A new study has demonstrated that probiotics taken during pregnancy may be key in lowering the risks of pre-eclampsia and premature birth risk. Timing however to their consumption is crucial and still unconfirmed.
Diet and nutrition are already understood to be important in pregnancy however the Norwegian MoBa Study of 70,000 women is reaffirming this knowledge with a new emphasis on the role of probiotics.
As part of the research, mums-to-be provided information on their diet, lifestyle, medical history, and other relevant background factors at 15, 22, and 30 weeks of pregnancy.
At 15 and 30 weeks, the questions included additional information on intake of different milk products containing probiotic bacteria before and during their pregnancy.
In the pre-eclampsia analysis, probiotic intake was associated with a 20 percent lower risk of the condition, but only during late pregnancy.
A significant association also emerged between probiotic intake during early pregnancy and an 11 percent lower risk of premature birth, rising to 27 percent for preterm birth late in the pregnancy.
Interestingly, the amount of probiotic consumed didn’t seem to make any difference. The researchers believe there will be further links established between the positive results and when consumption is most beneficial. Watch this space!
In the meantime, if you’re pregnant – of course, seek health advice from your doctor – but what have you got to lose? A probiotic daily could bring numerous positive benefits. Whilst the researchers emphasise there is still more investigation to be undertaken the prelim benefits are evident.
Pre-eclampsia, a condition in which the mother’s body mounts an exaggerated inflammatory response, affects up to 8 percent of all pregnancies, and can lead to severe complications for both mother and baby*.
Premature birth (before 37 weeks) is a leading cause of illness and disability among the children born, affecting nearly one in 10 births**.
Study reference: Mahsa Nordqvist, Bo Jacobsson, Anne-Lise Brantsæter, Ronny Myhre, Staffan Nilsson, Verena Sengpiel. Timing of probiotic milk consumption during pregnancy and effects on the incidence of preeclampsia and preterm delivery: a prospective observational cohort study in Norway. BMJ Open, 2018; 8 (1): e018021 DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-018021
*These statistic from the United States of America.