Best postnatal probiotics

Updated on :

By Dr.HMT

The postnatal period can be a challenging time for many new mothers, both physically and emotionally. So it is important to take care of yourself during this critical time. 

One area that has gained attention in recent years is the use of postnatal probiotics to promote healing and recovery. Probiotics are live microorganisms that offer a range of health benefits, from easing digestive discomfort to reducing the risk of infection. 

Benefits of postnatal probiotics

  1. They keep you regular.

No one wants to strain with an episiotomy (a cut made in the vaginal wall during childbirth) or C-section scar.

Probiotics can help regulate your bowel movements and make you poop more regularly. They help promote the natural contractions of your intestines and improve overall gut health, which can diminish constipation and encourage regular bowel movements.

  1. They help your gut absorb nutrients properly.

Besides regularity, probiotics maintain a healthy gut and encourage proper nutrient absorption. The more nourishment you get, the more the baby can get too. Therefore, with better absorption, postnatal probiotics will help you get more nutrients for both yourself and your baby.

  1. They help you mentally recover.

After childbirth, hormonal changes, sleepless nights, nursing, and constant caring for your precious baby can undoubtedly stress you out.

Thanks to growing research on the gut-brain axis, a shift in the gut microbiomes is associated with mood changes. Postnatal probiotics will rebalance the gut bacteria and reduce the intensity and duration of baby blues and postpartum depression.

  1. They can ward off yeast infections in the breast.

Yeast infection in the breast is caused by an overgrowth of the fungus candida albicans. Candida is normally found in our body but it can start to overgrow in warm, moist, dark environments like lactating breasts.

When mothers take antibiotics that do not discriminate between bad and good, they upset the balance between fungus and bacteria allowing the fungus to grow out of control. The good news is that the healthy bacteria in probiotics can help prevent the fungus from multiplying and causing a problem for you and your breastfed baby.

  1. They give you a healthy body.

The life of a new mom is quite busy and you do not want to be sick and weak. The gut microbiota that resides in your GI tract keeps a delicate balance in the immune system by eliminating invading pathogens. Probiotics provide beneficial bacteria for making a healthy gut microbiome and help to maintain immune homeostasis. With a strong immunity, you will be less likely to get sick. In other words, a healthy gut will make a healthy you.

  1. They help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes in post-GDM mothers.

Gestational diabetes (GDM) is a state of high blood glucose levels in the second or third trimester of pregnancy. After delivery, the blood glucose levels tend to fall, but these mothers carry a significant risk of developing type 2 DM in later life. 

Recent evidence has found that imbalances in the gut flora composition in GDM mothers are directly associated with impaired glucose metabolism and may persist into the postpartum period. 

A well-conducted study published in Nutrients Journal proposes a combination of healthy lifestyle changes and probiotics supplementation as a preventive therapy to improve metabolic outcomes in post-GDM women.

Are postnatal probiotics safe for newborns?

Postnatal probiotics are formulated to be safe for newborns.

If you are breastfeeding, the good news is that breast milk contains natural probiotics. Postnatal probiotics supplementation in nursing moms can make for a healthy baby gut microbiome in breastfed babies.

Therefore, with tons of benefits, postnatal probiotics are safe for both mom and baby.

Clinically studied best postnatal probiotics 

  • Bifidobacterium longum

A clinical trial of 180 mothers showed that B.longum NCC3001 can help with postnatal depression.

  • Bifidobacterium lactis HN019

This strain has been highly researched to improve gut transit time and constipation and to promote healthy gut function.

  • Lactobacillus acidophilus 

Specific probiotic strains of Lactobacillus species like L. acidophilus have been shown to inhibit Candida growth. 

  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus

According to a study conducted on 423 women, L.rhamnosus HN001 given in pregnancy and postpartum alleviates symptoms of maternal depression and anxiety.

  • Lactobacillus casei, L.acidophilus, L.lactis, Bifidobacterium bifidum, B.infantis, B.longum

These strains have shown a reduction in fasting glucose levels and improved metabolic outcomes in post-gestational diabetes mothers.

What to look for in postnatal probiotics?

When choosing a postnatal probiotic, there are a few important things to keep in mind.

  • Look for a postnatal probiotic that is specifically formulated as safe for both baby and mom.
  • Go with a reputable high-quality brand.
  • Look for clinically studied strains that I’ve mentioned above.
  • Opt for postnatal probiotics with 1-10 billion CFU for effective dosage.
  • As always, be sure to check with your doctor before taking any kind of supplement.

Bottom line

Postnatal probiotics are tailored to meet the needs of new mothers. Therefore, to promote a speedy recovery after delivery and maintain the well-being of both mother and baby throughout breastfeeding, daily intake of postnatal probiotics is highly recommended.