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Can You Take Probiotics While Pregnant? Let’s Find Out!

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can you take probiotics while pregnant

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Many people have a doubt about can you take probiotics while pregnant? Pregnancy is an exciting period full of new adventures and learnings, particularly when it comes to nutrition and supplements. Many pregnant women consume pregnancy supplements to aid in the growth of their unborn babies. However, they must also take care of their health. Supplementing with good bacteria, commonly known as probiotics, is a simple way to improve your health.

There are a lot of health benefits of taking probiotics during pregnancy and in this article below, we will discuss in detail the role of probiotics during pregnancy and can you take probiotics while pregnant. 

Can You Take Probiotics While Pregnant? Are They Safe To Consume?

Yes, you can take probiotics while pregnant. It is safe and good to take probiotics during pregnancy. Pregnant women are frequently advised by obstetricians, midwives, and lactation consultants to take pregnancy probiotics. Probiotics with human bacterial strain are a natural component of your body and are thus safe to consume while pregnant or breastfeeding.

Certain probiotic supplements are better than others. Hence it is important to pick a probiotic supplement that’s backed by research and clinical trials, that is Food and Drug Administration-approved for safety, and contains human bacterial strains and clean components.

The Working of Probiotics Work During Pregnancy Explained!

Consuming probiotics during pregnancy has the same effect as consuming them at other moments in life. Probiotics aid in the rebalancing of the microbiome by supplementing amounts of beneficial microorganisms. Probiotics are the many good bacteria that live in a healthy human gut and help in many important functions of the human body. 

Good bacteria aid digestion, detoxification, immune system support, bowel movements, and cognitive function. Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus are two common probiotic species of bacteria. Probiotic supplements refill the good bacteria in the gut, ensuring that they continue to support the overall health of your body.

Many microbiological, immunological, hormonal, and metabolic changes occur during pregnancy, all of which have an impact on each other. Although there are still some conflicting studies on how the gut microbiome composition varies, scientists largely agree on the following-

1. Oral Microbiome

Changes in the oral microbiota are an emerging field of study. Oral health problems are more common in pregnant women. The number of microorganisms in the oral area grows, particularly those linked to gingivitis and periodontal disease.

2. Placental Microbiome

Although there is some hopeful evidence that placental microbes exist, the scientific community is divided on the subject.

3. Gut Microbiome

According to research, as pregnancy progresses into the third trimester, major microbial changes occur. Microbial changes are considered to be a common part of pregnancy, but this could explain why some women develop gestational diabetes.

4. Vaginal Microbiome

As pregnancy continues to develop, the vaginal microbiome becomes less varied and more dominant with gut microbes known as lactobacilli. Lactobacilli have several defensive properties. They help in the creation of an environment that contributes to the development of beneficial microbes and prevents the growth of many harmful microbes.

Can You Take Probiotics While Pregnant? What are the Benefits?

Probiotics ensure that the gut health of the pregnant woman is healthy and functioning correctly. So that vitamins and nutrients she consumes through food, beverages, and supplements are absorbed into her bloodstream and feed her and the developing baby.

It’s also a good idea to take probiotic supplements during the postpartum period, because this is a very stressful time for the mother, and it may be hard on her body and mind. In the first year after birth, probiotics aid in the development of a healthy gut microbiome for the baby.

The way a baby’s gut microbiome develops will have an impact on the baby’s long-term health. For example, allergies and skin disorders are less likely to occur in a baby whose growth is supported by probiotics.

Let’s take a look at some of the best benefits of taking probiotics during pregnancy-

1. Help Maintain Bowel Regularity In Pregnant Women

  • It is quite normal for a pregnant woman to experience constipation.
  • Constipation affects 40% of pregnant women at the end of their pregnancy.
  • Constipation happens because there are a lot of changes in the hormones and less physical movement of the body.
  • Probiotics help to rebalance the gut flora and increase mucus production in the intestines, which might help you have more regular bowel movements.

2. Prevention Of Preterm Birth and Infection

  • Probiotics can aid in the fight against bad bacteria in the body, lowering the risk of infections that can contribute to preterm labor.
  • Certain lactobacillus strains have been found to colonize the vaginal canal and help block microorganisms linked to preterm delivery, as well as modulate the immune system.
  • One of the most significant characteristics of probiotic bacteria is their capacity to resist and prevent pathogen growth.
  • Probiotic bacteria can change the gut microbiome, making it less favorable for pathogens to survive.

3. Helps Prevent Allergic Diseases

  • The gut microbiome of a newborn baby begins to form the day they are born.
  • A baby’s gut health is developed during the first 12 months and will remain with them for the rest of its life.
  • The type of delivery, be it vaginal or C-section as well as the mother’s diet, supplement, and medicine intake while breastfeeding, all have an impact on the baby’s microbiome growth.
  • Children who consume probiotics through the mother’s breast milk or supplements are less likely to develop food allergies, intolerances, and skin infections such as atopic dermatitis and eczema.

4. Helps Maintain a Healthy Gut Microbiota

  • Probiotic supplements help to improve digestion and bowel movements, as well as control symptoms of inflammatory bowel illnesses including irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Probiotic supplements aid in the restoration and maintenance of a healthy gut, which benefits overall health.
  • Probiotics help the digestive system absorb nutrition, and excretion/detoxification systems function properly.

How Common is the Use of Probiotics During Pregnancy? Is It Ok to Take Probiotics When Pregnant?

Probiotics are consumed by around 1% and 4% of pregnant women in the United States and Canada. Some European nations, such as the Netherlands, have a greater percentage of probiotic consumption. The most typical group of probiotic consumers are women who are planning to start a family.

The benefits of taking probiotics during pregnancy are still being researched. However, there are several advantages of taking a probiotic supplement at any age, all of which will assist women and their babies during pregnancy.

How To Consume Probiotics During Pregnancy?

The best way for pregnant women to get probiotics while expecting is to consume foods that are rich in probiotics or by taking probiotic supplementation. Yogurt, Kefir, and other fermented foods are rich in probiotics. While eating probiotic-rich meals is highly advantageous, it’s crucial to note that this cannot be compared to taking a high-quality probiotic supplement.

This is because most probiotic foods include one or two good bacterial species or strains. Given that a healthy human gut contains billions of probiotics, a professionally manufactured, multispecies, and multistrain probiotic supplement will be more effective than the few options available in food.

Certain foods have probiotic bacteria that must fight to survive in your stomach’s acidic environment. Many probiotic bacteria in food are destroyed by the acids in your stomach and never reach your gut, where they are most powerful. Hence it is better to take probiotic supplementation rather than consume foods that are rich in probiotics while expecting your baby.

Closing Thoughts on Probiotics During Pregnancy

It is safe to take probiotics during pregnancy and breastfeeding because they are very popular supplements to improve the gut health of both the mother and the baby. Consuming probiotics during pregnancy has been attributed to reduced pregnancy problems and a lower risk of eczema in newborns.

FAQs: Can You Take Probiotics While Pregnant

1. Which are the best probiotic foods?

Yogurt, pickles, buttermilk, and cheese are some of the best probiotic foods.

2. What supplements should be avoided during pregnancy?

Vitamin A supplements, Vitamin E supplements, and herbal supplements such as saw palmetto and red clover must be avoided during pregnancy.

3. What are the symptoms which indicate you need to take probiotics during pregnancy?

Digestive irregularity and constipation, low metabolism, eczema, and itchy rashes.

4. Can probiotics increase fertility?

Probiotic bacteria help to improve our overall health in ways that may contribute to increasing fertility.

Reviewed By:

Jessica - Nutritionist Dietician

Jessica - Nutritionist Dietician

Jessica is the owner and registered dietitian nutritionist at Nutrition That Heals, LLC. She started her dietetics career working in acute care where she gained a great deal of invaluable experience, learning all about different disease states and their appropriate nutrition interventions. She then worked in long term care where she was able to develop her skills and knowledge base dealing with the elderly population. Following long term care, she worked as an outpatient dialysis dietitian, working with patients to help them eat their best for their kidney failure and often other health conditions (diabetes, heart disease, etc.). She then made the jump back to be an inpatient clinical dietitian. There, she was able to work with patients with strokes, cancer, orthopedic issues, as well as the pediatric population. During her most recent time working as an inpatient clinical dietitian, a great opportunity presented itself and it was a great way to move into focusing more on her dream of opening a private practice. She currently works full time as a contract dietitian with Dietitians on Demand conducting 1:1 nutrition counseling sessions while also working with patients here at Nutrition That Heals, LLC. ​She has been grateful enough to know how powerful good nutrition can be, but after being diagnosed with endometriosis in March 2022, she had to fully focus on the importance of anti-inflammatory foods, proper hydration, and self-care. This diagnosis motivated her to put pen to paper and get her business started - she wanted to teach what she had learned to others - food should be nourishing. Jessica wants to show you how you can heal with good nutrition, and feel your absolute best!

On behalf of the editorial team at Parenthoodbliss, we follow strict reporting guidelines and only use credible sources, along with peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and highly respected health organizations. To learn about how we maintain content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.

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