The media is seen creating a lot of buzz regarding the benefits imparted by probiotics. Numerous companies are branding their Probiotic product as completely safe and natural. But are probiotics safe? Can probiotics be used during pregnancy?
What Are Probiotics?
Probiotics is the term used to describe the microorganisms that can be ingested to attain different health benefits.
In the human digestive system reside multiple microorganisms that help out in digesting the food. The commensal relation between the digestive environment and the bacteria/viruses is beneficial for both.
The microflora of the digestive tract is responsible for good overall health. Disruptions to this microbiome lead to various diseases.
So, you can consume live "good"bacteria to keep your gut healthy. These bacteria are known as probiotics.
Types Of Probiotics
There are different types of probiotics available (due to different types of bacteria). The most common probiotics are listed below:
- Lactobacillus species
- Saccharomyces boulardii
The sources of these bacteria may differ, but the role imparted is more or less the same.
Probiotics During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a period of mixed feelings and sensations. While the baby-carrying mother is blissful at the presence of a little soul inside her, the body suffers this process.
Though a female's body is aptly designed to bear a child, complications are still common during the 9 months of pregnancy. To overcome these obstacles, ladies take help from natural products. One such natural product is probiotics.
Safety Of Probiotics
Probiotics are completely safe to be used during pregnancy and breastfeeding. According to a study, no defects were noted in infants when mothers took probiotics in the third semester.
Health Benefits Of Probiotics In Pregnant Women
Probiotics help impart the following therapeutic benefits for pregnant ladies:
1. Improve Digestive Health
Abruptions in the gut microflora of pregnant ladies are a common finding. A lot of pregnant ladies face the issue of an upset stomach due to changes in the microbiome. These health issues may even have long-term consequences on maternal health.
According to a study, hormonal changes and the generalized increase in inflammatory cells during pregnancy lead to gut flora changes. The live bacteria can restore the normal balance of gut bacteria, thus enhancing digestion and nutrient absorption, a study suggests.
Another study suggests that supplementation with probiotics helps restore balance in the unbalanced gut microflora that is responsible for gestational diabetes and obesity.
Constipation is a nightmare for pregnant ladies and is one of the most unwanted outcomes as it can interfere with child delivery. Therefore, gynecologists and obstetricians put special emphasis on prevention. Probiotic supplementation is an effective way of preventing and curing constipation during pregnancy.
A study found out that probiotic supplementation in constipated pregnant ladies leads to improved defecation frequency, stool consistency, and reduced abdominal pain. The probiotic strains used in the study were Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus plantarum, and two others.
2. Prevent The Occurrence Of Gestational Diabetes And Obesity
Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and obesity are linked to increased rates of Cesarean section. The health conditions also have negative impacts on the infant’s health. A mother’s GDM can increase the risk of macrosomic infants with respiratory distress.
Mothers wanting a normal delivery should try their best to prevent gestational diabetes mellitus and obesity. According to a randomized controlled trial study, handsome amounts of probiotic supplements can help reduce the chances of GDM and obesity.
According to a study, dysbiosis (Abruptions in the gut flora) of a pregnant mother's digestive microbiota is linked to gestational diabetes. Therefore, probiotic supplements can help revert dysbiosis and keep you away from gestational diabetes.
The alterations in the gut microbiota created by probiotics are responsible for positively reshaping the host metabolism, leading to improved health during pregnancy. The use of probiotics during pregnancy can also help control weight gain and reduce pregnancy complications, a study suggests.
A 2019 study involved 32 healthy pregnant women who were given probiotics showed improvements in the inflammatory condition. A review also found out that probiotics were given during pregnancy to reduce the risk of the development of gestational diabetes.
3. Stronger Babies
Babies of mothers taking probiotic supplementation are found to have a greater variety of gut bacteria than non-consumers. This makes their immune and guts health superior to normal babies. According to a meta-analysis, there is a significant reduction in the risk of eczema development in kids whose mothers took probiotic supplements during pregnancy.
It was found in a 2018 controlled trial that probiotics supplementation during pregnancy leads to the development of stringer babies. Compared with placebo, babies from supplemented mothers had better weight, height, and basal metabolic index.
The babies can further benefit from the mother via breast milk if the mothers continue to take probiotics. As per a study, breast-fed children of supplement-taking mothers have better immunologic health. The Bifidobacterium species, when introduced as a probiotic, play a pivotal role in the development of an infant’s gut microbiota.
It was found in a study that the introduction of probiotics like Bifidobacterium breve M-16V enabled infants to be resistant to allergic diseases. The study found the probiotic to be most effective against necrotizing enterocolitis.
According to a review published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,probiotics during pregnancy make infants resistant to respiratory distress syndrome. Such infants also showed superior weight and height profiles as compared to placebo.
4. Reduce Risk Of Preeclampsia
A hypertensive state during pregnancy is known as preeclampsia. It is a pregnancy complication that can damage the liver and kidneys. A high level of proteins in urine is also accompanied by high blood pressure. It increases the risk of miscarriage and birth issues. Therefore, it is the least wanted complication.
It was found out in a study that preeclampsia was linked to changes in gut microflora. A shift towards pathogenic bacteria (Clostridium perfringens and Bulleidia moorei) was seen in preeclampsia patients. The ratio of pathogenic bacteria was significantly lower in women taking probiotics.
The timing of probiotic consumption also plays an important role in pregnancy. As per an observational study, probiotics given earlier during pregnancy help prevent preterm delivery, while probiotics in the later parts of pregnancy reduced preeclampsia risk.
According to a study, probiotic supplementation in pregnant women is linked to decreased preeclampsia rates and other pregnancy complications such as vaginal infections and allergic diseases.
Treatment of preeclampsia with probiotics reduces inflammation, improves flora of the intestine, and alleviates blood pressure, a study suggests.
5. Lose Weight After Delivery
Probiotics not only help you during pregnancy, but they prove to be your friends for life. Like a friend who will motivate you to lose weight after delivery, probiotics will go a step further and help you do it. According to a study, probiotic supplementation can be helpful in the prevention as well as the management of postpartum obesity and weight loss.
According to research published in the British Journal of Nutrition, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium supplementation during the first trimester of pregnancy can decrease weight gain during the course.
Central obesity decreases with probiotic usage, especially in women who have given birth to a child. There are numerous cases of women who have successfully lost weight post-partum by using a combination of probiotics and dietary modifications.
Therefore, you can shed off the gained weight during pregnancy by acting probiotic supplements to the diet.
6. No Postpartum Depression With Probiotics
Maternal postpartum depression is a common phenomenon. Anxiety after childbirth is known as baby blues. According to studies, probiotic supplements (Lactobacillus rhamnosus) are effective in alleviating anxiety and depression-like symptoms.
Probiotic supplementation has a positive effect on the brain's neural connections, modulating the regions of emotions and sensations, a study suggests. Another study claims that probiotics from natural sources are quick to improve mood.
It was found in another randomized controlled trial that probiotics can alleviate depressive symptoms.
A study suggests that women suffering from the major depressive disorder can benefit from probiotics, especially the lactobacilli species. It works by increasing the brain-derived neurotrophic factor and reducing oxidative stress.
Postnatal depression is a state of persistent depression that may even lead to death by suicide. Therefore, it is very important to manage it. The depression is caused by alterations in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, which is governed by the microbiome-gut-brain axis. Modifications in the gut microbiome are found to be directly linked to mood, a study suggests.
In a 2017 study, an antidepressant effect of probiotics was seen in women taking probiotics for weight loss.
A detailed study states that there is sufficient evidence to allow probiotic supplementation for postpartum depression. Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001, when given during pregnancy, is beneficial for reducing postpartum anxiety.
7. Easier Deliveries
It is important to have a healthy vagina for good normal delivery. Vaginal health relies on the quality of the microflora.
Vaginal complications can make childbirth an even more difficult process. Probiotics can also play a part in the maintenance of vaginal microflora. According to a study, probiotics can help you stay away from vaginal disorders while keeping the microflora healthy. This is because lactobacilli protect against attack by pathogenic viruses.
Probiotic supplementation can help avoid colonization of group B streptococcus (GBS), a study suggests. GBS colonization is associated with neonatal infection development and other harmful effects.
Disrupted vaginal may also lead to bacterial vaginosis (BV), which has the negative consequences of preterm labor and spontaneous abortions. Premature births from BV increase the infant's risk of different complications (retinopathy, leukemia, necrotizing enterocolitis). Studies have shown that probiotic supplementation is a cheap and effective way of preventing GBS and BV.
Another study claims that probiotic usage acts as an anti-infective therapy that keeps urogenital infections in women at bay. This makes delivery safer and easier.
A meta-analysis revealed that probiotics could safely be used to prevent complications of pregnancy of maternal metabolism, including weight gain, diabetes, and obesity.
Way To A Healthy Pregnancy
Other ways by which you can maintain a healthy pregnancy are given below:
Take Vitamin Supplements
It is important to take folate and vitamin B supplements to ensure good uterine health. The vitamins also prevent neonatal congenital disabilities such as spina bifida and anencephaly.
Carrying out exercise regularly can help your body adapt to the increasing weight of the baby. This also keeps your hormones within normal limits.
Give Up Bad Habits
To ensure an easy and healthy pregnancy, you should give up smoking and alcohol. Alcohol consumption is associated with an increased risk of miscarriage and stillbirth.
Drink Plenty Of Water
You should drink loads of water for a good pregnancy. A hydrated body is a healthy body.
Where Can I Find Best Natural Probiotic Supplements?
To get the best supplements, you should check out the products from Beherbal.com.
Advanced Probiotic is a completely safe and effective supplement. It contains CFUs of the four most effective bacterial strains:
- Lactobacillus acidophilus
- Bifidobacterium lactis
- Lactobacillus plantarum
- Lactobacillus paracasei
The probiotic complex is a fantastic supplement for improving your digestive system, preventing allergies, and boosting the immune system.
Probiotics are live bacteria that are helpful for the body. The human gut is composed of good and bad bacteria. Good bacteria are responsible for the optimal working of the body. Probiotics can play a crucial role in the maintenance of a healthy pregnancy. It helps improve digestive health in pregnant women. The supplement can prevent pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, obesity. Infants with maternal supplementation have better weight and height profiles.
Ladies can utilize probiotic supplements to lose postpartum weight and stay away from postnatal depression too.