When you are pregnant, there are a million things to worry about. Moms-to-be study everything, doing their best to assure their growing fetus the best shot at a healthy life. One of those things is researching the best probiotics during pregnancy. Dietary health is a big deal when knitting a human in your womb.
Probiotics are a form of living bacteria and yeast, and these microorganisms are naturally found in a person’s intestines or digestive system.
Known as friendly gut bacteria, they are necessary for a healthy body to function properly. But like anything else, the balance can sway, and that’s when probiotics step in to help establish a healthier mix.
Why Would Pregnant Women Take Probiotics?
Pregnant women can take probiotics either in supplement form or through eating food to help maintain their number of healthy bacteria, especially toward the end of their pregnancy, which studies and personal experiences suggest may offer the following benefits:
- Less harmful bacteria in the gut and intestines
- Aiding the intestines in moving food along the digestive tract
- Reduced likelihood of health complications
- Aids ailments such as diarrhea, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, liver disease, eczema, and even allergies
- Improved weight loss after pregnancy
- Eliminated vaginal issues such as yeast infections
- Aids morning sickness and heartburn
- Boosts the immune system
Constipation and diarrhea are frequent and uncomfortable issues among pregnant women, and many will use the best probiotics during pregnancy as a natural cure for these embarrassing ailments.
They’re commonly found in natural foods like live-cultured yogurt and pickles or in supplement form.
Are Probiotics Safe for Pregnant Women?
Many supplements are restricted from use by pregnant or nursing mothers, but probiotics are considered a natural and safe remedy. The National Institute of Health (NIH) and the National Library of Medicine (NLM) claim probiotics are most likely safe for pregnant women and their unborn children.
Studies suggest that probiotics offer a variety of benefits, over and above improved digestion:
- When consumed early in the pregnancy, they may lower the incidence of preterm birth
- Reduced chances of PIH (Preeclampsia) for women who ate probiotic milk products during late pregnancy
To be clear, these observational studies are not considered conclusive, but the study included 70,000 pregnancies. Talk to your doctor, before changing your supplements, especially during pregnancy.
How We Chose Our Ratings
To select to top 10 best probiotics to use during your pregnancy, we researched why they’re important supplements for both mothers and babies and selected the options that best address your health needs during this crucial time.
Mothers and experts love these brands because they help stomach issues and boost your baby’s health. While there are dozens of options on the market today, the best offer common features that make pregnant women’s lives easier.
Top 10 Best Probiotics During Pregnancy
The following is a list of the 10 best probiotics during pregnancy, as recommended by pregnant women who have tried various methods and healthcare professionals with experience using probiotics.
Probiotics for Pregnant & Breastfeeding Women
Probiotics for Pregnant & Breastfeeding Women - for Heartburn, Morning...
- MAMA'S SELECT PROBIOTICS ARE USED TO HELP WITH DIGESTIVE AILMENTS such as occasional constipation, cramping, heartburn,...
- USED TO STRENGTHEN THE IMMUNE SYSTEM of mother and baby and get both digestive tracts on track. Increases Nutrient...
- REPLACES BENEFICIAL GUT BACTERIA SO YOU FEEL BETTER - Gut Bacteria may be depleted during and after pregnancy, that can...
A high-end and well-renowned probiotic for pregnant and nursing mothers, this blend is made to build up the immune system, enhance nutrient absorption from your foods, and requires no refrigeration.
It offers 10 billion CFUs, making it a great option for both women and babies. Even those with allergies are safe using this gluten, dairy, and soy free blend.
Although you need to take this probiotic with food to prevent heartburn, you may notice an increase in your milk production when taking this probiotic.
Garden of Life Prenatal Probiotic
Garden of Life - Dr. Formulated Probiotics Once Daily Prenatal -...
- No Refrigeration Required. Keep out of reach of children; Non-GMO verified
- DIGESTION SUPPORT: This 20 billion CFU once daily probiotic supplement contains Lactobaccilus acidophilus and...
- PRENATAL PROBIOTIC: Clinically studied probiotics dietary supplement that support lactation, pregnancy, and immune...
Created by doctors to help prenatal and postnatal health concerning digestive issues, this probiotic contains 20 billion CFUs and is completely hypoallergenic.
It’s an easy-to-use formula that you only need to take once per day and doesn’t require refrigeration.
After the baby is born, you may also notice balance lactation as well. But many women find the strong odor difficult when dealing with morning sickness, and they’re only available in a 30-day supply.
New Chapter Perfect Prenatal Vitamins
New Chapter Perfect Prenatal Vitamins,192ct, Organic Prenatal...
- COMPLETE PRENATAL VITAMIN with Folate for baby’s healthy brain & spinal cord development
- EASY TO TAKE ANYTIME: Gentle on an empty stomach. Eases morning sickness with clinical dose of Organic Ginger
- 7 NUTRIENT-PACKED TABLETS with Superfoods and safe herbs plus fermented nutrients to support baby’s healthy...
A complete multivitamin laced with helpful probiotics, health-conscious women love this organic option. It’s loaded with organic herbs, vegetables, and vitamins.
This option has it all, from broccoli and kale to Vitamin C and A. You’ll get 100% of all your daily vitamins and consume no synthetic fillers – just organic superfoods and healthy bacteria.
This probiotic is perfect for all pregnant women and comes highly recommended by OBGYNs to reduce morning sickness, however, you can expect to take large pills three times each day to reach the full effects and the pills may cause constipation.
Make sure to exercise regularly and drink plenty of water with this option.
PRO-Moms: Prenatal Probiotics
PRO-Moms: Prenatal Probiotics for Pregnant and Nursing...
- GET 15 TIMES MORE SURVIVABILITY THAN WITH VEGGIE CAPSULES. With a patented delivery method, the probiotic organisms in...
- PRIORITIZE YOUR BABY'S HEALTH. Babies are meant to be inoculated with the good bacteria they need for a healthy life...
- GIVE YOUR BODY THE BEST TOOLS AVAILABLE. Probiotics encourage regularity along with proper nutrient absorption—and the...
Perfect for use during pregnancy and after, Pro-Mom’s provides a healthy balance of gut bacteria to give your baby a great start.
It’s 15 times stronger than average options thanks to a reliable time-release formula, and this prenatal probiotic will boost your nutrient absorption. Plus, it offers help postpartum to allow you to lose the added baby weight.
However, this option isn’t completely hypoallergenic and uncoated, which can limit availability to mothers with bad morning sickness or dairy allergies.
Pink Stork Pro: Pregnancy Probiotic
Pink Stork Pro: Prenatal Vitamin Probiotic for Women, Immune Health +...
- MORNING SICKNESS + DIGESTIVE RELIEF: This product supports relief from morning sickness and digestive discomfort....
- GUT + IMMUNE HEALTH SUPPORT: This product supports optimal gut health, eradicates bad bacteria, cleanses the GI tract,...
- CLEAN: Made without GMOs, Gluten, Wheat, Dairy, Sugars/Sweeteners, Soy + More. Proudly made in the USA, third party...
Made with pregnant mothers who suffer from morning sickness in mind, this probiotic is loaded with the healthy bacteria you need to inhibit harmful bacteria that induce nausea, gas, bloating, cramping, heartburn, and constipation.
It only contains 8 billion CFUs though, and you need to make sure you take the probiotic before your symptoms show up for the best results. Take this probiotic on an empty stomach, and as early as possible for the best results.
60 Day Supply – Earth’s Pearl Probiotic & Prebiotic
60 Day Supply – Earth’s Pearl Probiotic & Prebiotic – for Women,...
- PROBIOTIC & PREBIOTIC FORMULA: Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that are found in specific foods or supplements, while...
- EASES DIGESTIVE DISTRESS: These supplements are specifically designed to provide relief from bloating and gas pain and...
- BENEFICIAL BACTERIA: Did you know there is such a thing as healthy gut bacteria? It’s true! Gut healthy microbiota...
A fast-acting time-release probiotic that’s easy to swallow, Earth’s Pearl probiotics boost digestion all day long.
This option uses their patented time-release model to offer much more bacteria into your body, boosting your mood and energy levels as well as health and digestion.
Although this probiotic wasn’t made with pregnant women in mind, so you may still need prenatal supplements. Women with weak stomachs also warn you may experience heartburn while using this probiotic.
Lovebug Postnatal Probiotic Supplement
LoveBug Probiotics Postnatal Probiotic, 20 Billion CFU & 7 Strains,...
- SUPPORTS POSTNATAL DIGESTIVE & IMMUNE HEALTH. Multi-strain formula including B Infantis for a safe but effective way to...
- FOR BREAST MILK PRODUCTION & ACID REFLUX RELIEF, Includes a proprierary Lactation blend of Fenugreek Seed, Milk Thistle...
- ALLERGEN FRIENDLY, VEGAN PROBIOTICS. We take everyone into account which is why our probiotics are free of the 8 major...
Made with expecting moms in mind, Lovebug is a time-released option that offers double the amount of CFUs than some other prenatal blends.
It also contains a healthy dose of folic acid and the B. Infantis bacteria, designed to aid the development of your unborn fetus. It’s sugar, GMO, soy, and gluten free as well. Expect to pay a more for this formula, as it’s expensive.
Activ Health Probiotic
ActivHealth Probiotics for Women and Men with Scientifically Verified...
- ★ GET BACK TO LIVING: ActivHealth Probiotics helps proper digestion, absorption, and processing of food & nutrients....
- ★ SCIENTIFICALLY STUDIED STRAINS & PHARMACEUTICAL GRADE: Our Probiotics was formulated after consulting with top...
- ★150 BILLION CFU EFFECTIVENESS LEVEL: Why settle for less when you have the best in front of you! Our high quality...
With over 10 billion CFUs and folic acid, this blend is made using the best strains of healthy bacteria for pregnant women. It even contains kiwifruit for brain health and better digestion during pregnancy.
This probiotic is soy and gluten-free, making it great for those with allergies, and it’s affordable. However, you may need to take other prenatal vitamins at the same time.
AZO Complete Feminine Balance Daily Probiotics
AZO Complete Feminine Balance Daily Probiotics for Women - 30 Count -...
- PROBIOTICS FOR WOMEN Why AZO? Maintaining feminine health is quite a balancing act. Life happens fast and stress, your...
- AZO COMPLETE FEMININE BALANCETM TO THE RESCUE! It works differently because it contains INTELLIFLORATM the only...
- FIND BALANCE This proven blend restores the natural balance of good bacteria and yeast in your body.* AZO is designed to...
Because pregnant women experience a drastic change in hormones, which can lead to problems like yeast infections or pH imbalances, AZO was created for a woman’s health using four common healthy bacteria strains.
You only need to take the pill once per day, and it’s safe for pregnant women to use to help control feminine health issues while developing a baby.
However, it’s not made to balance gut bacteria, so you may still need a diet full of healthy fats and fiber if digestion is your main concern.
Nordic Naturals Flora Probiotic Woman
With 6 strains and 15 million CFUs, this probiotic option can improve gut health and boost favorable vaginal flora at the same time.
This blend is perfect for women who suffer from frequent UTIs or urinary tract issues, although it’s not formulated specifically for pregnant or nursing mothers. Vegan women adore this option, but you should also expect to pay a bit more than with other brands.
Probiotics, while all beneficial, each come with their own features. Some probiotics are made for women in general, but others are designed with pregnant women or women who have recently given birth in mind.
Best Probiotics During Pregnancy Buyer’s Guide
Each probiotic will differ in benefits as well, as some boost milk production, aid vaginal health, or supplement your nutrient needs.
What to Look For in a Good Probiotic for Pregnant Women
Pregnant and nursing women should specifically look for the following to find the best probiotics during pregnancy, no matter their specific issues.
At least 10 billion CFU
This number of colony-forming units or CFUs reflects how many friendly bacteria cells can populate your gut. A high number will contradict the population of unhealthy bacteria, which leads to fewer health issues and morning sickness.
Probiotics contain various strains of bacteria to ensure you benefit from them all rather than a single type.
Pregnant women need balanced nutrition and vitamins, so look for a probiotic that will enhance your body’s ability to absorb the nutrients you need.
Unlike non-coated probiotics that often taste terrible, coated options are less likely to make you gag. This is a huge bonus if you’re experiencing morning sickness.
Pregnant women often experience a heightened sense of smell, so an odorless probiotic should keep their normally strong smells under wraps.
Some probiotics will also function as a multivitamin and taking the two supplements in one will save you time and money.
Knowing which probiotics are right for you can also come down to features you’re likely to see among the available options including:
Easy to swallow
Pregnant women who tend to experience morning sickness or other tummy troubles enjoy an easy to swallow formula. Look for a probiotic without a strong odor or taste that may trigger your nausea.
Larger pills may also be difficult to swallow and become stuck in your windpipe. Make sure you look at the directions as well, as some probiotics are okay to take on an empty stomach while others may induce nausea if they’re not taken with food.
Formulated to release a steady stream of strains when your body needs it most, time-release will keep pregnant women feeling better longer.
They’re more potent than other types and often require you to only take one each day, which is helpful. However, women with sensitive stomachs may experience issues with this type.
Whether you typically buy hypoallergenic products already for your sensitive baby or not, taking hypoallergenic probiotics is ideal. Pregnant women should especially be wary of the ingredients in anything they put into their bodies.
If you do have specific food needs or are vegetarian, read the ingredient list. Many options are dairy or soy free, gluten free, GMO-free, kosher, etc.
If you don’t need to keep your probiotic in the fridge, you can take it on-the-go with you. Many options available today require refrigeration, and busy women may not always be able to take their probiotic if it’s at home lost in the fridge somewhere.
Finally, you always want to make sure the probiotic you select is okay with your doctor. They will know which options are best, especially if you’re sensitive to certain ingredients or taking other medications.
Your doctor can also tell you which strains may work better for you or how much is appropriate to take.
While probiotics tend to do more good than harm, the best probiotic during pregnancy will depend on the benefits and features right for you. All pregnancies are different.
Featured Image via Pixabay