Home Digestive Health Can You Take Probiotics While Pregnant?

Can You Take Probiotics While Pregnant?

Written by Safa Kamran

For pregnant women, the nine months prior to the birth of their child are some of the best and most difficult months of their lives.

While pregnant women are excited to see their child they are also overwhelmed with all the information they are constantly being bombarded with.

Pregnant women who were and are interested in the world of health and fitness may find themselves under more stress to remain healthy both for themselves and their baby.

This leads us to the question can you take probiotics while pregnant.

The main point of concern is whether or not using probiotics during pregnancy, particularly probiotic supplements is something that can be recommended.

Are Probiotics Safe For Use During Pregnancy?

What Are Probiotic Supplements?

To understand why women may be concerned about taking probiotics during pregnancy is by understanding what they are and what they do in our bodies.

Probiotics are bacteria, these bacteria are known as gut bacteria, healthy bacteria, or good bacteria.

The reason that we can classify these bacteria as good bacteria or healthy gut bacteria is because of the way that these bacteria function.

Unlike bad bacteria that can cause illness, these are beneficial bacteria that improve your gut health.

These healthy bacteria enhance the already present good bacteria in our gut.

Unlike bad bacteria, these bacterias work with our body’s immune system to improve its workings in the gut as well as the rest of the body.

Probiotic and probiotic supplements are used to improve your gut health, they boost the already present bacteria in your gut and improve your overall digestive health.

You may not always need to add probiotic supplements to your diet, you may be getting your probiotic intake through different foods, particularly fermented foods.

These fermented foods include foods like kombucha, yogurt, and kimchi.

Of course, if you have allergies to any of these foods or do not like their taste you can opt for probiotic supplements.

While probiotic supplements are not something to be worried about taking probiotics during pregnancy may be a point of concern for expectant mothers.

Are Probiotics During Pregnancy Safe?

Anyone taking probiotic supplements is someone that wants a healthy gut and body, someone that is concerned about their health and wellbeing, and someone looking to boost their immune system.

This is why people can worry about taking probiotics during pregnancy because they want to ensure the health of themselves and their unborn child.

There are of course cases where you may need to discuss the usage of probiotic supplements with your physician even if you are not pregnant.

These include health conditions like inflammatory bowel syndromes (such as Crohn’s and Celiac disease), irritable bowel syndrome, or any immune disorder which leads to a weak immune system.

There is some much differing information available to people that it can be hard to understand whether taking probiotics during pregnancy will help you achieve a healthy gut and a healthy immune system.

It is only natural for a woman to want a healthy pregnancy free from pregnancy complications.

This includes asking the question are probiotics safe.

Probiotics safe for consumption include lactobacillus strains.

Lactobacillus probiotics include Lactobacillus rhamnosus as well as Lactobacillus reuteri.

Another particular strain that is safe to use is the Bifidobacterium probiotic supplement.

Most research suggests that taking probiotics during pregnancy is safe but also take taking probiotics while breastfeeding has no negative effect on breast milk.

This allows women to use a probiotic treatment while pregnant and breastfeeding.

If taking probiotics is not something you particularly enjoy there are probiotic foods that you can opt for.

You can eat foods that have the same strain of bacteria as a probiotic supplement.

These probiotic foods, like probiotic yogurt, can easily be added to your healthy diet, without having to make major lifestyle changes.

The only issue with these foods is that they may be completely broken down by your stomach acid, which is not beneficial to your digestive system.

Keeping this in mind the best way to achieve a healthy gut is by taking probiotic supplements which contain beneficial strains like lactobacillus rhamnosus.

By taking probiotics you can achieve a healthy gut, improved digestive health, and a more effective immune system but also the possibility of reducing pregnancy complications.

Can Pregnant Women Benefit From Probiotics?

People who are invested in health and fitness know that there are numerous health benefits of a probiotic supplement.

These benefits extend to your health and wellness during pregnancy, and may even encourage you in taking probiotics while pregnant.

Knowing the health benefits of probiotics can help you decide on whether or not probiotic use is for you.

1) Can Benefit Your Mental Health

Many women, unfortunately, suffer from postpartum depression after the birth of their child.

Some people may experience worse symptoms of this depression than others especially women who have a history of mental illnesses like anxiety and depression prior to pregnancy.

Postpartum depression can diminish the happiness one feels during such a joyful time in their life.

This is one of the more common adverse outcomes that accompany pregnancy.

Among the health benefits of probiotics, their ability to significantly lower depression is one that can be incredibly beneficial.

According to research done into probiotics, there is a probiotic group that can be used to reduce your chances of developing anxiety, depression, or postpartum depression during or after your pregnancy complications.

There has been research conducted that can show the link between probiotic use and improved mental health status.

Of course, these studies are not conclusive evidence regarding the benefits of these supplements for your mental health.

There are other studies that have been conducted that have shown inconclusive evidence and show no link between good mental health or reduced chances of postpartum depression and probiotic supplement usage.

Nevertheless, there is no apparent harm in taking these supplements during your pregnancy.

They may benefit your mental health but they will rarely cause you any harm, even if they do not show any obvious improvement to your mental health.

It is important to discuss with your ONGYN before you begin to take any new supplement during your pregnancy.

2) Can Improve Your Gut Health

Our body has a marvelous immune mechanism that combats infections and keeps us functioning without the disease.

Maintaining a healthy immune system becomes something of greater importance during pregnancy as it is a state in which your immunity is lowered and you need to ensure you are healthy and well for you and your baby.

During your pregnancy, you are recommended to take folic acid tablets among other supplements like calcium and iron.

You can of course take other supplements to boost your immunity and to keep your health and well-being in check.

These supplements can include pregnancy probiotics.

By taking probiotics while pregnant you can ensure that the bacteria in your gastrointestinal system are well maintained.

Probiotics provide various different strains of bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract and boost the immunity of your gastrointestinal tract.

The various strains already present and those added with the use of probiotics improve the health of your digestive tract.

It improves the digestion of foods, reduces the chances of high blood pressure, and blood sugar levels, and reduces the occurrence of gastrointestinal infections.

3) Can Boost The Mother’s Metabolism

Adverse pregnancy outcomes are more common than one would think.

These outcomes can be caused due to a number of factors like high blood sugar the main feature of gestational diabetes.

If left uncontrolled these situations can lead to preterm delivery and babies of low birth weight.

This is why it is incredibly important to maintain your health while pregnant.

Pregnancy can reduce the metabolism of the mother and lead to increased blood sugar levels, high blood pressure, and many other issues.

Pregnancy probiotics can help in reducing blood sugar levels, as well as lowering blood pressure, and improving the health of your digestive tract.

For women who are diagnosed with diabetes during pregnancy using pregnancy, probiotics can help in lowering blood sugar, which helps reduce the chances of the baby being born with birth defects such as macrocephaly.

Keeping your metabolism functioning and maintaining all of these factors helps to minimize any bad outcomes with pregnancy.

It keeps the mother healthy and well and reduces the chances of post-birth complications that may affect the mother rather than the baby.

A slow metabolism predisposes a mother to infections that can affect their vaginal health and can cause yeast infections, among other illnesses that can also affect the babies in the uterus which then leads to defects or abnormalities after birth.

A sluggish metabolism is of no benefit to both the mother and the child.

By using probiotics while you are pregnant you can increase the functioning of your metabolism.

A healthy metabolism helps maintain your weight, blood pressure, glucose levels, digestion, and immunity.

4) Can Decrease Chances Of Allergic Diseases

There are occasions when babies are born with allergies.

These allergies can be transferred to a child via their genes either due to their mother or father having allergies or they may develop allergies without their parents showing any signs of allergies at all.

A common allergic condition that babies can be born with is eczema.

Eczema is a skin condition that causes the skin to be dry, scaly, red, and itchy, particularly in the area behind the knees, the cubital region, and the elbow region.

Eczema can present by itself or with other allergic conditions.

Some infants are born with what is known as the atopic triad which consists of asthma, eczema, and allergic rhinitis.

While none of these conditions can be classed as life-threatening conditions they are life-long issues that a child will have to manage for the rest of their lives.

Studies have been conducted into the use of probiotics while pregnant which show that taking these probiotics can reduce the chances of your child being born with allergic conditions like eczema.

Not only have these studies shown that using probiotics while pregnant reduces the chances of your child being born with any of these allergic issues but they also reduce the chances of the mother developing any of these allergies as pregnancy is an immunodeficient condition.

It is important to keep in mind that the world allergy organization states that there is no 100% guarantee that using probiotics will prevent you or your baby from developing eczema or other allergic conditions like asthma or allergic rhinitis.

This point is important to remember as you may find that you or your child has developed these conditions despite your use of probiotics.

Remembering this allows you to remain prepared for the chance that your child may have any of these allergies.

5) Can Decrease Pregnancy Complications And Preterm Birth

A major concern for expecting mothers are complications or preterm deliveries.

These can cause major emotional trauma for women and can affect the health and well-being of their children.

A premature child is one that is born before their expected date and usually has low birth weight, which predisposes a baby to many health issues like respiratory distress or sudden infant death syndrome.

Research into the use of probiotic supplements during pregnancy has shown a positive link between their use and protection against complications and term birth.

By taking probiotics not only can you improve your digestive and overall health but you can also care for the health of your child and minimize pregnancy complications.

Taking probiotics when pregnant can help prevent the development of necrotizing fasciitis and early infant death or premature death of babies.

Additionally, by using probiotics you can reduce complications of pregnancy like diabetes, increased blood pressure, preeclampsia, and eclampsia.

While probiotics can not completely remove the chances of these complications from occurring but they can minimize the chances, which is something one can look forward to.

Of course, it is important to consult your physician prior to beginning any supplement to ensure that you receive the maximum benefit of its use.

Conclusion

Probiotics are powerful and effective supplements.

They have a wide variety of benefits for both the mother and the child.

They can improve your digestive health, immunity, and labor length and reduce the chances of illness in newborns.

For most people, these supplements are safe and effective for use in pregnancy.

Also Read: Probiotics Drinks: Health Benefits and Possible Side Effects

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