Can You Take Probiotics In First Trimester
Unlike some supplements, probiotics are safe to take even in the first trimester. A 2010 study in the British Journal of Nutrition looked at the benefits of probiotics starting in the first trimester. The probiotic and healthy eating group had less gestational diabetes than the group that just ate healthy .
You dont have to wait until youre pregnant though to start taking probiotics! Building healthy gut and vaginal flora even before pregnancy has long term benefits.
Is It Safe To Take Probiotics During Pregnancy
It’s difficult to perform large, comprehensive studies on pregnant women, as it may put the mom or the fetus at risk, OB/GYN Suzanne Gilberg-Lenz, M.D., says. However, there have been several small studies on the effects of probiotics during pregnancy.
or this one on the safety of probiotics with pregnancy and lactation4), there is no evidence of harm from taking probiotics while pregnant. In fact, Gilberg-Lenz says some studies even show potential benefits.
Can You Eat Probiotic Yogurt While Pregnant
Absolutely! Yogurt is a good way to get probiotics and shows promise in helping with pregnancy complications. Compared to antibiotics, yogurt improved vaginal pH which may lower the risk of preterm delivery .
In another study healthy women who ate more than 5 cups of yogurt a week saw the best results had less risk of premature delivery. Yogurt also improves metabolism, reduces inflammation, and improves infection outcomes during pregnancy .
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How Do Probiotics Help Pregnancy
As we mentioned before, there havent been enough specific studies into the effect of probiotics on pregnancies for us to definitively say that they are 100% beneficial.
Having said that, there have been a few studies that have shown that probiotics may have health benefits for pregnant people.
Probiotics have been proven to give your immune system a boost which might need all the help it can get during pregnancy.
If youre TTC, try using a few different probiotics for a while, to see which ones work for you there are loads of different strains, and everybody is unique, so what works for someone else may not work for you.
If youre keen to dip your toe into probiotics, whether youre TTC, pregnant, or have a babe in arms, always check with your doctor first.
Here are a few of the potential benefits of taking probiotics during pregnancy:
Do Probiotics Pass Through Breast Milk
While few studies focus on this, we do know that probiotics pass through into your breast milk. It can alter your milk, helping to encourage the development of your babys immune system. One study showed that 40% of probiotics pass through into your breast milk, but more extensive studies rarely prove or disprove these stats.
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What Foods Are Natural Sources Of Probiotics
The great news about probiotics is that youre able to get them naturally from certain foods that may already be in your diet. In fact, the American Pregnancy Association has a detailed list of foods pregnant women can consume. On the list is yogurt, including live yogurt and live yogurt drinks, as well as kombucha tea, which is a fermented tea high in probiotics.2 Yogurt and kombucha tea work great for a simple breakfast or lunchtime meal, and for dinner you could try adding a side of fermented sauerkraut, kimchi, or fermented pickles to ensure you get probiotics into your daily diet.3
Probiotics And Pregnancy: Can You Take Probiotics When Youre Expecting
Youre pregnant and feeling overwhelmed with emotions. Excitement and love for your growing baby, and an increasing sense of responsibility as well as uncertainty. You might be asking yourself: Am I doing this right? And how can I best support myself and my baby during this time?
Chances are high that if youre reading this post youre dedicated to living as healthy as possible during your pregnancy. A huge part of that is being mindful of what youre putting into your body.
If youre wondering if probiotics are safe to take during pregnancy, the answer is YES. Probiotics are absolutely safe and healthy for women to take throughout the four trimesters of pregnancy.
In fact, there are powerful health benefits of taking probiotics when trying to conceive, during pregnancy, as well as post-partum and while breastfeeding. In this blog post, we will discuss what probiotics are exactly, how they affect your and your babys health during pregnancy, and additional things to be aware of.
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There are also several factors to consider – for example, some studies only note positive results for probiotic supplements that are taken during pregnancy and also given to babies after birth. There is also a range of mixed research into baby probiotics.
Experts are still working to understand the different strains of probiotics. It’s likely that specific strains may be more effective than others at protecting your baby’s health during and after pregnancy.
Can Probiotics Help Prevent Pre
Headlines this week have been full of reports from a new study, carried out in Norway, which suggests drinking probiotics could help in the prevention of pre-eclampsia and premature birth.
The study, which was observational only, suggests a decrease in pre-eclampsia levels in women who took probiotics in the later stages of pregnancy.
The results also found a significant association between probiotic intake during early pregnancy and an 11% lower risk of premature birth, rising to 27% for preterm birth late in the pregnancy.
We asked Dr Kaye if she could tell us a bit more about what this latest research means, and she told us:
“This was a big study involving 70,000 women who were asked to write about their diet and lifestyles.
“Probiotic milk is easily available and popular in Norway and so many women took them during pregnancy and were found to have a lower risk of pre eclampsia and pre term delivery.
“This is an association and doesn’t mean that the milk definitely works: more research is needed into the effects of probiotics during pregnancy.”
Dr Philippa Kaye is a London GP who has written several books on pregnancy and childcare including The First Five Years. See www.drphilippakaye.com and follow her on twitter @drphilippakaye
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Infection And Preterm Birth Prevention
This is a delicate subject and research is not fleshed out enough to say anything conclusively.
However, there is reason to believe that probiotics can help fight bad bacteria in the body and with that lower the risk of infections that can lead to preterm birth. Research found that certain lactobacilli strains can colonize the vaginal tract and help inhibit pathogens that are associated with preterm birth, as well as regulate the immune system.
A different study analyzing data from a Norwegian cohort also found a statistically significant lower chance of preterm birth in pregnant women who consumed probiotics, most commonly via milk products.
One of the powerful features of probiotic bacteria is that some have the ability to fight and inhibit the growth of pathogens. In addition, probiotic bacteria can influence the environment in the gut to make it less hospitable for pathogens to survive.
In addition, a Current Diabetes Reports article from 2014 states that probiotics in obese and diabetic pregnant patients slightly lowered the incidence of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia , and preterm delivery.
Probiotics Benefit Pregnancy In A Number Of Ways
These are some of the many benefits of probiotics during pregnancy:
1. Gestational diabetes
Probiotics are known to lower blood sugar levels in pregnant women that reduce the risk of developing gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes can lead to a series of risks including birth injuries, induction, and caesarean.
It is possible for the newborns to have low blood sugar which will require possible formula supplementation and increase their risk of obesity and type-2 diabetes as they get older.
Preeclampsia is a scary condition for any would-be mother and has symptoms that include high blood pressure, severe headaches, protein in urine, vision problems, dizziness, nausea, sudden weight gain, and swelling in the legs, hands and face.
Studies show that women, who consumed milk based probiotic daily throughout their pregnancy, significantly reduced the risk for developing preeclampsia. In fact, probiotics can help reduce the risk of preeclampsia by almost 20% but there is nothing anyone can do about Marlo from The Wire or Antwon Mitchell in The Shield they are evil and they need to be stopped but lets get back on track here.
3. Intra-uterine growth restriction
Probiotics during pregnancy do not just protect the mothers from dangerous pregnancy complications like preeclampsia and gestational diabetes. They also protect babies from a complication called IUGR. This happens when a baby does not grow adequately inside the mothers womb.
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Is It Safe To Take Probiotics And Prebiotics During Pregnancy
So, can you take probiotics while you are pregnant? According to research done by the National Library of Medicine and the National Institute of Health, probiotics do not cause any complications during birth or infection during pregnancy. There are many health benefits that come with consuming probiotics.
Dr William Sears, a famous paediatrician from the Childrens Hospital in Boston, writes in his blog, Its quite safe to take probiotics during pregnancy. Probiotics are very popular in most of the countries, especially in Europe, and their health benefits are gradually being more valued.
During pregnancy, the composition of bacteria plays a pivotal role in maintaining a healthy metabolism. There are several research papers connecting a healthy digestive system to improve maternal health. Moreover, recent studies show that the consumption of probiotics reduces the harmful bacteria in the body, thus lowering the potential of certain infections.
May Reduce The Risk Of Preterm Delivery And Other Pregnancy Complications
Promisingly, taking probiotic supplements may help protect against preterm delivery and other pregnancy complications.
A 2020 review that included 18 randomized control trials found that the length of pregnancy was significantly longer in those taking probiotic supplements, compared with those receiving placebo treatments .
The review also found that those who took probiotics had a significantly reduced risk of death and necrotizing fasciitis, a rare but life threatening infection that can occur during pregnancy .
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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.
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Maintain A Healthy Gut Microbiota
Taking probiotics is highly beneficial at any stage in life. Most commonly, probiotic supplementation is recommended to improve digestion and regulate bowel movements, as well as to manage symptoms of inflammatory bowel diseases like irritable bowel syndrome.
Furthermore, the gut with its billions of good gut bacteria assists in many functions in the body, including digestion, but also immune function , skin health, detoxification and cognitive function.
Many people dont have healthy gut flora, because external factors, such as stress and medications diminish the amount and diversity of probiotics.
A probiotic supplement helps to restore and maintain a healthy gut, and with that promotes overall wellbeing.
You can think of probiotics as the ultimate supplement to take to support a healthy and vital life. You might think thats a bold statement, but if your intestinal system isnt functioning properly, then your body isnt able to absorb all the vital nutrients youre taking in via food, drinks and other supplements.
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Are There Risks Or Concerns For Taking Probiotics When Pregnant
Not especially, though again, were working off a lack of evidence all around. Still, the nature of probiotics makes them much less risky than many other OTC or prescription drugs.
Probiotics are generally considered safe to try since theyre processed through your gut, the doctor says. Plus, the bacteria were giving you are ones that are already colonized in your gutbasically, were giving you more of what you already have.
A 2011 study published in Canadian Family Physician confirms this theory, stating that whether taken orally or used vaginally, probiotics are safe, well-tolerated, and rarely have any systemic absorption that would make them unsafe during pregnancy and lactation.
There are a few words of warning, though, to anyone interested in taking probiotics .
Are Probiotics During Pregnancy Safe
So, are probiotics safe during pregnancy?
Both the National Institutes of Health and National Library of Medicine have concluded probiotics dont appear to have any risks during pregnancy .
Probiotics have a track record for being very safe, even for vulnerable populations like pregnant moms, infants and the elderly. While there is a minuscule concern that probiotics can cause infections, the chances are less than one in a million from lactobacillus strains, and one in 5.6 million from S. bouladrii. The risk is even less if you dont have serious health complications. Other strains have no reports of these infections .
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The Benefits Of Probiotics
Probiotics are the healthy bacteria that populate the gut and regulate digestive function, and until about 10 years ago when major food brands started adding them to everyday foods, they were relatively foreign.
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Theyre lauded for aiding in digestive issues as wide-ranging as minor cramping and bloating to colitis and irritable bowel syndrome, by preventing bad bacteria from growing and adhering to the lining of the digestive tract. This, in turn, enhances the immune system and helps to maintain general health.
Theyve also been linked to helping improve depression, anxiety and stress. Suffice to say, they have been positioned as a valuable addition to a healthy lifestyle.
Generally, probiotics are not contraindicated for pregnant women, though women are advised to speak to their doctors before adding them to their diet or supplement intake.
In addition, studies have shown that probiotics do not pose any risks to breastfeeding since they are rarely systemically absorbed.
Probiotics can be taken via supplements or by eating foods in which they naturally occur, including fermented dairy products like yogurt and milk, as well as fermented foods like pickled vegetables, tempeh, miso, kefir, kimchi and sauerkraut.
What Foods Have Probiotics
Many foods are naturally rich in live, active microorganisms. Most are considered safe during pregnancy, but check with your provider if you have concerns, and never consume unpasteurized dairy products during pregnancy.
Probiotic foods include:
- Kefir, a type of fermented milk drink similar to yogurt
- Brined or fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, kimchee, and pickles made with salt
- Aged hard cheeses, like cheddar
BabyCenters editorial team is committed to providing the most helpful and trustworthy pregnancy and parenting information in the world. When creating and updating content, we rely on credible sources: respected health organizations, professional groups of doctors and other experts, and published studies in peer-reviewed journals. We believe you should always know the source of the information youre seeing. Learn more about our editorial and medical review policies.
Canny GO and McCormick BA. 2008. Bacteria in the intestine, helpful residents or enemies from within? Infection and Immunity 76:3360-3373.
Dugoua JJ et al. 2009. Probiotic safety in pregnancy: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials of lactobacillus, bifidobacterium, and saccharomyces spp. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada 31:542-552.
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Potential Benefits Of Probiotic Use During Pregnancy
A healthy gut is especially important for expectant mothers. In addition to a healthy diet during pregnancy, taking a probiotic may help improve the health of both baby and Mother. Good nutrition during pregnancy also may reduce babys risk of disease later in life, such as heart disease and diabetes. 2
Here are a few of the purported benefits of probiotics during pregnancy.
Allergies During Early Life
- Eczema – this skin condition causes itchy, red, and dry skin. A 2019 review of 28 studies found that children whose mother took probiotic supplements during pregnancy and who were given probiotics for six months after birth were less likely to develop eczema.
- Food allergies – common allergies include cow’s milk, wheat, and peanuts. One review of studies showed limited evidence of benefit. The only study looking at pregnancy probiotics alone didn’t show any benefit. However, a combination of pregnancy probiotics, along with giving probiotics to the baby for six months, might reduce the risk of food allergy in a small proportion of children.
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Data Synthesis And Visualisation
A Graphical Overview for Evidence Reviews diagram26 was created to visualise adverse effects reporting and to synthesize key data collected from studies, including timing of study outcome measurements and adverse effect measurements , the number of adverse effect-related incidents in intervention and non-intervention groups, risk ratio calculations, intervention type , strain type , study design , study timeline, primary outcome groups and risk of bias assessment scores. Heatmaps and a world map were created to represent the quality assessment scores, and the country of study, respectively, for all studies included in level 3. Alluvial diagrams were created to illustrate the relationships between the intervention types used, and the primary outcome groups of the studies. A bubble plot was created to represent the number of studies that reported a specific adverse effect stratified by intervention type. Finally, a funnel plot28 was created with the log risk ratio values for each of the reported adverse effects against standard error to represent potential publication bias of all studies included in the meta-analysis.
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