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Probiotics and Pregnancy


Complications of pregnancy are associated with adverse outcomes for mother and baby in the short and long term. The gut microbiome has been identified as a key factor for maintaining health outside of pregnancy and could contribute to pregnancy complications. In addition, the vaginal and the recently revealed placental microbiome are altered in pregnancy and may play a role in pregnancy complications. Probiotic supplementation could help to regulate the unbalanced microflora composition observed in obesity and diabetes. Here, the impact of probiotic supplementation during pregnancy and infancy is reviewed. There are indications for a protective role in preeclampsia, gestational diabetes mellitus, vaginal infections, maternal and infant weight gain and allergic diseases. Large, well-designed randomised controlled clinical trials along with metagenomic analysis are needed to establish the role of probiotics in adverse pregnancy and infancy outcomes.

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Conflict of Interest

Luisa F. Gomez Arango declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Helen L. Barrett has received research support through a grant from Pfizer Australia.

Leonie K. Callaway and Marloes Dekker Nitert have received non-financial support from Christian Hansen A/S, which supplies probiotics and placebo capsules for the RCT run by these authors.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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Correspondence to Marloes Dekker Nitert.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Diabetes and Pregnancy

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Gomez Arango, L.F., Barrett, H.L., Callaway, L.K. et al. Probiotics and Pregnancy. Curr Diab Rep 15, 567 (2015).

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  • Probiotics
  • Pregnancy
  • Maternal microbiome
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Infant outcomes