When Can You Take Probiotics During Pregnancy
However, the sooner you start taking them , the sooner you can start reaping the benefits.
As we know, pregnancy can take its toll on your body, so supporting it from the beginning can help you to have a healthy pregnancy and lay a solid foundation for your little ones health.
Probiotics arent known to induce labor, but if youre past your due date and youre looking to get a move on, check out our top ways to induce labor.
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What Are The Benefits Of Probiotics During Pregnancy
Probiotics ensure that the expecting mothers gut flora is healthy and functioning properly, so that vitamins and nutrients taken in via food, drinks and supplements are absorbed into her bloodstream, and can nourish her and the growing baby.
In addition, probiotics help improve digestion and keep bowel movements regular, which can be an issue during pregnancy.
Probiotics also strengthen the mothers gut barrier and protect her and her baby against potential bad bacteria, viruses and fungi entering the bloodstream, which might lead to illness and other complications.
Also, if an expectant mother has to take strong medications for whatever reason, such as antibiotics, probiotics will help to rebuild a healthy gut flora. This ensures that all processes influenced by the gut will continue to function properly.
A healthy balance of gut bacteria also lays the foundation for a strong immune system. After all, 80% of the immune system resides in the gut. During pregnancy, the mothers immune system shifts to accommodate the growing baby. Certain probiotic bacterial strains help to strengthen the mothers immune system during pregnancy and help regulate the mothers immune system postpartum.
Taking a probiotic supplement during the postpartum period is also highly beneficial, because this is a very stressful time for the mother, which often takes a toll on her body and mind.
Lets dive deeper into some of these probiotic benefits.
Probiotic Benefits For Babies
1. Reduced atopy
One of the main benefits of a mother taking a probiotic supplement while she is pregnant is that it may reduce a baby’s incidence of allergies during childhood and later in life. An infant acquires his or her initial intestinal flora from the mothers birth canal during birth. If the mothers microbiome is unbalanced, so will the baby’s microbiome. This initial bacterial colonization is crucial because it sets the stage for the maintenance of a stable balance of intestinal flora throughout adult life.
The earliest colonizing bacteria include Escherichia, and Enterococcus, which will help to develop the right environment for other beneficial bacteria such as Bifidobacteria. Women who take a probiotic supplement during pregnancy may reduce their childs risk of conditions such as asthma and eczema, while also boosting the childs immune system.
2. Babys Immune System
Taking a probiotic with Lactobacillus acidophilus,Lactobacillus brevis, and Lactobacillus helveticus will inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria which can weaken the digestive and immune systems. When passed on in breast milk, they can have the same benefits for your growing child.
3. Keeping Colic at Bay
4. Reducing Constipation and Diarrhea
5. Probiotics Produce Vitamins
6. Yeast and Diaper Rash Problems
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May Reduce The Risk Of Eczema In Infants
If youre pregnant, taking probiotics may help reduce the risk of eczema a condition characterized by red and itchy skin in you and your baby.
For example, a 2020 review associated probiotic supplements with a significantly reduced risk of eczema during pregnancy .
Plus, a 2019 review of 28 studies associated the use of probiotics during and after pregnancy with a significantly reduced risk of eczema in infants and children .
In line with this, the World Allergy Organization recommends probiotic use in those who are pregnant and infants with a family history of allergic disease .
Combined, this suggests that taking probiotic supplements may help prevent eczema in people who are pregnant and babies. That being said, the available evidence is considered low quality, and more research is needed to confirm these potential benefits.
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Garden Of Life Once Daily Prenatal Probiotic
Why its great: This 20 billion CFUs, once daily probiotic supplement contains 16 probiotic strains for digestive health, immune system support, and so much more. Each bottle contains a 30 day supply of capsules that are easily swallowed or can be broken open and sprinkled over food. Garden of Life probiotics are all dairy free, gluten free, soy free, and vegetarian.
Because the probiotics are shelf-stable, you can easily throw them in your purse and not worry about them losing potency. This supplement also includes 115mg of organic Acacia fiber, which is a prebiotic that helps good bacteria thrive. All and all this is a great choice throughout pregnancy and lactation.
Keep in mind: These pills come in a mysteriously large bottle, so storing them can be a bit cumbersome.
Good for: Soon to be mommas who are planning to breastfeed and looking for a targeted probiotic supplement.
Taking Probiotics While Breastfeeding Supports Maternal Health & Well
Pregnancy, labor, and breastfeeding put high demands on the body. It’s common for new moms to struggle with digestive issues, nutrient depletion, mood changes, and other disruptions. The good news is that probiotics may help.
Probiotics are generally known to support digestive health and regularity and to help normalize your gut health. They also help break down food and extract nutrients more efficiently, which is important for making sure you and your baby get the nutrition you need.
Probiotics have also been shown to influence mood through the gut-brain axis. Interestingly, research has linked postpartum mood changes with changes in the gut microbiome. A recent study suggests that probiotics may help support a healthy postpartum mood.
We still have much to learn about probiotics and the many ways they influence our health. What we do know is that a mom’s health has a direct influence on her baby’s health, first through pregnancy and then through breastfeeding. So take good care of yourself, eat healthily, and maintain a healthy microbiome. The better you feel, the better off your baby will be.
1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6267579/, Baldassarre, Maria Elisabetta et al. Rationale of Probiotic Supplementation during Pregnancy and Neonatal Period. Nutrients vol. 10,11 1693. 6 Nov. 2018, doi:10.3390/nu10111693
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Pink Stork Pro Prenatal Probiotic
Why its great: This supplement boasts a 5 billion CFUs proprietary blend of highly stable, spore-enhanced probiotics, as well as a proprietary blend of highly selective prebiotic nutrients. What this means for you is targeted relief from digestion issues ranging from constipation to nausea.
Another ultra-cool component of this supplement is how awesome the company itself is. Pink Stork is a woman-owned and run company that prides itself on creating products specifically designed for women. They also do a lot to give back, so you know your purchase not only helps you, but also others.
Keep in mind: Some mommas find these pills to be too big and hard to swallow.
Good for: Soon to be mommas who are experiencing stomach issues.
How Do I Know Which Probiotics Are Best For Me
The first step is to have a conversation with your lactation professional and/or health care provider, and ask them if it is ok to take probiotics while breastfeeding. They will be familiar with your health history and unique situation, and will be able to point you in the right direction. Each probiotic has its own benefits they all behave differently and may have different results. Your provider may recommend something as simple as introducing fermented foods into your diet, or they may suggest a specific supplement. It is always important to have a conversation with your healthcare provider before introducing any type of new medication or supplement into your routine.
Probiotics are a great supplement to incorporate into your diet and your babys diet. Probiotics can help correct illness and prevent illness, and along with a balanced diet, probiotics can make sure that mom and baby have a strong gut and strong immune system.
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Best Ways To Nourish Yourself And Your Baby
If you feel uncomfortable taking a probiotic supplement, then changing your diet can have a significant and natural effect on your body.
As a new mum, you are probably looking for ways to nourish yourself and your baby. There are many different ways to do this, and it can be overwhelming to decide which is best for you. Here are some of the best ways to nourish yourself and your baby:
Eating a healthy diet is one of the best ways to nourish yourself and your baby. A healthy diet includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, as well as lean protein and whole grains. It is also important to eat regularly and to avoid processed foods.
Eating fermented foods is another great way to nourish yourself and your baby. Since fermented foods contain live bacteria, they can have a significant effect on the type of bacteria in your gut, which in turn can help to promote good health.
Fermented foods include sauerkraut, kimchi and miso. These foods are a great addition to your diet, as they contain live bacteria that can help the digestive system.
Babies whose mothers eat fermented foods while breastfeeding has been found to be less at risk of developing allergies.
Why Natren Probiotics Are Best
Of course, when youre choosing the best probiotic to take while breastfeeding, the actual healthy bacteria the product offers is a major consideration. But have you also thought of the quality of the product, shipping, storage, and companys overall commitment to excellence?
These factors – along with our superior products – are what make Natren such a strong choice for mothers and their families. We guarantee the potency of every strain of healthy bacteria in Natren supplements, through the expiration date on the bottle. We can make this promise because of our significant commitment to quality at every step of our process.
To learn more about Natren, our probiotics, and our companys values, visit us at natren.com.
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Side Effects Of Probiotics
Probiotics are generally considered safe and well-tolerated, but people may react differently.
When you take probiotics, you may experience bloating, nausea, and constipation as your body adjusts to increased bacteria. However, it usually just lasts for a couple of weeks.
Since most supplements arent extensively studied in pregnant and lactating women specifically, it is best to check in with your healthcare provider first.
Keeping You Regular While Pregnant
Constipation is defined as less than three bowel movements per week. However, for many individuals, not passing stool for more than one day is considered abnormal and uncomfortable.
Experiencing constipation during pregnancy is quite common. An estimated 40% of pregnant women suffer from constipation toward the end of their pregnancy. This may be due to the changes in hormones, reduction in movement and the physical changes happening in the body.
Research shows that probiotics can be a powerful tool to help regulate digestion. In one study, only 2.4% of women who had taken a symbiotic during the trial suffered from such problems at the end of their pregnancy. This is a remarkable 94% reduction compared to the baseline.
Probiotics rebalance the gut flora and improve mucus production in the intestines, which in turn can improve the frequency and consistency of your bowel movements.
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Vaginal Delivery Promotes Beneficial Bacteria In The Babies Gut Microbiome
During vaginal birth, a babys microbiome may be directly influenced by the womans microbiome. Between trimesters 1 and 3, a womans gut microbiome changes dramatically, and involves an increase in the amount of the beneficial bifidobacteria.15, 16 Bifidobacteria are important in the early years of life because these bacteria are central to the development of a babys immune health.17 In one study, the researchers followed 17 mothers and their infants. It was observed that in babies born by vaginal delivery, very specific strains of bifidobacteria were present in both the mother and baby.18 However, the babies who were born by cesarean did not have these specific strains in common with their mothers.18 This suggests that these specific bacteria were passed from the woman to her baby during vaginal birth.18 In another study, babies born to women who consumed the LGG® probiotic strain in the weeks before giving birth had more of the beneficial bifidobacteria in their gut.9
How Do The Probiotics In Breast Milk Help Babies
Researchers believe that probiotics may be able to protect babies against the development of eczema. This common and irritating skin condition frequently results from inflammation, a problem that probiotics can help to resolve. Because eczema is a fairly common condition in babies, making certain that your baby gets plenty of probiotics may be an excellent way to protect her.
Probiotics also may be beneficial for preventing constipation. Studies demonstrate that the probiotics in breast milk, when introduced into the infant’s gut microbiome, can help to improve and regulate the baby’s bowel movements. That translates to less fussing and crying from constipation.
Some experts even say that babies who get a good dose of probiotics from mom’s breast milk are less likely to experience acid reflux. That’s the kind of benefit that both moms and babies can appreciate.
When babies are born, their immune systems are quite delicate. Accordingly, anything that mom can do to build up her baby’s immune health is a good idea. Researchers estimate that about 70 percent of the immune system is located in the gut. This means that the more probiotic bacteria that your baby gets from your breast milk, the stronger his immune system will be.
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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 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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Which Probiotic Is Best While Im Pregnant
The short answer is that we dont know. The studies of probiotics in pregnancy have looked at a variety of products. Commonly studied strains of bacteria include lactobacillus, streptococcus, and bifidobacterium. But the effectiveness and safety of one probiotic product doesnt mean that another product is just as safe or effective.
Its possible that the best probiotic for you depends on what youre trying to accomplish. If youre trying to minimize nausea, you may choose a different probiotic than if youre hoping to prevent GDM. If youre interested in taking a probiotic while pregnant, talk to your healthcare provider about which one may be best for you.
How Effective Are Probiotics During Pregnancy
The gut microbiome changes during pregnancy. It might be partly due to changes in estrogen and progesterone levels in pregnant women. These sex hormones are known to affect the makeup of the gut microbiome.
Changes to the gut microbiome have been linked to nausea, constipation, and bloating during pregnancy. And, babies born by vaginal delivery versus cesarean section have differences in their gut microbiome. This shows that a mothers vaginal microbiome has an effect on her baby.
Below, well talk about the research on probiotic use during pregnancy.
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