Updated on October 6, 2020 by Lyric Fergusson
Amother’s health is an utmost priority all the time, but especially during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Probiotics are one way we can keep ourselves and our babies healthy. Probiotics help to keep the gut healthy. A healthy gut biome has shown to improve the immune system of pregnant moms and their developing babies. Another huge benefit is that taking probiotics throughout pregnancy can help defend against Group B Strep. Probiotics should be taken throughout your breastfeeding journey as well, as the benefits they provide mom and baby are crucial during this precious time. Healthier moms make healthier breastmilk.
A baby’s microbiome is established with the good bacteria they need for a healthy life as they travel through the birth canal and when they drink breast milk. The problem that probiotics can help to solve is modern lifestyle factors may have damaged the good flora we were meant to pass on to our babies. These 7 probiotics offer targeted support for moms and babies when they need it most with the convenience of not having to be refrigerated.
The Best Probiotics for Pregnancy
(Best value — $)
Why it’s great: This 20 billion CFUs once daily probiotic supplement contains 16 probiotic strains (including Lactobaccilus acidophilus and Bifidobacteria) for digestive health, immune system support, and so much more. Each bottle contains a 30 day supply of capsules that are easily swallowed or can be broken open and sprinkled over food. Garden of Life probiotics are all dairy free, gluten free, soy free, and vegetarian.
Because the probiotics are shelf-stable, you can easily throw them in your purse and not worry about them losing potency. This supplement also includes 115mg of organic Acacia fiber, which is a prebiotic that helps good bacteria thrive. All and all this is a great choice throughout pregnancy and lactation.
Keep in mind: These pills come in a mysteriously large bottle, so storing them can be a bit cumbersome.
Good for: Soon to be mommas who are planning to breastfeed and looking for a targeted probiotic supplement.
(Most versatile — $$$)
Why it’s great: This is the only probiotic on the list that can be given to the entire family. This liquid probiotic is unflavored but does have a slight earthy taste that doesn’t tend to linger. The serving size is 3 ml, and there are 40 servings per bottle.
Just like Mary Ruth’s other products this liquid probiotic is non-GMO, gluten-free, plant-based, and vegan. If you are on a raw diet, this is a great option. This is also an excellent choice for people who struggle with swallowing pills.
Keep in mind: There is no listed CFU count on this product.
Good for: Mommas who are looking for a probiotic everyone in the family can take.
(Best for stomach issues — $$)
Why it’s great: This supplement boasts a 5 billion CFUs proprietary blend of highly stable, spore-enhanced probiotics as well as a proprietary blend of highly selective prebiotic nutrients. What this means for you is targeted relief from digestion issues ranging from constipation to nausea.
Another ultra-cool component of this supplement is how awesome the company itself is. Pink Stork is a woman-owned and run company that prides itself on creating products specifically designed for women. They also do a lot to give back, so you know your purchase not only helps you but also others.
Keep in mind: Some mommas find these pills to be too big and hard to swallow.
Good for: Soon to be mommas who are experiencing stomach issues.
Best for added folic acid — $)
Why it’s great: This probiotic supplement has 20 billion CFUs with a blend of varied probiotic strains and vitamins. It also contains extra folic acid, which can be an easy way to increase your intake, on top of your prenatal vitamin. Take one tablet a day to help both you and your developing baby.
What makes this brand stand out is that they have patented a probiotic delivery system that increases bioavailability and absorption 15 times compared to regular capsules. This allows the probiotics to get past the stomach acid and start working in the part of your gut that needs it most. If you’ve tried other probiotics in the past with no luck, this one is definitely worth trying.
Keep in mind: They are not coated so swallow fast or you might get that unpleasant taste.
Good for: Mommas who have been told they need to increase their folic acid intake.
(Best chewable — $$)
Why it’s great: This 12 billion CFUs supplement consists of 5 proven probiotic strains that target feminine health, from yeast infections to bacterial vaginosis. On top of the vaginal health benefits, this probiotic also aids with digestion and promotes overall gut health.
It can be taken before, during, and after pregnancy, which is especially important if you are breastfeeding. If swallowing pills is posing as impossible during pregnancy, these may be a good choice for you because they are a mixed fruit-flavored chewable.
Keep in mind: These have a lower CFU count than others on the list, but many mommas still find them effective.
Good for: Mommas who can’t swallow pills and prefer chewables.
(Best for breastfeeding — $)
Why it’s great: This 10 billion CFUs probiotic blend is to be taken once daily, but there are 60 capsules in each bottle, making this a great value. This probiotic formula for pregnant and breastfeeding moms is gluten, dairy, and soy free as well as 100% vegetarian.
This probiotic is especially great for breastfeeding moms. It contains 2 strains that studies have shown to be missing in the microbiome of mommas who suffer from frequent bouts of mastitis. So if mastitis has been an issue for you or if you simply want to prevent it, these are an excellent choice.
Keep in mind: This product is occasionally backordered on Amazon, so if you catch it in stock buy 2.
Good for: Breastfeeding mommas who want to prevent mastitis.
(Best for chronic UTIs — $)
Why it’s great: These are an excellent choice for women at any stage in their lives, pregnancy included. This 10 billion CFUs proprietary blend of probiotic strains targets digestive, urinary, and vaginal wellness. It’s recommended to take 2 of the delayed release capsules per day.
The urinary health component makes this supplement stand out on our list. This prebiotic and probiotic blend contains cranberry and D-mannose for urinary tract wellness. If this is a supplementation you need, it just makes sense to include it in your probiotic.
Keep in mind: The dosing for these is 2 pills instead of 1(like most of the others on the list).
Good for: Mommas who are looking for a long-term answer to their probiotic needs.
FAQs about best probiotics for pregnancy
1. Can prenatal probiotics replace prenatal vitamins?
No way! You definitely need both. Probiotics should be used in conjunction with prenatal vitamins. They both serve different functions to improve your overall health and wellness.
2. Are refrigerated probiotics more effective?
There is loads of information on this question, and the short answer is no, probably not. One great thing about shelf-stable probiotics is that you don’t have to worry if they stayed cold enough through the manufacturing, transportation, storing, and stocking processes. All of the probiotics on our list are tested for potency and designed to be kept at room temperature.
3. What benefits do prenatal probiotics have?
Probiotics have been shown to help with constipation, cramping, diarrhea, heartburn, morning sickness, gas, and bloating. They can also help with vaginal health and can even improve your immune system. It’s amazing what health benefits you can reap when you find a healthy balance in your gut bacteria.
4. What are prebiotics? Are they important?
Prebiotics are what the healthy bacteria (aka probiotics) in your gut need to eat to survive. Including prebiotics in these supplements is one-way companies ensure that you are receiving live, healthy probiotics. Yes, they are important. Yes, they are already in the supplements listed above.
5. Should I continue probiotics after pregnancy?
It’s my opinion that everyone needs probiotics in all walks of life. Our modern lifestyle doesn’t provide us with the necessary good bacteria we need to be healthy. You should continue probiotics for yourself after pregnancy, but definitely for your breastfed baby. You will pass on the good bacteria to your little one through your breastmilk.
There are so many factors that are out of our control during pregnancy, but gut health doesn’t have to be one of them. When we take probiotics we are increasing the number of good bacteria in our guts, this, in turn, increases our overall health and wellness. When our own health isn’t the only thing at stake we want to do everything we can to ensure we are taking care of business.
Setting your baby up for success starts with helping them to build a solid immune system. A mother’s microbiome is a huge factor in what a baby’s microbiome will be made of. Taking a daily probiotic will help to make sure you are passing on all of those crucial good strains of probiotics to your little one. You will be improving your overall health with whichever probiotic you choose!