Can I Take Probiotics and Prebiotics While Pregnant?

Probiotics and Prebiotics During Pregnancy

Medically Reviewed By
Archana Shah (Diabetologist/Nutritionist/Dietitian)
View more Diabetologist/Nutritionist/Dietitian Our Panel of Experts

A balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle will make you and your growing baby healthy. It is essential to know the right thing to eat at this time. Knowledge brings awareness, and it will help you in taking better care of yourself and the baby.

One of the most researched topics among expecting mothers is the consumption of probiotics. We have collated some useful information on probiotics and prebiotics that will help you during pregnancy.

What Are Probiotics and Prebiotics?

Probiotics or good bacteria are micro-organisms that are present in our intestines. These organisms break down the food we eat and help in the process of digestion. On the other hand, prebiotics are stimulants for the good bacteria to grow. These foods are not digested by our body, but they remain in our colon, triggering the growth of the good bacteria.

Is It Safe to Take Probiotics and Prebiotics During Pregnancy?

So, can you take probiotics while you are pregnant? According to research done by the National Library of Medicine and the National Institute of Health, probiotics do not cause any complications during birth or infection during pregnancy. There are many health benefits that come with consuming probiotics.

Dr William Sears, a famous paediatrician from the Children’s Hospital in Boston, writes in his blog, “It’s quite safe to take probiotics during pregnancy. Probiotics are very popular in most of the countries, especially in Europe, and their health benefits are gradually being more valued.”

During pregnancy, the composition of bacteria plays a pivotal role in maintaining a healthy metabolism. There are several research papers connecting a healthy digestive system to improve maternal health. Moreover, recent studies show that the consumption of probiotics reduces the harmful bacteria in the body, thus lowering the potential of certain infections.

How Common Is the Consumption of Probiotics During Pregnancy?

While pregnant women commonly face health issues like indigestion, heartburn, and constipation, consuming specific probiotics helps in easy relief. Taking particular probiotic bacteria, such as Bifidobacteriumlongum reduces abdominal pain, and improves bowel movement. Several nutritionists and doctors advise mothers to consume probiotics every day. There are many benefits of taking probiotics.

Benefits of Taking Probiotics or Prebiotics During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, the consumption of probiotics and prebiotics can help the pregnant woman in many ways. Some of them are:

  • Helps in improving digestion.
  • Augments good bacteria and counters the growth of harmful bacteria in the body.
  • Breaks down food to be entirely utilised by the body.
  • Essential for healing infertility.
  • Helps in reducing inflammation of the colon’s lining, and treats inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Strengthens the immune system of the mother and the baby.
  • Maintains a healthy urinary system.
  • Balances the cholesterol level.
  • Prevents vaginal infection like bacterial vaginosis.

Foods Containing Prebiotics

For expecting mothers, getting prebiotics in natural form through their daily meal is a good option. Some food items that are rich in prebiotics are:

  • Yoghurt
  • Kefir
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Pickles

  • Kombucha Tea
  • Milk
  • Onions
  • Barley

  • Garlic
  • Soya beans
  • Oats

Foods Containing Probiotics

One can get probiotic naturally from these foods:

  • Lassi
  • Dhokla
  • Dosa

  • Miso
  • Kimchi
  • Cheddar
  • Buttermilk

These are fairly common foods that are consumed on a regular basis. So if you’re pregnant, there’s no need to reduce the frequency of eating these.

A healthy pregnancy can be ensured by maintaining a healthy diet. Take time to chart food recipes that integrate probiotics and prebiotics in your daily diet. During pregnancy, cravings can get the better of you but do not miss out on prebiotic-rich food.

You can choose to get your probiotics from supplement capsules, but it is always good to seek advice from your doctor before taking any pills. In case of any allergy, call the doctor immediately. Relying on a healthy lifestyle is the best way to get through pregnancy and will facilitate the healthy development of the baby.

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