How Can You Increase Your Intake Of Probiotics
There are two main ways to add probiotics to your body while pregnant, and even after: supplements and food.
Probiotics in the food are going to be found in foods that are fermented like yogurt, kombucha and miso.
It is beneficial to eat these foods that are rich in probiotics, but most people cannot eat enough of these foods to get sufficient amounts of good bacteria in their diet. So, that leads to looking at another source for getting enough probiotics in your diet. Additionally, many of the probiotics in foods will actually be killed with the acid in your stomach before they even get to your intestines which is where theyre meant to do their work.
With that in mind, you can easily purchase a probiotic over the counter at your local pharmacy. This can come in the form of a pill, liquid or powder. The liquid and powder will most likely be added to water, or another drink, to help your body absorb it.
When you take probiotics as a supplement, the probiotics will make it all the way to your intestines where they can get to work doing what they do best.
Being pregnant, its very natural to have questions about what you can and cant have so that you keep your little one as healthy as possible. Probiotics, thankfully, can still be taken during pregnancy since the bacteria found in them is natural to your body youre just adding a little more of it.
Keep your gut, and your babys gut, healthy during your pregnancy!
Is There A Difference Between Prebiotics And Probiotics
Probiotics are live microorganisms that help your body maintain the proper levels of helpful bacteria. Probiotics support various bodily functions, like food digestion.
Prebiotics are high-fiber foods that probiotic bacteria feed on. Like humans, bacteria need nutrients to survive inside your body. While your standard diet may include enough fiber to feed the probiotics, additional support can help them flourish.
Essentially, prebiotics nourish probiotics, creating maximum results. Prebiotics on their own also boast many benefits. High-fiber diets can improve digestive issues, regulate bowel movements, and help you lose weight.
If you struggle to incorporate fiber into your diet, consider a prebiotic or a combined symbiotic supplement. Symbiotic combinations include both probiotics and prebiotics. A few options on our list offer prebiotics within the formula for the added fiber boost.
Should You Take Probiotics
The âgood bacteriaâ may help healthy people but arenât formally recommended.
Probiotics are âgoodâ bacteria touted to help maintain digestive health and boost the immune system. You can take them in a dietary supplement or get them from food sources, such as yogurt. But should you? They can be helpful in some cases, but we still need more studies to tell us if and when they are safe and effective for older adults.
You May Like: Simple Nature Gut Restore Ultimate Probiotic
Read Also: Is It Normal To Have Heartburn Everyday
Management Of Multiple Comparisons
Whenever we encountered multiple, correlated comparisons we combined the intervention groups into a single group. In the subgroup analyses, if the different comparisons were in separate subgroups, the shared control group was split into two groups with half the sample size and events each, as per the Cochrane handbook .
Whenever we encountered multiple, independent comparisons we included both of them in the meta-analysis as if they were from different studies. In addition, in our sensitivity analyses we compared our results with the results of an alternative strategy in which the comparisons of the same study are first combined using a fixed-effects model and then the result is pooled with the rest of the studies in a random-effects meta-analysis .
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.
Also Check: How To Prevent An Ibs Attack
Can Probiotics Harm A Developing Baby In Utero
Far from causing harm, prenatal probiotics have a lot of benefits for both mama and baby. A meta-analysis showed no increase in pregnancy complications or harm for mama or baby with probiotic use . Probiotics safe for pregnancy include strains like lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.
One study found both lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains didnt negatively affect C-sections rates, birth weight or preterm birth .
Ibs & Bloating In Pregnancy
Why is this important? One uncomfortable side effect of the increase in progesterone during pregnancy is that it can cause excessive bloating. Progesterone causes the smooth muscles of the intestinal wall to relax, meaning that food does not pass through as quickly. Slower digestive transit time allows for greater fermentation in the gut, which increases gas production and thus bloating. Many pregnant women also find their IBS is exacerbated during pregnancy this is likely due to the hormonal and microbial changes at play. As they are supporting another life, its really important that pregnant women look after their gut health to ensure they are digesting and absorbing their nutrients well. Probiotics can increase the production of digestive enzymes, to help break down foods and protect our gut cells to support good absorption rates. Poor gut health can result in poorly digested food and might mean that additional pregnancy supplements are not efficiently absorbed. If you would like to read about probiotics and IBS in more detail, read our article Which Probiotics are for IBS?
Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM®: This is one of the most researched probiotic strains for digestive health. Its been shown to bind to gut cells, support a healthy gut environment and significantly improve abdominal pain and bloating25.
Read Also: Does Laying Down Make Heartburn Worse
How Common Is The Consumption Of Probiotics During Pregnancy
While pregnant women commonly face health issues like indigestion, heartburn, and constipation, consuming specific probiotics helps in easy relief. Taking particular probiotic bacteria, such as Bifidobacteriumlongum reduces abdominal pain, and improves bowel movement. Several nutritionists and doctors advise mothers to consume probiotics every day. There are many benefits of taking probiotics.
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.
Also Check: How Long Does Laxative Bloating Last
Can Probiotics For Women Help With Weight Loss And Bloating
Probiotics are not weight loss supplements, though they can prevent some fat cell storage, particularly in the liver. Many assume that probiotics help you lose weight because of the anti-bloating effect.
Typically, bloating occurs around your midsection from excessive water retention, potentially mimicking the appearance of fat. Reducing bloating can remove inches from your waste, making it look like youve lost weight.
Because probiotics help combat bloating, they can help trim down your midsection. We dont advise taking probiotics to lose weight, although this effect could be a bonus for some.
How Do Probiotics Work During Pregnancy
The precise way probiotics work is still up for debate. Researchers are still investigating their exact mechanism. However, the initial thinking is that in the same way bad bacteria attack the body, good bacteria attack destructive invaders. One assumption is they help reduce bad bacteria in your body, which can lower the potential of certain infections or other health concerns.
Don’t Miss: Does Corn Make You Bloated
It Reduces The Risks Of Diseases And Conditions During And Post
Pregnancy poses a risk of contracting various diseases for both mother and child. Research supports probiotics having a positive impact in reducing the chances of gestational diabetes mellitus, infant eczema, atopic dermatitis, and postpartum depression. Probiotics have also been shown to promote vaginal health and reduces the risk of developing vaginal infections. This is especially important for pregnant women who plan to have natural births.
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.
Read Also: Can Salt Make You Bloated
Can Probiotics Cause Miscarriage
There was no increase in the incidence of miscarriages or malformations, which was expected because probiotic use mostly occurred in the third trimester and was therefore unlikely to affect organogenesis. There was no significant difference in birth weight, gestational age, or the incidence of cesarean section.
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.
Don’t Miss: Does Green Tea Cause Heartburn
Where Can You Get Probiotics While Expecting
Probiotics are most commonly consumed in live-cultured yogurt or through supplements. Yogurt is made by fermenting milk with different bacteria, which are left in the final product. Other bacteria-fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, kombucha and kimchi, are also good sources of probiotics.
Probiotic supplements also contain live organisms. A single dose may include a particular strain of microbe or blend of microbes. Like with prebiotic supplements, probiotic supplement companies market products to specific conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome.
Here is an article that shares how you can get probiotics naturally.Want to Know More?
Pregnant Women Warned About Taking Popular Health Supplement
When Professor Leonie Callaway and her team launched a study into probiotics last year, they expected to find the supplements helped prevent a type of diabetes that affects pregnant women.
Instead, they stumbled upon some startling results.
Watch more in the video above
For more Health & Wellbeing related news and videos check out Health & Wellbeing> >
Her research didnt support studies, including a 2017 report, that found taking probiotics may help prevent gestational diabetes, or a 2022 meta-analysis that said probiotics use seemed to subsequently reduce the risk of GD among pregnant women.
But even more alarmingly, it suggested pregnant women who take the supplements could be twice as likely to develop a potentially dangerous complication known as pre-eclampsia.
The condition typically causes high blood pressure and can affect several of your body organs, including the liver, kidney and brain.
If left untreated, it can lead to serious problems for both mother and baby.
We thought: Hang on, we need to look into this, Callaway told 7NEWS.com.au.
Probiotics are tiny living organisms, including certain bacteria and yeasts, that live in the body and are usually found in foods like yogurt or dietary supplements.
Because probiotics are crucial for gastrointestinal health, many people take supplements to add good bacteria to the body.
Don’t Miss: Can Ibs Progress To Ibd
Is It Safe To Take Probiotics While Breastfeeding
Yes, probiotics are considered safe to take when breastfeeding, whether youre taking them orally or vaginally. Its believed that probiotics enhance your breast milk , offering more immune system benefits.
It would be best if you always talked to your doctor before taking probiotics. A lactation consultant should be able to offer suggestions for a solid probiotic.
The Best Probiotic Sources For Pregnant Women
You can consume probiotics through either food or dietary supplements. Foods that contain adequate amounts of probiotics include kimchi, kombucha and sauerkraut. But the probiotics you consume by eating do not often measure up to the richness of probiotic bacteria in dietary supplements.
Probiotic bacteria may provide many health-supporting benefits to the human body, including gut, digestive and immune functions.
There are multiple different strains of probiotic bacteria that serve unique purposes, and may be beneficial for pregnant women. Lactobacilli Bacteria primarily live in the small intestines and the most well-known is Acidophilus, which has been studied in areas like immune support. Bifidobacteria live primarily in the large intestines and have been studied in the area of support for challenges such as occasional irregularity.
With a doctors consent, mothers-to-be may be able to safely add probiotics to their daily regimen.
Prior to choosing a probiotic, look for ones that contain diverse probiotic blends like Probulins Womens Probiotic, Daily Care or Total Care Probiotic have easily printable labels on our website if youd like to print a copy to discuss with your physician.
You May Like: Why Take Probiotics With Antibiotics
May Reduce Depression And Anxiety
Perhaps youre researching probiotic supplements because youve heard that they can reduce the risk of or treat symptoms of depression and anxiety during and after pregnancy.
Unfortunately, even though its speculated that some strains of probiotics may have these effects, not all studies agree.
In a 2017 study in 380 women, taking a probiotic called Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001 from weeks 1416 of pregnancy until 6 months after birth led to significantly lower depression and anxiety scores, compared with placebo (
Interestingly, a 2021 study in 40 women who were pregnant found that taking a multi-species probiotic supplement from 2630 weeks of pregnancy until delivery had no effects on depression or anxiety symptoms .
A 2020 study also showed that probiotic treatment with Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG and Bifidobacterium lactis BB12 had no effects on mental health outcomes in pregnant women .
In conclusion, theres only limited evidence that probiotics may reduce depression and anxiety during or after pregnancy.
Experiencing depression or anxiety during or after pregnancy is not uncommon, and you dont have to get through this tough time alone. Talk with a trusted healthcare professional for help and to get the right care as soon as possible.
Benefits Of Taking Probiotics During Pregnancy
Perhaps you found this article because youve heard that taking probiotics during pregnancy is linked to health benefits.
This is supported by research. In fact, its believed that these supplements may improve certain aspects of maternal health, reduce the risk of pregnancy complications, and benefit newborns.
Recommended Reading: Does Vanilla Ice Cream Help Heartburn
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 .
Supplements And Probiotics In Pregnancy
Probiotics are only increasing in popularity, and for good reasons. Probiotics play a big role in establishing and maintaining a healthy gut microbiome. Studies are beginning to reveal just how much of an impact the health of your gut can have on your overall health. But are probiotics safe in pregnancy?
Read Also: Does Fasting Give You Diarrhea