This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Are you curious about the best probiotic for a breastfeeding mom? There are many potential health benefits, both for a nursing mom and her baby. In fact, optimizing gut health can be a game-changer for moms (new and seasoned) with a whole gambit of health-related issues.
From skin issues and sleep deprivation to stress and bloating, a probiotic may help. Plus, taking a probiotic can be one small way to give your body a much-needed boost- a great form of self-care. 😉
So if you’ve been wondering, can I take probiotics while breastfeeding? You are in the right place.
This post will cover the benefits and risks, the best probiotic for breastfeeding mom, and much more. Read on to make your breastfeeding experience more joyful and nutritious.
This article does not offer medical advice. Always talk to your doctor.
My Own Experience with Probiotics
With my first daughter, I dealt with every bacterial imbalance in the book- from being Strep B positive and needing antibiotics during labor to extremely painful thrush (a yeast infection) on my nipples that almost ended my breastfeeding journey before it even began.
When I was pregnant with my second daughter, I wanted to make sure I avoided all of the same problems. So I started taking a Garden of Life prenatal probiotic in my third trimester. While it’s hard to know if it truly was the reason for my better experience, I am happy to report I had no issues with thrush or Strep B.
Perhaps best of all, I was happy to find that taking a probiotic during pregnancy completely eliminated my issues with constipation too.
You may also want to read: Best Tea for Breastfeeding: Eight Top Choices
What are Probiotics?
Your GI tract is home to beneficial bacteria or probiotics in a balanced ecosystem, known as the microbiome. Probiotics can help naturally support this delicate ecosystem.
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, especially your digestive system. They are found in some foods, like yogurt and kefir, or you can take them as dietary supplements.
Probiotics can help keep your gut healthy by boosting the number of good bacteria and helping to crowd out harmful bacteria. They may also help with other health problems, like eczema and allergies.
Interestingly, the importance of bacteria balance in the gut is becoming more clear as more research is done. The gut is in direct communication with the brain and even plays a role in creating/managing important hormones like serotonin (our relaxation hormone).
Best Probiotic for Breastfeeding Mom: Top Three Picks
- My Personal Favorite- For Pregnancy and Postpartum: Garden of Life – Dr. Formulated Prenatal Probiotics
- Amazon Best-Seller Postpartum Probiotic: Vegan Postnatal Probiotic by Mary Ruth’s
- Amazon Choice and Friend Recommended: Hyperbiotics Pro Moms
Garden of Life – Dr. Formulated Probiotics for Women & Prebiotics
For my favorite probiotics for breastfeeding and pregnancy, this Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Probiotics for Women has to be on top of my list.
The product contains 20 billion CFUs (Colony Forming Units) with sixteen diverse Lacto and Bifido probiotic strains for digestive health.
These two strains resist stomach acid and bile (meaning they get to your gut and not just digested). Plus, they help boost immune, digestive, as well as vaginal health.
They are super convenient to take– just one capsule a day is enough to keep track of your gut health. Since I am not a fan of taking multiple doses daily, it’s a significant plus.
No need to refrigerate. These probiotics are shelf-stable, so they arrive in full strength, alive, healthy, and ready to start helping your digestive system.
The packaging is lined with desiccant to ensure that the bacterial cells have the best chance of surviving during delivery and at home.
Garden of Life Once Daily Women’s Probiotics are vegetarian and can be used as rejuvenating digestive and immunological supplements. Each capsule is made with veggie cellulose and ensures you’re not consuming any animal gelatin.
Additionally, each product serving has 377 mg of organic acacia fiber, a prebiotic that feeds probiotics and promotes their growth in the stomach.
The product is free of soy, gluten, dairy, and non-GMO verified.
What I Like the Most
- High CFU count
- No refrigeration needed
- Two Stomach Acid Resistant Strains
- 100% Vegan
- The convenience of one capsule a day
- Generally safe for pregnancy- meaning it should also be safe for nursing moms! (Always talk to your doctor first)
- Personally, I had fewer yeast infections and regularity with BMs (a huge plus when pregnant!)
What I Don’t Like
- Might cause bloating and gas for some initially
Vegan Postnatal Probiotic by Mary Ruth’s
If you are looking for a probiotic that transforms your gut health post giving birth and makes you feel like yourself again, then this Mary Ruth Postnatal Probiotic is for you.
The product comes in capsule form and is a robust combination of vitamins, minerals, botanicals, and probiotics to maintain the postnatal needs of yourself and your newborn.
I love that it contains ginger which has been recognized as a galactagogue (a substance that increases milk production). Plus, ginger is known for promoting postpartum recovery.
In addition to probiotic strains and ginger root, these capsules contain iron, selenium, choline, and ashwagandha to support your postpartum health.
Mary Ruth’s postnatal probiotics are unique because iron comes from bioavailable ferrous bis-glycinate chelate in these capsules. Compared to iron salts, this type of iron is more palatable and has better absorption rates.
I have difficulty digesting iron as it often upsets my stomach, so I found this formula well-tolerated and effective.
Moreover, most pregnant & lactating moms are often deficient in choline, an essential nutrient that plays a critical role in babies’ brain development and memory.
These probiotics for breastfeeding are loaded with choline to help moms fulfill their daily needs for this nutrient.
However, the most significant drawback of choline is that the smell of the capsules is not particularly pleasant, which may be a major turn-off for many.
The good news: Mary Ruth’s has recently included a new “scent tab” made of food-grade materials to aid with the stench!
Last but not least, the formula also contains ashwagandha. A traditional adaptogenic herb that helps regulate homeostasis.
These easy-to-take probiotic capsules are packed with good bacteria, contain 54 CFU per dose, are free from common allergens, and contain no Gluten, Wheat, Corn, Soy, Nuts, Dairy, Sugar, or Nightshades.
What I Like the Most
- Free of allergens
- No need for refrigeration
- High CFU count
- Vegan, Non-GMO, Gluten Free
- Keto friendly
- Contains iron and choline essential for most postpartum moms
What I Don’t Like
- Not a great choice for people with a heightened sense of smell
- Might leave a foul aftertaste
Get these Mary Ruth’s Postnatal Probiotics From Here.
Related read: What Medicine Can I Take While Breastfeeding?
Hyperbiotics Pro Moms- for Expecting and Nursing Women
When I was searching for probiotics to try while breastfeeding my second, a friend recommended I try this Hyperbiotics Pro-Moms formula. During pregnancy and nursing, I noticed that my daughter and I were sensitive to dairy (a slight lactose intolerance), that I thought a balanced gut could help.
I simply love the fact, that this product is specifically designed to address the needs of my breastfed baby and me.
Plus, I found many women raving about how these probiotics helped them with pregnancy constipation (Which is no doubt the worst).
So, what’s unique about these probiotics, and why should you include them in your breastfeeding or pregnancy journey?
This probiotic supplement has six targeted strains, including Bifidobacterium Infantis and L. Plantarum.
Studies show that these probiotic strains may help produce natural B vitamins, including folate.
Folate is the non-synthetic version of folic acid and is an essential vitamin for supporting the development of your baby’s brain and preventing Spina Bifida. A condition that involves the spine and is usually evident at birth.
Additionally, the probiotic strains encourage proper nutrient absorption, which most breastfeeding moms need to boost their milk supply.
The brand claims these probiotics are 15 times more effective than other veggie capsules as they have a patented delivery method that allows the probiotic organisms in this tablet to be released for over 8-10 hours.
Since the organisms are encapsulated in pearl capsules, they bypass stomach acids and reach the intestinal tract alive to help keep your gut healthy.
Again, with the time-released delivery, the benefits of probiotics reach deep inside your gut hour by hour. So one capsule a day is enough to get the desired results.
The patented delivery method, also known as Bio-tract, ensures long shelf life with absolutely zero refrigeration needed.
The product contains 5 billion CFU per Bio-tract tablet equals 75 billion CFUs of traditional probiotic veggie capsules.
Moreover, this supplement contains the nutritious kiwifruit powder that helps probiotics colonize and supports regular bowel movements, which are usually a significant concern during pregnancy and postpartum.
In my opinion, this product is a fantastic choice as it is vegan, non-GMO, and free of dairy, gluten, and yeast. There is also no soy, sugar, or nuts.
What I Like the Most
- Patented Technology
- 15 times more survivable than veggie capsules
- One capsule a day
- Suitable for sensitive stomach
- Helps with yeast infections
What I Don’t Like
- Bigger size pills
Best Probiotic for Breastfeeding Mom: Natural and Fermented Foods
Since I am a huge fan of organic and wholesome foods, I try taking natural probiotics while breastfeeding too. On days when I miss a dose of my regular probiotic supplement, these foods ensure I have healthy intestinal flora to get me going.
Natural probiotics are fermented foods that cultivate good bacteria to benefit our gut and general health.
These probiotic-rich fermented foods have been shown in studies to have antioxidant, anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.
These include naturally fermented kefirs and yogurts, pickles, and my favorite, kombucha tea. There are also foods like fermented veggies like kimchi and sauerkraut.
Yogurt is one of the best sources of probiotics while breastfeeding. In addition, it also helps maintain healthy levels of calcium and protein. (It can also be a great breastfeeding snack on the go!)
Yogurt is a culturally fermented dairy product. When unique lactic acid-producing microorganisms are added to milk, it sours and thickens, forming yogurt.
However, to be considered probiotics, yogurts must contain live cultures that will make it into your gut. Therefore while purchasing, always look for the words “live and active cultures” on the label.
Usually, all yogurts contain Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. Other probiotic strains commonly added are Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidus.
All of these could aid in preserving the bacterial balance required to strengthen the immune system and encourage a healthy digestive system.
Sauerkraut is a finely cut raw green cabbage fermented by natural probiotics and lactic acid bacteria.
I recommend taking sauerkraut without additives, such as oil, sugar, or vinegar, to get the maximum benefits of this food.
In addition to having probiotic qualities, it also contains vitamins C, B, and K. Besides, it is a great source of micronutrients, including iron, manganese, selenium, and sodium, which pregnant and nursing women mostly need.
Sauerkraut is delicious on its own or on meat.
Although there are various ways to obtain probiotics through food, kefir stands out as one of the easiest and most economical methods to get a range of strands.
Like yogurt, kefir is another fermented dairy product, but it is made with several different types of bacteria and yeasts and is typically lactose-free.
Probiotic strains found in kefir include Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium bifidum, and Streptococcus thermophilus.
Also, homemade kefir is easy to make and a probiotic powerhouse with a billion CFUs in a small spoonful. You can also pick what type of milk to use to suit your pocket and needs.
Moreover, studies show that Kefir consumption effectively works against infectious gastrointestinal disorders such as traveler’s diarrhea.
The fermented milk product also has an intense antibacterial action for helping with GI issues and even food poisoning.
Kombucha is a fermented tea made with sugar, yeast, and bacteria.
A colony of live bacteria and yeast is added to tea, and then it is left to ferment for one to three weeks before being carbonated.
The end product is a fizzy beverage with a unique tart flavor. So delish! If you like that kind of thing.
Kombucha acquires its probiotic qualities, or good bacteria, the same way other naturally fermented foods, and drinks do.
It helps enhance digestion, support gut health, and balance your microbiome.
I have incorporated kombucha tea into my nutrition plan as I have been trying to switch to a diet that consists of more whole foods.
It supports the restoration of healthy gut function and enhances nutrient absorption.
Best Probiotic for Breastfeeding Mom: Importance of Probiotics
The human body naturally contains trillions of microorganisms, including good and bad bacteria and yeasts. Probiotics are the good ones.
However, the contemporary lifestyle and everyday exposure to toxins (in our diet, water, air, etc.) can harm beneficial bacteria, resulting in problems with the immune system and digestion. To restore the microbiome balance in our bodies, we may require probiotic supplements.
When you choose to breastfeed your baby, you should know that maintaining your level of nutrients is the key to your’s and your little one’s well-being.
Breast milk contains various macro-nutrients, including proteins, fats, vitamins, and carbohydrates. Plus, all the essential vitamins and nutrients your baby specifically needs to grow. Therefore, for some moms, it is essential to take probiotics while breastfeeding because your body is making extra efforts to provide for your child.
Research also suggests that probiotics are naturally present in breast milk, which benefits both the mother and baby in building immunity and developing other essential bodily functions as baby grows.
While we need more research on the benefits of probiotics while breastfeeding, here is what the available data suggests,
- Consuming probiotics may prevent eczema in babies.
- Probiotics for breastfeeding moms help with mastitis (Breast infection).
- Taking probiotics while breastfeeding is great for maternal well-being and immunity.
Is it Safe to Use Probiotics While Breastfeeding?
While it’s always a great idea to talk to your healthcare provider before taking probiotics or any supplements while pregnant or breastfeeding, research indicates that it is generally safe to use probiotics for nursing moms- since most probiotics do not transfer to your infant through breast milk.
How Do Probiotics Work?
The human gut contains good and bad bacteria to maintain the body’s balance.
However, when the body’s healthy bacteria are compromised, it can result in several diseases, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), intestinal inflammation, ulcers, and bloating, to mention a few.
It is where probiotics come in. They work by changing the composition of your gut flora to restore balance, improving immune and digestive health. Besides, it also alters breast milk’s composition, indirectly benefiting the baby.
However, not all probiotics are made equal. Therefore, I recommend picking a probiotic supplement supported by science and clinical research, which contains human bacterial strains, and uses clean components.
Best Probiotic for Breastfeeding Mom: Final Thoughts
If you are a breastfeeding mom concerned about your and your little one’s health, probiotics are a great choice to add to your diet. The above-listed probiotic supplements and natural sources are the favorites I’ve personally used and found helpful.
Since your physical and mental well-being depends significantly on your gut health, I religiously take these probiotics while breastfeeding to promote our overall health.
However, research before starting any probiotics while breastfeeding and discuss with your healthcare provider to avoid potential harm to you and your little one.
Have you tried probiotics? Did you find them helpful? What are your favorites?