Congratulations on your pregnancy! This is an exciting time for you and your family, and you probably have many questions about what to expect.
Maybe one of them is…
Are Probiotics Safe During Pregnancy?
Probiotics are safe to take during pregnancy and can be very beneficial for both you and your baby.
Probiotics are live bacteria that help maintain a healthy balance of microorganisms in your gut.
When pregnant, your body goes through many changes, which can sometimes disrupt the delicate balance in your digestive system and lead to gastrointestinal problems like constipation, diarrhea, and nausea.
Probiotics can help alleviate these symptoms by replenishing the good bacteria in your gut.
This guide will take you through everything you need to know about probiotics and pregnancy.
I also wrote this post: Can you take probiotics and prenatal vitamins together? It explains the pros and cons of combining these two popular pregnancy supplements.
What Are Probiotics, And How Do They Affect Pregnancy?
Probiotics are living organisms that help maintain the health of your gut. They’re often called “good” or “friendly” bacteria because they help keep harmful bacteria in check.
Probiotics are found naturally in some foods, such as yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi. You can also find them in supplement form.
Probiotics are believed to have several health benefits, including helping to boost the immune system, reducing inflammation, and improving digestion.
Some research has also shown that they may help prevent certain infections, such as UTIs.
Probiotics are a natural and beneficial part of a healthy diet, and there’s no evidence to suggest that they’re harmful during pregnancy.
Some research suggests that taking probiotics during pregnancy may even have some benefits.
One study found that pregnant women who took probiotics were less likely to develop Preeclampsia, a serious complication of pregnancy.
Another study found that taking probiotics during pregnancy may reduce the risk of developing gestational diabetes.
This is a type of diabetes that can occur during pregnancy and can lead to health problems for both mother and child.
In this animated video, we review the 5 best probiotics for pregnancy:
How Do Probiotics Work During Pregnancy?
Probiotics work by restoring the balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut.
This is important because your gut microbiota (the community of microorganisms in your gut) plays a key role in your overall health.
The gut microbiota is involved in health, including digestion, immunity, and even mental health.
When the balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut is disturbed, it can lead to some health issues.
Probiotics help restore this balance, which is why they’re believed to have such a wide range of health benefits.
What Are The Benefits Of Probiotics During Pregnancy
There are a few reasons you might want to consider taking probiotics during pregnancy. Here are some of the main benefits:
1. They May Help Prevent Preeclampsia.
Preeclampsia is a serious complication that can occur during pregnancy. It’s characterized by high blood pressure and protein in the urine.
If left untreated, it can lead to serious health problems for both the mother and the baby.
Some research has found that taking probiotics during pregnancy may help prevent Preeclampsia.
In one study, women who took probiotics during pregnancy were less likely to develop Preeclampsia than those who didn’t take them.
2. They May Help to Reduce the Risk of Gestational Diabetes.
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that can occur during pregnancy. It can cause a range of health problems for both the mother and the baby.
Some research has found that taking probiotics during pregnancy may help to reduce the risk of gestational diabetes.
In one study, women who took probiotics during pregnancy were less likely to develop gestational diabetes than those who didn’t take them.
3. They May Help Relieve Constipation.
Constipation is a common concern during pregnancy.
It can be caused by several factors, including the pressure of the baby on the intestines and changes in hormone levels.
Probiotics may help to relieve constipation during pregnancy. In one study, women who took probiotics were less likely to experience constipation than those who didn’t take them.
4. They May Help to Reduce the Risk of Infection.
Pregnant women are at a higher risk of developing infections than women who are not pregnant.
The immune system is naturally suppressed during pregnancy to prevent the body from rejecting the baby.
Probiotics may help to reduce the risk of infection during pregnancy.
In one study, women who took probiotics were less likely to develop a urinary tract infection than those who didn’t take them.
5. They May Help to Promote a Healthy Birth Weight.
Babies born at a healthy weight are less likely to experience health problems than those born at a low or high weight.
As such, pregnant women need to do what they can to promote a healthy birth weight.
Some research has found that taking probiotics during pregnancy may help to promote a healthy birth weight.
In one study, women who took probiotics during pregnancy were more likely to have babies with a healthy birth weight than those who didn’t take them.
6. They May Help to Reduce the Risk of Allergies in Children.
Allergies are becoming increasingly common, and they can cause a range of health difficulties for children.
And considering that probiotics may be able to help reduce the risk of allergies, they could be a great way to help keep your child healthy.
Some research has found that taking probiotics during pregnancy may help to reduce the risk of allergies in children.
In one study, children who were exposed to probiotics in the womb were less likely to develop allergies than those who weren’t exposed.
What Are The Risks And Side Effects Of Probiotics During Pregnancy?
Although probiotics are generally considered safe during pregnancy, there are a few potential risks.
1. They May Cause Digestive Problems.
Some women experience problems like diarrhea, constipation, and cramps when they take probiotics during pregnancy.
If you experience any uncomfortable side effects, stop taking the probiotics and talk to your doctor.
2. They May Affect Your Baby’s Health.
There is some concern that probiotics may cause health issues for babies who are born to mothers who took them during pregnancy.
Probiotics may also alter the development of your baby’s immune system. Talk to your doctor if you’re concerned about how probiotics may affect your baby.
3. They May Cause Allergic Reactions.
Allergic reactions to probiotics are rare but possible. If you experience any symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the face, stop taking the probiotics and call your doctor.
4. Choose Probiotics Carefully.
Probiotics are live microorganisms that can have health benefits when taken in adequate amounts. But not all probiotics are created equal.
Some probiotic supplements may not contain the specific strains of microorganisms claimed on the label.
Others may not contain enough live microorganisms to be effective.
To be sure you’re getting a quality product, look for a probiotic supplement that has been certified by an independent organization, such as the USP (United States Pharmacopeia) or NSF International.
These organizations set quality standards for supplements.
As a pregnant woman, you want to do everything in your power to ensure a healthy pregnancy and baby.
Probiotics may be one way to help achieve this goal. Although they come with some risks, probiotics offer many potential benefits for both mother and child.
If you’re undecided about whether to take probiotics during pregnancy, talk to your doctor to see if they may be right for you.