When you’re pregnant, taking a quality probiotic works hand in hand with your prenatal vitamins to keep your body healthy. Unfortunately, not enough doctors discuss the importance of taking probiotics while pregnant, and women miss out on the numerous benefits for you and your growing baby. 

You know that your body undergoes drastic changes during pregnancy. Your growing uterus presses on your stomach, so it’s no wonder what your digestive tract takes a hit during pregnancy. If you’ve experienced constipation or heartburn during pregnancy, you know what I mean.

Things aren’t like they used to be, and that can be a sign that your gut is struggling with the changes. If your digestive tract struggles to house nutrients and vitamins properly, taking a probiotic can be just the solution you need.

Is It Safe to Take Probiotics While Pregnant?

In general, it is considered safe to take probiotics during your pregnancy. It’s important to note that there is limited research so that no one can say with absolute certainty, but most doctors agree that it’s a safe practice. It would help if you always spoke with your doctor before starting a new regime to get dependable thoughts and data. 

While the data is limited, there have been no associations connecting probiotic use and miscarriages or malformations of any kind. Doctors have yet to find any link to an increased risk of a c-section, birth weight, or preterm labor. 

The Benefits of Taking Probiotics While Pregnant

We know that probiotics help your digestive systems, whether you receive them through foods or supplements. We believe that probiotics help reduce the harmful bacteria present in your digestive tract, helping your intestines move food more efficiently. 

We know that taking probiotics can help with several ailments, such as:

  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Diarrhea
  • Bacterial Vaginosis
  • Yeast Infections
  •  Eczema
  • Pediatric Atopic Dermatitis

That’s not all. There are many benefits that mothers and babies can reap from regular probiotics. Here are a few to consider.

Reduced Risk of UTIs

The use of probiotics can lower the risk of developing a urinary tract infection, including those caused by yeast infection. However, we need more studies to prove that probiotics are a legitimate treatment. 

Improved Mood

Using probiotics can help to improve your mood and cognitive function. They can help to lower stress and anxiety. 

Reduce Inflammation

Some studies show that probiotics can help to lower the rate of inflammation throughout your body. 

Healthier Digestive Tract

This benefit is for both mother and baby. Taking a probiotic can reduce diarrhea, gassiness, and nausea. When you take a probiotic and breastfeed, it transfers to your baby through the breast milk, offering the same benefits to your baby. 

Food First, Supplements Second

When we talk about gut health and improving our digestive tract, supporting the microbiome of your gut starts with the food that you eat first, and supplements are secondary. You can add more probiotics to your body by eating the right food types, especially fermented foods. Those are the key.

A few foods that you should add to your diet to get more probiotics include:

yogurt a great choice for probiotic
  • Yogurt
  • Kimchi
  • Sauerkraut
  • Pickled Veggies
  • Pickles
  • Kombucha
  • Kefir

After you ensure you’re eating plenty of probiotic-rich foods, consider adding a probiotic supplement with beneficial strains. 

What About Probiotics During Breastfeeding?

Pregnancy only lasts so long, and if you feel great taking probiotics throughout your pregnancy, you may want to continue so after birth. If you decide to breastfeed, you might have some questions about probiotics and breastfeeding. 

Is It Safe to Take Probiotics While Breastfeeding?

Yes, probiotics are considered safe to take when breastfeeding, whether you’re taking them orally or vaginally. It’s believed that probiotics enhance your breast milk (see the list of lactogenic foods for this very purpose), 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. 

Do Probiotics Pass Through Breast Milk?

Mom eye-contacts with her baby while breastfeeding

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 baby’s 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. 

Can Probiotics Cause Gas in Breastfed Babies?

Your probiotics can cause gas in your baby, but it’s more likely to decrease gassiness than make it worse. Many brands now sell probiotics for all babies so that mothers don’t need to take them. 

If you think that your baby’s gassiness is caused by the probiotic, try taking a new brand. Each brand contains different strains and fillers; some of those might not work well with your baby’s digestive system. If the second brand doesn’t work well, talk to your baby’s pediatrician. 

Which Probiotic Is Best While Breastfeeding and Pregnant? 

When looking for the best probiotic for nursing mothers and pregnant mamas, you want to look for those containing certain probiotic strains. For example, we know that Lactobacillus rhamnosus (HN001) should be taken during the last trimester and early breastfeeding because it will support your baby’s developing immune system. 

Here are some great choices.

Here is a great probiotic for moms who have morning sickness; it’s specifically created to decrease nausea. It can also help you if you’re having irregular bowel movements and heartburn.

Pink Stork contains six probiotic strains, with eight billion CFU of probiotics. That makes it an ideal breastfeeding probiotic as well as an excellent choice for pregnant mothers. 

Moms love this choice because it has a broad spectrum of probiotics, including their signature blend of 14 strains with 20 billion probiotics plus 10 billion of Lactobacillus rhamnosus to support your baby. They also include ginger to help soothe your upset stomach that often happens during pregnancy. MegaFlora also added prebiotic foods to nourish your microbiome.

This brand is exclusively made for moms and kids, designed to support you and your body throughout your pregnancy. It contains six key probiotic strains that support you throughout everything. These strains reduce the rates of baby eczema, colic, and food sensitivities. If you want some probiotics while nursing, this contains HN001, which is proven to have extensive benefits for mom and baby. 

PRO-Moms is an excellent choice because it has six targeted strains to create a healthy flora in your digestive system. You should love about this option because the capsules are time-released, so you only need to take one capsule per day to reap the benefits. You also don’t need to refrigerate this supplement because it has a shelf-stable coating. 

Are There Side Effects From Probiotics?

Just like anything, if you’re taking a probiotic and breastfeeding or pregnant, you need to watch for side effects. Your body can react to anything. A few potential problems you could face include:

  • Gastrointestinal Issues

You could experience bloating, diarrhea, or stomach cramps. If it continues, consider switching brands. 

  • Infections

If you have a suppressed immunity, probiotics could lead to infections. This isn’t common; it mostly occurs in those with AIDS or on certain medications. 

  • Allergies

You should watch the ingredient list because supplements contain allergens, such as soy, lactose, or prebiotic fillers. These could cause severe reactions. 

Final Thoughts

Taking probiotics while pregnant and breastfeeding is generally a good idea; we know that there are little to no side effects. Instead, you’ll reap benefits from regular probiotics usage, and your baby’s digestive tract will benefit you as well. 

Author

Hey, this is Linda. My biggest accomplishment in life is being a mother of four children. Their current ages range from almost ten years old down to 20 months old.I'm passionate about writing parenting articles because I understand so well all of the problems and trials you face as a parent. From breastfeeding woes to budgeting problems and behavior problems, along with everything in between, chances are I've faced it over the last ten years.

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