What are the best probiotics for pregnancy?

Pregnancy is an exciting time for any woman. There are many changes and choices to consider, but it is imperative that the expectant mother takes the time to care for her body and the one growing inside.

Supplements, including probiotics, may be one way to safeguard a woman’s health. When looking for the best probiotics for pregnancy, there are many points to consider.

What are Probiotics?

Probiotics are the “good” bacteria that are found in your digestive system. They are live microorganisms that benefit the body. While probiotics are naturally found in your digestive system, you can also find them naturally present in some foods and in supplement form.

How Do Probiotics Work?

What Are the Advantages of Probiotics?

There are many different thoughts about the advantages of probiotics. It is known that they do improve digestive health for most people.

Other possible advantages may include:

  • Treat diarrhea
  • Lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol
  • Improve brain function
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Treat IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)
  • Protect against bacterial infections
  • Positively affect psoriasis and chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Decrease allergies

Are Probiotics Safe During Pregnancy?

It is generally thought that probiotics are safe for use during pregnancy and lactation. The National Institute of Health has done many studies to prove that the risk of problems due to probiotics is very low while the potential benefits are high.

Why Are Probiotics Important During Pregnancy?

While probiotics are a healthy choice for almost anyone, they are especially helpful during pregnancy. In addition to boosting the immune system so that the pregnant woman is less likely to become ill, they can also help with several other issues.

First of all, probiotics help keep the digestive system healthy. They can reduce constipation, which can be a big issue during pregnancy. Because of its beneficial effects on the digestive system, it may even help reduce morning sickness.

Additionally, other conditions of pregnancy may be diminished with the use of probiotics. These can include: gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, urinary tract infections, yeast infections, and premature birth. Use of probiotics also appears to reduce the risk of dangerous Group B Strep bacteria that can harm the baby as it is born.

Can Probiotics During Pregnancy and Lactation Benefit Baby?

There is research that shows that when probiotics are taken by a pregnant or lactating woman, they also benefit the baby. Probiotic flora are not only found in the digestive tract, but also in other mucous membrane tissues such as the vaginal lining. It is important to have good bacteria in the vagina because when the baby is born, he is exposed to this flora. Exposure to the beneficial colonies helps the baby to have a healthy immune system from the very start of life.

When the mother takes probiotics, the baby is less likely to have allergies, asthma, or eczema. Additionally, when a new mother continues to take probiotics while breastfeeding, the baby is less likely to have colicky behaviors.

How to Choose a Probiotic For Use During Pregnancy

The first step when choosing a probiotic for use during pregnancy is to check with your physician to make sure that it is right for you. After that, you will want to look for a quality product from a reputable company. There are some specific elements to look for when choosing a probiotic.

For example, the recommendation is to find a probiotic with 10 to 20 billion CFU (Colony Forming Units). Additionally, you want to find a probiotic supplement that has a variety of bacteria strains rather than just one or two. Since each strain has a different quality, having a variety will help ensure that you get the best of all of them. You may also wish to find a probiotic that contains prebiotics. Prebiotics are the “food” for probiotics and help them colonize and grow as intended.

Finally, check for additional ingredients, especially if you are sensitive to some. For instance, supplements can contain wheat, which would be a problem if you are gluten free, or artificial ingredients. You may want to know if the supplements contain soy, dairy, nuts, sugar, or if they are vegetarian. Reading the label should give you all the information you need.

What Is the Best Way to Use Probiotics?

Different products have different directions, so be sure to follow the instructions on the bottle carefully. If the directions do not give a specific time to take the probiotic, then it is best to take your probiotic in the morning, either right before or right after your breakfast. The reason to take a probiotic with a healthy meal is that the food feeds the probiotic, and it helps to get it safely to the intestine where it does most of its work.

1. One-a-Day Prenatal Multivitamin w/ Organic Fruits and Veggies + Probiotics & Enzymes from IntraNaturals

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This prenatal multivitamin is designed so that you only have to take one tablet per day. Even better, you can take it on an empty stomach without it causing any stomach distress. It contains everything it needs to survive on its way to your intestine.

This vitamin supplement gets its nutrients from organic fruit and vegetable sources. It also contains digestive enzymes and probiotics for the optimal health of you and your baby.

Pros


  • One a day
  • Also contains vitamins and minerals
  • Reasonably priced
  • No sugar or artificial ingredients
  • Soy, starch, wheat, salt and yeast free
  • Non-GMO
  • Organic fruits and veggie nutrient sources
  • Contains 5 billion CFU of probiotics
  • Contains digestive enzymes
  • Made in the USA
  • Lifetime satisfaction guarantee

Cons


  • Pills are large; hard to swallow
  • Taste bad if you crush them
  • Contains some synthetic vitamins including synthetic folic acid

2. Mother’s Select Probiotics

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This probiotic supplement is intended for pregnant women. It helps replace the good bacteria your body needs, especially since many are lost due to the stresses of pregnancy.

This probiotic will help both mother and baby maintain a healthy gut environment. It will help the mother with digestive upsets such as gas, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation in a gentle, natural manner. It contains nine strains of probiotics.

Pros


  • 10 billion CFU of probiotics
  • Made in the USA
  • Reasonably priced
  • Vegetarian capsules; vegetarian product
  • Only need to take one a day
  • No tree nuts (no peanuts), soy, dairy, eggs, fish or shellfish
  • No wheat (100% gluten-free)
  • Helps your body become more regular
  • No aftertaste
  • Helps with clearer skin
  • May help with weight loss

Cons


  • May make baby gassy if you take when breastfeeding

3. Pro Moms-Prenatal Probiotics for Pregnant and Breastfeeding Moms

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Pro Moms Probiotic supplement provides you with 8 strains of probiotic bacteria. These good bacteria help repopulate the healthy flora of your digestive system when pregnancy depletes it.

This formula claims to be better absorbed than other probiotic supplements. Their patented control-released technology delivers up to 15% more healthy flora to your gut when compared to other, traditional delivery methods.

Pros


  • 5 billion CFU of probiotics
  • 8 targeted strains
  • 100% vegetarian
  • No artificial ingredients
  • Non-GMO
  • Wheat free; gluten free
  • No soy, nuts, preservatives, yeast, lactose or sugar
  • Includes kiwifruit, a natural nutrient source
  • Only need to take once per day with controlled release
  • Long shelf life, no refrigeration
  • Helps with regularity, bloating, and gas
  • Improves nutrient absorption
  • Improves immunity

Cons


  • More expensive than other brands
  • Confusing directions; one tablet is a serving but you can take three a day
  • Not really lactose free; contain caesein milk protein
  • May cause stomach ache or headache

4. Probonix #1-Liquid Probiotic Drops

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Probonix is a liquid probiotic supplement that is taken twice daily. It is more likely than other probiotics survive past your stomach acids and get deep into your digestive system where it will do its best work. It will help with many different types of issues including digestive issues, allergies, and lactose intolerance.

Probonix provides 12 strains of microflora. This product can improve your digestive health. It is great for all ages and it is easy to take.

Pros


  • Great for bloating, constipation, and IBS
  • Helps with lactose intolerance
  • Helps with allergies
  • No wheat; gluten free
  • Tree nut and peanut free
  • No soy, egg,fish or shellfish
  • Non-GMO
  • Needs no refrigeration
  • Easy to take; no large pills
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee

Cons


  • Must remember to take twice each day
  • More expensive than other probiotics
  • May not like the taste of product

5. Pink Stork Pro-Probiotic for Morning Sickness Relief

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Pink Stork Pro is a probiotic supplement intended to help pregnant women decrease the symptoms of morning sickness. Each dose is two small capsules, taken in the morning. This probiotic goes right to the source of the morning sickness in the gut and works to create a healthy flora.

This supplement also helps pregnant women to have more regular bowel movements and relieves symptoms of heartburn. Containing four billion CFU of good bacteria strains, it is gentle enough for mom and baby but provides optimal gut bacteria for both.

Pros


  • 6 probiotic strains
  • 4 billion CFU
  • Small, tasteless pills with have no unusual smell
  • May help improve morning sickness
  • Helps with heartburn
  • Helps you become more regular
  • No wheat; gluten-free
  • No eggs, fish, shellfish, sugar, salt, yeast, corn, soy or preservatives

Cons


  • Contains starch
  • Contains gelatin
  • Must take two capsules per day

Conclusion

Mother’s Select Probiotics is my favorite because it contains more active probiotic bacteria than the other choices. Reasonably priced, it is also a quality product made in the USA.

While many of the other probiotic formulas are made of natural ingredients, Mother’s Select is also all vegetarian. The bottle itself also addresses many of the ailments of pregnancy and how it can help. It claims to help with digestive upset, constipation, and the prematurity of the baby.

An additional benefit to this product is that a pregnant woman only needs to take one capsule per day. Many of the others brands require multiple pills, large pills or a liquid which may not appeal to everyone.

When choosing the best probiotics for pregnancy, Mothers Select would be my choice. It is a good quality product by a reputable company.

Helen Sanders
 

Chief editor here at Health Ambition, I'm a proud mother of two passionate about nutrition and ways to live healthier with more energy!