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Can You Take Probiotics While Pregnant?

During pregnancy, you are advised to avoid foods that may contain microorganisms that can harm your unborn child. These include uncooked produce that may contain salmonella, a type of bacteria that could spread to the placenta and harm the fetus.

Probiotics like Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus are also type of bacteria found in beverages, foods, and supplements. These bacteria are safe to take during pregnancy. They stay in the gut, and they do not make their way into the fetus. In fact, according to many studies, these beneficial microbes may even result in a healthier pregnancy.

 

Are probiotics safe for use during pregnancy?

 

This question seems to be very common to all new moms out there. According to studies, the use of probiotics during pregnancy does not appear to be harmful. They are generally safe to consume throughout pregnancy. The live bacterial culture does not make their way into the placenta. There is also no evidence that probiotics increase the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes.

 

What are the benefits of taking probiotics while pregnant?

 

Pregnant women can benefit from probiotics in many ways. During pregnancy, you may experience GI, vaginal, and oral health issues. However, you can help manage these issues with probiotic supplements. Below are some benefits of taking probiotic supplements during pregnancy:

 

  1. Reduce constipation: Replenishing the gut with beneficial bacteria during pregnancy can help constipation issues. These beneficial bacteria can alter the intestinal flora, which then helps improve bowel function.
  2. Manage the symptoms of skin conditions: Pregnancy brings many physical changes to the body. The skin is also susceptible to these effects. Pregnant women generally experience changes in the appearance of their skin, including darker breasts, nipples, and inner thighs. With probiotics, you can help manage or reduce symptoms of skin conditions associated with pregnancy.
  3. Lower incidence of preeclampsia: Obese and diabetic women who are pregnant have a slightly lowered incidence of preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and preterm delivery when they consume foods, drinks, and supplements with beneficial bacteria.
  4. Reduce the chances of the child developing allergies: Taking probiotic supplements while pregnant would likely reduce the chances of the child developing allergies.
  5. Oral health: Women who are pregnant are at a higher risk of oral health issues due to an increase in bacteria associated with periodontal disease and gingivitis. Lactobacillus and certain strains of Bifidobacterium can restore the oral balance and fight off bad bacteria that cause gingivitis, plaque, bad breath, and inflammation.
  6. Vaginal health: Aside from the physical changes that many pregnant women experience, what they do not know is their vagina goes through changes too. Due to hormonal changes during pregnancy, yeast can multiply in the vagina, disrupting the pH balance. Symptoms of yeast infection include itching and vaginal discharge. The vaginal microbiome becomes less diverse and more dominant in lactobacilli. When the balance is off, harmful microbes may thrive causing vaginal infections like bacterial vaginosis. Taking probiotics with multiple strains of Lactobacillus bacteria helps restore the pH balance.

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