Best probiotics For breastfeeding 

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best probiotics for breast feeding

Probiotics and breastfeeding

The postpartum period is nutritionally demanding and nursing mothers usually experience a drop in energy levels.

To provide nourishing milk to your baby, it is crucial to have a healthy gut that can extract the necessary nutrients and energy from your diet. 

That is where probiotics come in. Probiotics or good bacteria have a wide range of health benefits from a robust gut to overall health.

Are probiotics safe when breastfeeding?

Before delving into the benefits of probiotics, it is always a brilliant idea to be cautious about what you put into your body while breastfeeding. It is due to the potential risk of harm to the baby via breast milk. So first thing first, you might want to make sure the probiotics are safe to take during nursing.

Research says they are “SAFE”.

The good news is that research shows that it is safe to consume probiotics while breastfeeding. 

Can probiotics pass through breast milk?

There is no conclusive evidence that probiotics pass to an infant directly via breast milk. But, they can change the microbiota composition of breastmilk. Consequently, milk with a better microbial composition will undoubtedly benefit your precious.

Health Benefits of Probiotics on breastfeeding moms

  1. Promote a healthy gut and replenish postpartum depletion of nutrients

A breastfeeding mother demands 500 extra calories and nutrients to replenish the depletion through colostrum and breastmilk.

Probiotics or good bacteria are generally known to optimize your gut health. A strong and healthy digestive tract ensures better absorption of nutrients for your body and the optimum transfer of nutrients to your baby.

  1. Help support a healthy postpartum mood

Most new moms experience postpartum mood changes after childbirth, which commonly include mood swings, crying spells, anxiety, and depression.

There is growing research that your gut bacteria (probiotics) have a positive impact on mental health via gut-brain-connection. In a 2017 study, researchers found that Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001 given in the postpartum period reduced symptoms of maternal depression and anxiety.

  1. May help with breast infections

Acute mastitis, a painful breast infection, is one of the main reasons why nursing mothers have to stop breastfeeding.

Treatment for mastitis generally involves antibiotics, but it has downfalls. Antibiotics tend to kill both bad and good microbes, which can weaken your natural defenses against future infection.

Research suggests that probiotics may help in preventing the occurrence of mastitis and improving related symptoms.

Benefits of Probiotics on the breastfed baby

  1. A healthy infant gut microbiome

Breast milk naturally has probiotics in it. Human milk contains about 700 different strains of probiotic bacteria such as Lactobacillus, and Bifidobacterium. 

Though the probiotics you consume do not directly pass to the infant, these friendly bacteria make beneficial changes in the microbiota composition of your breast milk.

As a result, your breast milk will do a great job of shaping your baby’s microbiome with good bacteria. And a healthy gut microbiome will protect your baby from digestive issues, vomiting and diarrhea.

  1. Reduced risk of atopic eczema

Atopic eczema (also called atopic dermatitis) is a condition that presents with dry and itchy skin. It is thought to be the result of a hypersensitive immune response. Babies are at higher risk of eczema if any of their parents or siblings have allergic conditions.

According to research, consuming probiotic supplements while breastfeeding protects against atopic eczema in breastfed infants during the first 2 years of life.

Best-proven probiotics while breastfeeding 

Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus species are the most common probiotics and are effective in a wide range of health conditions. They are also the most abundant bacteria naturally present in the breast milk of healthy mothers.

The probiotic strains from these two species are also proven for specific conditions.

Safety Precautions

Although taking probiotic supplements while breastfeeding is generally considered safe, there are a few safety precautions.

Probiotics are not systemically absorbed ( enter the bloodstream) and harm the host except in immunocompromised conditions. So if you are immune deficient or have damaged heart valves, you should not take probiotics.

Personal advice

Probiotics do not pose any safety concerns for healthy nursing mothers. Nonetheless, it is always best to consult with your healthcare provider to check the ingredients list of your supplement and ensure its safety.

Incorporating the right probiotic supplements not only promotes a healthy gut and overall well-being for you but also has the added benefit of seeding your baby’s microbiome with beneficial bacteria.

So go ahead Mommy, talk with your doctor, and indulge in those probiotics as needed!

My personal favourites : best probiotics for breastfeeding

Optibac Probiotics Pregnancy

If you are looking for all-rounder probiotics, this is the product I recommend most of my patients to.

This has the Lactobacillus rhamnosus which is the most researched strain and known to have most benefits for women.

A dose of 12 billion CFU may be just about right for everyone, with very few reported side effects.

Culturelle® Natural Flora – Daily Probiotic Supplement

This is also very similar to Optibac, but this only has one Lactobacillus strain and purposed for more general use rather than specific for pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Some people want to avoid taking multiple probiotic strains due to side effects and this one would be the choice in that group.

Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Probiotics for Women

This probiotics has 50 billion CFU with multiple Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains suitable for those who want to take probiotics not only for post natal health but also for overall gut health improvement.