Are you looking for the best probiotic for pregnancy? Pregnancy can take its toll on the body, and the effects this change has on your body can be quite awful to endure.
The addition of probiotics into the diet may be just the thing to help relieve stomach upsets and digestive ailments such as heartburn, constipation and morning sickness, but are they worth it?
After all, probiotics are generally considered a food item rather than medicine which serves to show us that they may not be the ‘be-all and end-all’ of your problems and so when considering which is the best probiotic for an expecting mother.
It’s best to know a little about their background and what to expect from the varieties of probiotic products available on the market.
Our Top Picks
Nutrition Essentials #1 Rated Probiotic
The first probiotic product to be featured here comes in tablet form, specifically each bottle contains 60 tablets, one for each day. It’s a great supplement and it provides peace of mind when you know it’s made here in the USA under strict regulation in an FDA certified lab.
This supplement provides relief from daily stomach upsets by providing general help to the digestive system, it also helps to control bowel movements and appetite. The product also boasts a higher number of CFU’s than the other similar products on the market which is an ingredient that ensures more good bacteria settle.
Hyperbiotics PRO-15 Probiotics
Hyperbiotics have opted for a slow relief pearl design which they claim further help the microbiological colonies accustom to their new home by releasing them slowly. This method is opposed to a standard pill or capsule which release the microorganisms all at once which Hyperbiotics claim is less effective.
This supplement also comes with 60 pills to be taken daily and is promoting similar health benefits to most; reducing stomach irregularities, bloating and flatulence but it’s the effectiveness of their patented design that really makes this product stand out.
Pink Stork Pro Pregnancy Probiotic
The Pink Stork is one of the best probiotic for pregnancy as it has been specially formulated for your specific needs whilst pregnant by giving you a healthier GI tract and reducing nausea and vomiting which as we know are all too frequent when expecting.
There are 60 slow release capsules but these are recommended by the manufacturer to be taken twice a day meaning for a similar price to other products these pills will last for just as long.
Mother’s Select Probiotic for Pregnancy
Mothers select have a formula that will help you with common ailments you experience in everyday life that can be made worse by carrying a child; nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, constipation, heartburn, diarrhea are just some of the ailments this product claims to be able to help with.
These supplements will also benefit you by strengthening your and your unborn babies immune system to ensure they are equipped better to enter the world. This probiotic is a good value and affordable way to rebalance and maintain your gut flora to promote healthy digestive function.
Garden of Life Prenatal Probiotic for Pregnancy
This supplement contains the species Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacteria amongst 14 other strains which serve to improve your digestive health over the long term. Like most probiotics, it’s an alternative option to over the counter medication which is a temporary fix to the problem.
Garden of Life Prenatal Probiotic for Women is a great probiotic due to its inclusion of 20 billion CFU’s helping the microorganisms settle and not only that but it’s gluten, soy and dairy free and also suitable for vegetarians, certainly the best probiotic for pregnant women who want to avoid those ingredients.
Hyperbiotics PRO-Moms Probiotics
Hyperbiotics have a more relevant product for expecting mothers in their range of slow release probiotics called Pro-moms which have microorganism strains specifically selected to promote nutrient absorption from food, increase chances of successful breastfeeding and increase production of natural folates, precursors to essential vitamins and can help to prevent birth defects.
30 capsules are included in this product which is to be taken daily in the same way as their Pro-15 product. A nice addition to this supplement is the kiwi powder which is a superfood and natural way to promote the colony formation of the microorganisms to ensure the supplements benefits are lasting.
LoveBug Labor Of Love PreNatal Probiotic
The last probiotic to be featured here but certainly not the least value for money is the LoveBug’s own PreNatal & PostNatal Probiotic Supplement. They are fantastic value for money as the tablets (of which 30 are included) are designed to support your health once the baby has been born so you don’t have to fuss around switching when the time comes.
Similar to most of the other products, this supplement can increase the performance of your digestive system by promoting better health and relieve ailments such as constipation and diarrhea. Folic is also included in this product and it really can put your mind at ease that you are doing what you can to avoid problems and ensure you’re baby has the healthiest development that you can provide them.
Are Probiotics Safe for Pregnancy?
Now that you have an idea of how probiotics can benefit you before, during and after pregnancy it’s also very wise to understand the claims that are made by probiotic companies (either in the past or currently) which are unsupported before finishing this guide.
It’s critical that you are aware of these claims because when a person has an ailment, especially if it affects an expecting mother or her child, it can really hit hard emotionally, and this can cause people to become fixated on finding an easy cure through probiotics but it could ultimately lead them to shattered expectations and even heartbreak.
Babies With Colic
It may not be relevant to you now, but if the baby is born and unfortunately affected by colic probiotics are not the treatment you should seek. It has been suggested in the past that probiotics could treat a baby with colic but a lack of evidence would make it a risky route to try which may not give any positive results; ultimately a waste of time, money and hope.
It has also been claimed that probiotics can help treat vaginal conditions such as thrush but again, inconsistent research and a lack of conclusive evidence really means you shouldn’t be a guinea pig yourself and see if studies show otherwise in the future.
Despite claims, there is also nothing to support the probiotics ability to treat or even reduce the symptoms of eczema, in fact, there is evidence to support that probiotics have no value in treating eczema at all. When it comes to eczema don’t waste your time and money!
What Are Probiotics?
Without getting into too much unnecessary depth, a probiotic as described by WebMD is a microorganism that either naturally occurs in your digestive system or encourages the growth of those “good bacteria” which are vital for the healthy function of our internal organs.
In fact, we have trillions of these good bacteria which help with functions all over our body including on your skin, up your nose, and in your gut. Without the friendly bacteria in our gut, we would see a loss of healthy metabolic and digestive functions meaning a less efficient absorption of nutrients from the food we eat!
They’re used in food products by a range of people from those who have frequent digestive problems and IBS to people who are more health conscious and want to get the most out of their diet. They are frequently added to yogurts, milk and milk formulas as well as more unusual products like Kefir but are most commonly bought as a delicious drink.
The probiotic is used to effectively replace lost good bacteria (which could have been reduced after a antibiotic treatment for example) or just to maximize their good bacteria population and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
It’s no wonder that probiotics are promoted as a way of relieving minor daily digestive grievances however it’s not actually known exactly how probiotics work and more research is needed to actually prove some of the health benefits claimed.
You may be wondering what kinds of single-celled critters can be good for you and how and it’s also quite interesting to get to know about them since some of them have been permanent residents of your insides since you were born. Don’t worry though, the relationship benefits both us and the “friendly bacteria”.
⦁ Saccharomyces boulardii: When they say “good” or “friendly bacteria”, yeast being a fungus is also classed as a friend when it comes to our guts. According to this study, it can be used as a preventative treatment for various kinds of diarrhea.
⦁ Bifidobacterium: A bacteria genus which is found to inhabit the digestive tract of most mammals, including humans! This bacteria is added to most probiotic products due to their potential to help with IBS, constipation, diarrhea in infants and more. Bifidobacterium is mostly shown to work in mixes with other probiotic organisms.
⦁ Lactobacillus: Another bacteria genus you’ll find in probiotic food products, it can possibly help with antibiotic-associated diarrhea, bloating and as it names suggests people with lactose intolerance due to its preference for lactose as food. It’s also been shown to treat diarrhea in children specifically caused by an infection of rotavirus.
There are many different species within those such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus plantarum, and Bacillus coagulans. In probiotic drinks, tablets and capsules they are usually all mixed together in a cocktail, with some other prebiotic ingredients to help their growth and provide nutrition for you.
What is the Best Probiotic for Pregnancy?
There are many circumstances where a probiotic is proven to work well and other claims have been disproven or are inconclusive, therefore, it’s within your interest to learn what a probiotic can and can’t do for you so that you know if they are going to have any positive effect.
It has been indicated by studies that there are no dangers to consuming probiotics during pregnancy or lactation as only a very small amount is absorbed by the mother and is also not likely to be able to transfer into breast milk. This means that their digestive benefits can still be appreciated by expectant and new mothers as much as anybody else.
Reduces Morning Sickness
Good bacteria are shown to keep bad bacteria away, this is going to keep morning sickness at bay too by keeping your GI tract healthier!
It has been observed that milk production is increased which is a blessing for some and not so much for others so it’s definitely worth noting when looking at the products.
Prevention of ADD
There’s a good amount of evidence supporting the claim that probiotic supplements can reduce the effects of ADD (antibiotic-associated diarrhea). When you’re on a course of general antibiotics, it kills bacteria indiscriminately including the friendly ones, resulting in diarrhea and so probiotics help to prevent and relieve the symptoms.
Probiotics can reduce certain symptoms such as bloating and flatulence in those with IBS, however, they have not shown to work for everyone. It’s recommended to give them at least a month to show any positive effects before ditching them though if you did want to use probiotics for this.
Helps Lactose Intolerance
As mentioned when talking about the Lactobacillus genus; it has been indicated that the species L. acidophilus can aid in reducing the stomach cramps, flatulence, and diarrhea that are associated with lactose intolerance.
Reduction of NEC in Premature Babies
Necrotising enterocolitis is a serious medical condition associated with the tissues in the digestive tract that can develop in babies that are born prematurely. There is some evidence suggesting that probiotic use would be helpful but more research needs to be focused on this.