Probiotics Could Lower The Risk Of Pregnancy Complications
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A new study has found that taking probiotics during pregnancy could lower a womans risk of preterm birth and preeclampsia, a complication characterized by high blood pressure.
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, researchers analyzed data from over 70,000 births in Norway and found taking probiotics especially the period of time in the pregnancy when they were taken was beneficial. It was found that probiotic milk consumption in late pregnancy was associated with a 20-per-cent reduced risk of preeclampsia, while it accounted for an 11-per-cent lower risk of preterm birth when taken in early pregnancy and a 27-per-cent lowered risk when taken in late pregnancy.
The women studied consumed two different forms of probiotic-rich milk, both of which contained the Lactobacillus bacterium.
While they did not determine exactly how probiotics reduced preterm birth and preeclampsia, researchers believe that they may contribute to reduced inflammation in the body.
This study serves to further the growing belief that a mothers diet can have a direct impact on her baby. Research has shown that what a woman consumes during pregnancy can have numerous effects on her and her baby, ranging from gestational diabetes and hypertension to asthma and depression.
The Best Probiotics For Pregnant Women
As mentioned above, expecting mothers need to take probiotics that are specially formulated for pregnant women. If you didnt know, there are hundreds of probiotic strains out there. Each of them benefit the body in different ways. For instance, if youre pregnant and youre taking a probiotic supplement geared for skin health, you cant expect it to benefit your baby or ease your pregnancy woes.
So if youre expecting, here are the best probiotic strains for pregnant women according to science:
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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Protect Against Gestational Diabetes Mellitus
High blood sugar is never good, and its especially harmful during pregnancy. When glucose intolerance appears for the first time in pregnancy, it is called gestational diabetes mellitus.
During pregnancy, an imbalance in gut flora resembles metabolic dysfunction with increased inflammation and decreased insulin sensitivity.
A 2019 Meta-analysis using ten studies with a combined total of 1,139 participants, found that probiotics supplementation was effective at reducing GDM it reduced the fasting blood glucose serum insulin levels and insulin resistance. It also shows that multi-strain probiotics are more effective than single-strain probiotics.
Possible Benefits Of Probiotics For Pregnancy
Every parent wants to give their unborn child the best start in life, but there are many ways to support your own and your baby’s health during pregnancy. Probiotics for pregnancy are a promising yet under-researched complementary health therapy that you can explore in addition to – and not in replacement of – following a healthy lifestyle and listening to your pregnancy healthcare professional’s advice.
Experts agree that more high-quality research is needed on the health benefits of probiotics for pregnancy, and in general. This said, there is a growing body of evidence that probiotics for pregnancy may have a role in preventing the following conditions.
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Are Prebiotics And Probiotics Safe During Pregnancy
According to one publication, “Administration of enteral prebiotics, probiotics, and synbiotics during pregnancy, lactation, and postnatal life appears to be a safe and feasible method to alter the maternal and neonatal microbiome, thus improving pregnancy and neonatal outcomes.”
Administration of enteral prebiotics, probiotics, and synbiotics during pregnancy appears to be a safe and may improve pregnancy and neonatal outcomes
Probiotics Minimize The Risk Of Preeclampsia
In the United States, preeclampsia is the leading cause of maternal death. Studies published in the American Journal of Epidemiology suggest that women who consumed probiotics had a lowered risk of developing this condition. By reducing intestinal inflammation, probiotics aid in lowering blood pressure and sugar levels.
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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 .
Should You Take Probiotics For Pregnancy
Pregnancy is an exciting time but entering a new world full of conflicting information can also feel overwhelming. There is so much advice out there on how to keep yourself and your unborn baby healthy, including whether you should take probiotics for pregnancy. What does the evidence say, and are pregnancy probiotics safe?
06-Jun-22·6 mins read
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Why Take Probiotics When Expecting
While probiotics are often touted as miracle supplements for people with digestive disorders or chronic GI distress, Dr. Chang-Jackson says their most common use in pregnancy is actually for maintaining the vaginal flora, not for curing stomach ills.
Nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, as well as constipation, are due to hormonal changes, she explains. So probiotics might not have as much of an effect .
However, pregnant women are more susceptible to vaginal and yeast infections than non-pregnant women. Taking probiotics can help preserve the balance of the vaginal microbiome, may prevent the occurrence of infections, and can reduce the need for prescription medication to treat vaginal infections.
Patients dont usually know much about them, but we do tell ones with recurring vaginal infections that they can add probiotics to their routine, Dr. Chang-Jackson adds.
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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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Can I Take Probiotics While Pregnant
The human gut is home to trillions of microorganisms that help to regulate digestion, the immune system and other crucial aspects of human health. During pregnancy, the composition and balance of microbes in the gut also called the gut microbiota play an important role in maintaining metabolism and immune health and contribute to a healthy gut ecology in a newborn baby, according to research published in May 2011 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
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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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.
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?
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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:
When Can You Take Probiotics During Pregnancy
However, the sooner you start taking them , the sooner you can start reaping the benefits.
As we know, pregnancy can take its toll on your body, so supporting it from the beginning can help you to have a healthy pregnancy and lay a solid foundation for your little ones health.
Probiotics arent known to induce labor, but if youre past your due date and youre looking to get a move on, check out our top ways to induce labor.
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Consider Taking Probiotics During Pregnancy And Breastfeeding As They May Benefit The Babys Developing Immune System
Results from clinical studies emphasize that pregnancy and breastfeeding provide important points of interaction between the pregnant and breastfeeding womans gut bacteria and her babys microbiome. The evidence discussed highlights that taking probiotics during pregnancy and breastfeeding may support the development of the babys immune system and help reduce their risk of allergic some skin conditions.
LGG®, BB-12® and LA-5® are registered trademarks of Chr. Hansen A/S.
The article is provided for informational purposes regarding probiotics and is not meant to suggest that any substance referenced in the article is intended to diagnose, cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent any disease.
The probiotic strain Bifidobacterium, BB-12® is the worlds most documented probiotic bifidobacterium. It has been extensively studied and has been associated with improved outcomes across various health areas.BB-12® is a registered trademark of Chr. Hansen A/S
Why You Should Consider Taking A Probiotic While Pregnant
There are many things you have to consider and prepare for when pregnant, and your gut should be one of them. A strong and healthy gut is vital for both mom and baby. If you have a poor diet, drink soda, take antibiotics, or have high-stress levels while pregnant, it can take a toll on your gut and your babys immunity. If you are taking a probiotic while pregnant, it could be essential to the health of you and your baby.
Probiotics have several health benefits for pregnant and nursing women. Studies have shown that what a woman consumes during pregnancy can have numerous effects on her and her baby, ranging from gestational diabetes and hypertension to asthma and depression.
Keep reading to learn about the benefits of taking probiotics during pregnancy.
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Interpretation In The Context Of The Literature
To our knowledge, the most recent systematic review reporting the risks of probiotics for preterm birth was the Cochrane review on gestational diabetes, published in 2014 , while the Cochrane review that focused on the association of probiotics and preterm birth was updated in 2010 . Both meta-analyses included only one study, obtaining relative risks between 3 and 4 , in contrast to our results. This difference can be explained not only by our inclusion of 11 additional studies, but also by our exclusion of twin data, which is expected to be biased due to their worse outcomes. In fact, for the study included in the previous reviews, after obtaining the data for singletons alone from the study authors we found that the relative risk was actually 0.96 . This emphasizes the importance of taking into account potential confounding factors in the design of studies of pregnant women to assess outcomes on them and their foetuses, as including twin pregnancies and/or excluding the less healthy infants can introduce considerable biases.
Similarly, in a previous Cochrane review, gestational diabetes was found to be significantly reduced in one study , but it is unclear in how far this result was influenced by twin pregnancies. We could not obtain the data for singletons only for this outcome for this study, but the pooled estimate on gestational diabetes of three other studies does not show any benefit from probiotics on this outcome .
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.
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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.
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May Improve Maternal Metabolic Health
If youre pregnant, staying healthy is essential for reducing the risk of complications and of developing certain health conditions after delivery.
Thankfully, probiotic supplements may help reduce blood sugar and insulin levels in pregnancy, which could improve health and lower the risk of complications.
A 2018 review that included 12 randomized controlled trials found that the use of probiotics during pregnancy reduced blood sugar and insulin levels .
In a 2017 review of 4 randomized controlled trials in 288 women with gestational diabetes characterized by elevated blood sugar levels during pregnancy probiotics significantly reduced insulin resistance, though they didnt reduce blood sugar levels .
The researchers suggested that this could help those with gestational diabetes reduce the need for blood sugar-reducing medication later in pregnancy .
Many other studies have also shown how probiotic supplements may benefit insulin and blood sugar levels when taken during pregnancy .
Additionally, a 2017 study suggested that treatment with HN001 during pregnancy may reduce the risk of development of gestational diabetes, especially in women over the age of 35 years and those who previously had the condition .
These findings are promising, but keep in mind that research in this area is ongoing.
For some, the supplements may be beneficial during pregnancy.