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Probiotics in Pregnancy: Can Probiotics Help Prevent Preeclampsia?

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Preeclampsia is one of those dreaded diagnoses that can actually be fatal while you are pregnant. It usually begins with an elevated blood pressure that does not resolve itself, as well as excess protein in your urine.  Although it is unknown what specifically causes preeclampsia, it is believed that it may be due to inflammation in your body, or oxidative stress.

Since the only cure for preeclampsia is to deliver your baby, extensive research has been done for many years to try and figure out what can prevent preeclampsia from occurring so that the best outcomes can be achieved for you and your baby.

A closed study was done by Norwegian Researchers recently found that there may be a correlation between probiotic milk products and preeclampsia. When the 33,000  plus women were followed, it was found that if they consumed just 140 ml of probiotic milk products each day, they decreased their chance of developing preeclampsia by 20% and severe preeclampsia by 39%. These findings were published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Although these findings are pretty significant, further research still needs to be done. As mentioned before, Preeclampsia can be fatal and is responsible for close to 60,000 deaths each year. It affects 2-3% of all pregnancies.

 Complications of Preeclampsia

For women who have complications related to preeclampsia, these new findings could be very significant for the overall outcome of both mom and baby. Every day that you are able to prolong delivery up until your due date provides added benefits for everyone involved.

Which probiotic is best during pregnancy?

Probiotics are living microorganisms, the majority of which are bacteria followed by yeast. They are similar to the naturally occurring microorganisms found in the intestines, or gut, of every person. Three of the most commonly used probiotics include LactobacillusBifidobacterium, and Saccharomyces. They are often nicknamed “friendly bacteria.” Probiotics are helpful in supporting your digestive health.

Is it OK to take probiotics while pregnant?

Probiotics from both natural food sources and supplements are usually considered safe to take during pregnancy. But if you have an illness or condition that affects your immune system, speak to your doctor or midwife before changing your diet.

Bear in mind that probiotic and prebiotic supplements and foods with added probiotics are not regulated. This means that it’s impossible to know whether products contain enough probiotics or prebiotics to have an effect on you or your baby.

Foods that are naturally rich in prebiotics can make up part of a balanced diet, and are safe to eat in pregnancy.

If you do take a probiotic or prebiotic supplement, ensure you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.

How to Get Probiotics Naturally During Pregnancy

Some foods naturally contain probiotics, while others have probiotics added during preparation. Foods containing probiotics include:

  • live yogurt
  • live yogurt drinks
  • fermented and unfermented milk
  • miso and tempeh, which are made from fermented soya beans
  • some juices and soya drinks

Types of foods that contain prebiotics naturally?

Prebiotics are a type of indigestible food. They act as nourishment for probiotics and help the good bacteria already in your gut to grow and thrive.

The prebiotics that best helps friendly bacteria to flourish are foods that contain certain types of carbohydrates called oligosaccharides. They occur naturally in:

  • onions
  • bananas
  • leeks
  • garlic
  • chicory
  • asparagus
  • artichokes
  • soya beans
  • oats

What is the best probiotic for pregnancy?

The most effective probiotic supplements are the ones formulated for your unique needs. Ideal for pregnant women. Here are the top prenatal  probiotics:

  1. Morning Pep Prenatal Vitamins with Folate Probiotics and Enzymes for Morning Sickness and Nausea.
  2. Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Prenatal Vegetarian Multivitamin Supplement with Folate, Iron, Probiotics & Ginger.

  3. ProVen Probiotics For Pregnancy Plus – With Complete Multi-Nutrients For Mother And Baby
  4. Rainbow Light® Prenatal One Non-GMO Project Verified Multivitamin Plus Superfoods & Probiotics.
  5. PRO-Moms: Prenatal Probiotics for Pregnant and Nursing Women 

 

 Our advice

As an RN who works with postpartum women just after delivery, I have seen how devastating the effects of preeclampsia can be. Although probiotic milk products are not a cure-all for preeclampsia, if they can lessen your chances it is worth it.

There are also several leading prenatal vitamins on the market that can further lessen your chances of developing preeclampsia. For more information, make sure you check out the top three supplements on pregnancyvitamins.net.

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Sharon olabanji RN CHO

Sharon Marie olabanji RN, CHO, Founder and CEO of Pregnancyvitamins, has a background in community health, nursing, and nutrition. As a mom of two, I do a thorough research and I decide to take good care of my self and tackle health problems during pregnancy and after delivery. Pregnancyvitamins.net is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the research team.

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