My name is Rachel, and I read your article about baby intestinal microbiota and was wondering if I could help it develop during my pregnancy by taking probiotic supplements. I am 23 weeks pregnant, and my partner suffers from ulcerative colitis. So I would love to help my baby if I can. Thank you in advance for everything! Rachel

Hello Rachel,

I checked the latest information about taking probiotics during pregnancy, and it seems that there are no contraindications to taking them if Health Canada approves them and they have an NPN (natural product number) on their label.

The most popular probiotics are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. These are found in yogurt, kefir, seaweed, miso, dark chocolate and other fermented dairy products. You should avoid other kinds of probiotics during pregnancy as we don’t have enough scientific data to recommend them.

To add these to your diet during pregnancy, you can choose foods with added powder supplements of the right probiotics (for example, yogurt with probiotics), or take capsules. Check the labels of the foods you choose, and you should select those having an NPN on the packaging.

Probiotics that were added for their “therapeutic” effect are more concentrated, but there are also types that are more resistant, able to reach the intestine to have the desired effect.

We increasingly think that a pregnant woman with good intestinal microbiota as helps her baby’s microbiota during childbirth. Probiotics may also protect against pregnancy issues, such as preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, bacterial vaginosis, preterm labour and may also reduce cases of eczema in babies. Further studies are required to establish a recommended dose for pregnant women, but current data about their impacts are reassuring.

I think you have the answer to your question, Rachel.


Talk soon,
The Baby Expert

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