Pregnancy is one of the most vulnerable times in a woman’s life, and also one of the most important for her focus on health. With the new focus of many physicians and researchers on gut microbiome health as a major factor in overall immune health, pregnant women have been left wondering if probiotic supplements are important to add to their prenatal routines.
"Giving birth should be your greatest achievement not your greatest fear."
- Jane Weideman
There aren’t enough studies specific to pregnancy and probiotic use to declare their use necessary yet, but many women enjoy the effects of probiotics on their health during pregnancy and feel that the benefits are passed on to their children during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Unfortunately, with so many options out there for probiotic supplements, it can be difficult for a woman to know which is best for her.
We did some research to find the best probiotics during pregnancy and bring them to you. We’re taking the guesswork out of your probiotic supplementation, and helping you to get the best possible product. Below we will discuss how we chose our ratings for each product, give reviews of some of our favorite supplements, and finally help you choose the right supplement for your personal needs.
There are a few characteristics that every probiotic supplement on our list had to have to earn its place. The first is at least one billion CFUs (colony forming units) per serving, which is the minimal amount of bacteria a probiotic needs to be effective. We also wanted to ensure every supplement on our list had live strains of bacteria and that those strains were guaranteed to remain alive until the expiration date.
We tried to ensure that few additives were present in the probiotics on our list unless those additives were promoting your health in some way. For example, we would not include a product that added sugar, but might include one that added Vitamin C. With plenty of products out there that don’t contain chemicals or additives, why risk weakening the results of the probiotic to include one?
"Expecting a baby is just the beginning of expecting some of life’s most precious moments." - Anonymous
Our ratings are based on a ten-point scale, and we took into account how many strains of bacteria and how many CFUs a product contained to help us decide these ratings. We also took into account customer reviews and product popularity, as well as the variety of ailments the product claims to help alleviate.
Now that you know how we chose our ratings for the best probiotics during pregnancy, it’s time to check out the reviews of our eight favorites. We have a link to each product for more information, as well as the product ranking and some of the things we like and dislike about each product.
Mother’s Select Probiotic is formulated with ten billion CFUs, far above the required amount, and features nine strains of bacteria. The focus of this particular probiotic supplement is overall immune health both during and after pregnancy. It is safe to use during both pregnancy and breastfeeding, so you won’t have to transition to a new product right away.
We love that this is an allergen safe product. It is gluten, dairy, and soy free, and contains no maltodextrin or GMOs. Unlike some other probiotics, this product does not need to be refrigerated, so you can keep it next to your prenatal vitamins and feel confident that you won’t miss a day of taking it. Make sure that you take this one with food to avoid heartburn or stomach upset.
Hyperbiotics is a brand that focuses solely on probiotic supplements, which means they are experts in the field. The PRO-Moms blend is 15 times as strong as your average pregnancy probiotic supplement because of the patented time-release formula that helps it to live through the process of moving through your stomach acid and into your intestines.
We love that this product promotes nutrient absorption, utilizes six strains of bacteria that have shown promise in supporting healthy glucose levels and encouraging weight loss after pregnancy, and contains five billion CFUs per serving. We don’t love that this product contains dairy and that its lack of coating can leave a bad taste that may not work so well with morning sickness.
Pink Stork’s focus when creating this probiotic was using bacteria strains that are backed by years of scientific research. This product contains eight billion CFUs and is designed for women who experience morning sickness, which is a hefty bonus in a product geared toward pregnant women. We also love that this product can actually relieve morning sickness by inhibiting the growth of H. pylori, which is a bacterium known for inducing nausea.
This product is produced in FDA facilities, which means it goes through multiple layers of testing before it is released to the public. We don’t love that you will need to remember to take this one on an empty stomach since many pregnant women experience morning sickness when they are hungry. We do love the lack of additives including sugar, wheat, gluten, soy, and corn.
Another product that touts the ability to ease morning sickness, this time through the use of ginger, is the New Chapter Prenatal Multivitamin with Probiotics. This supplement contains 13 vitamins, ten minerals, 21 herbs, and botanicals, plus probiotics to aid in the absorption of these contents and add to your microbiome health. The product is fermented, which aids in absorption as well.
We love that this product is organic and filled with whole foods and veggies. It is also vegetarian and hypoallergenic. It doesn’t contain any fillers or artificial ingredients either, including GMOs. We do hesitate because it is much less a probiotic than it is a multivitamin with some added fermentation, and we don’t love that you’ll need to take three capsules per day for the full effect.
Garden of Life probiotics are some of the top rated on the market. This particular product contains sixteen probiotic strains for pre and postnatal digestive health. We love that it also helps to improve lactation for breastfeeding moms, and can help support immune health in both mom and baby. Every serving contains twenty billion CFUs as well, making it the number one product for CFUs on our list.
We love that you only need to take this supplement once per day for all of the great results and that it doesn’t need refrigeration. We also like that it contains an organic prebiotic to help the probiotics within it and those that already exist in your gut to thrive. The one downside to this formula is the smell, which could agitate your morning sickness, so it may be better to use later in pregnancy or while breastfeeding.
ATURELO Prenatal Multivitamin created a product that acts as an all-in-one, so you don’t have to take both a prenatal vitamin and a probiotic. It contains vitamins, minerals, micronutrients, and probiotics to promote your health and your baby’s. This product contains ten different probiotic strains and five billion CFUs per serving. It can be taken on an empty stomach, but that isn’t a requirement.
We love that the nutrients in this product are plant-based and come from fruits and veggies rather than synthetic means. We don’t love the smell, which has the potential to aggravate morning sickness, but if you can avoid that, this is a great product for a low maintenance mom to be who doesn’t want to have to add too many extra pills to her daily routine.
Although not specifically formulated for expecting moms, we like this product by Earth’s Pearl for its easy to swallow design and its time-release technology that makes it fifteen times stronger than most probiotics on the market. It claims to boost your energy and mood as well as improve digestions, which means it does more than many probiotics.
We don’t like that this product is bad for individuals with weak stomachs and that it can cause heartburn. It is a strong probiotic, which often comes with the price of heartburn or nausea, but with pregnant women who may already be dealing with those issues, we aren’t sure it’s worth the risk. Still, if you aren’t getting the results you wanted from another probiotic, this one might be a good one to check out.
Not every adult is a fan of pill taking, so the good folks at Probonix came up with some liquid probiotic drops that can also do the trick. The grape flavor might not sit well with all pregnant women, but the positive effects could make up for that unpleasantness. This product claims to help individuals suffering from sinus issues, lactose intolerance, allergies, IBS, gas, constipation, or bloating.
It is coated in an acid mixture, which allows it to safely pass through the acidic stomach environment and into the intestines, and is, therefore, ten times more effective than your average probiotic. You don’t have to refrigerate it either, and it can be mixed with a drink or placed directly under your tongue. It is also totally organic, GMO-free, and allergen friendly.
Now that you’ve seen our picks for the best probiotics during pregnancy let’s talk about how you can go about choosing the one that will work best for your personal needs. There are plenty of factors to consider including the following:
The answers to these questions will help to lead you to the correct formula for you. Make sure to take into consideration whether or not you will keep taking this probiotic after the birth of your baby, especially if you plan to breastfeed. Many probiotic formulas improve lactation as a side-effect, so if you’re not planning to breastfeed, take that into account before continuing use.