaginal infection if taken early on in your pregnancy.
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What Is The Right Dosage Of Cod Liver Oil
The Weston A. Price Foundation recommends up to 20,000 IU of natural, food-based vitamin A from cod liver oil. Keep in mind that this is more than double than what most practitioners recommend. I went with 10,000 IU and felt good about that. If you want to be super conservative, you could do 5,000 IU per day.
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