By Rebecca M. Urban for

I never would’ve guessed when I became a childbirth educator nearly a decade ago that one of the most common questions I’d be asked by my students was how to identify a good probiotic to take during pregnancy. I think the main reasons why pregnant women have become so interested in probiotics is threefold:

1.) The benefits of probiotics have gained a lot of attention in recent years.
2.) In 2011 The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) changed their Group B Strep (GBS) screening guidelines from a vaginal swab to both a vaginal and rectal swab, thereby increasing the instances of women testing positive for GBS, while maintaining its recommendation to treat all women who test positive for GBS with IV antibiotics during labor. As a result, more women are receiving antibiotics in labor.
3.) Concerns over the side effects of antibiotics over the past few years has greatly increased as we’ve learned more about their impact on microbiota and we’ve uncovered more evidence that a baby’s microbiome is seeded at birth, and how disrupting it (i.e. in the case of cesarean surgery or through the use of antibiotics) can have a lifelong impact on the health of the child.

Good vs Bad Bacteria

What is Group B Strep?

Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is a normal bacteria that lives in the digestive tract. It is estimated that up to 30% of pregnant women are colonized with GBS in or near their birth canals. In newborns, GBS is the leading cause of pneumonia, meningitis and sepsis. GBS in the newborn can be quite serious, sometimes leading to lifelong complications in the newborn and even death.{1}

GBS Treatment Pregnant Woman

How is it treated?

In the United States, both the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend screening all pregnant women around the 35th week of pregnancy and treating all women who test positive with IV antibiotics during labor. When a woman is treated with IV antibiotics during labor the risk of her newborn developing an early GBS infection is reduced by over 80%. {2}

Common Side Effects of Antibiotics During Labor

We know that antibiotics not only kill harmful bacteria, but they also eliminate beneficial bacteria too. Not only do IV antibiotics disrupt the mother’s microbiome, but they also disrupt her newborn’s microbiome.

Newborn’s Microbiome

What is the microbiome and why is it important?

The human microbiota consists of trillions of cells, primarily bacteria in the gut. The human microbiome refers to the genes these cells supply. {3} Science is showing us that in order to create the best possible immune system for infants, these microbes should come from the mother.

Normal Labor and Vaginal Birth

When is the microbiome seeded?

Many of my students are surprised to learn that the newborn’s microbiome is actually seeded at birth! The microbes which make up a baby’s microbiota are transferred from mother to child during vaginal birth, skin-to-skin contact, and through breastfeeding. These establish the baby’s microbiome which will have a lifelong influence on the baby’s health. I often recommend my students watch the film “Microbirth” for more information on this amazing process.  


Chart of Colonization


What can a pregnant woman do to reduce her chances of testing positive for GBS?

It has been proven that by taking a good lactobacilli probiotic increases the acidity of the vagina, thereby impairing the growth of GBS. This has been demonstrated in several studies in which researchers put strains of GBS in a petri dish with lactobacilli. It has also been shown that women with higher levels of lactobacilli in their vaginas have lower levels of GBS. {4} {5}

Good Natural Probiotic Floral Bloom

How to Find GOOD Probiotics to Take During Pregnancy

It is important to look for a probiotic that is built strong enough to survive the journey from the stomach to the vagina. Flora Bloom by Intimate Rose has taken four specially selected probiotic strains that studies have shown to be more resilient and travel further than other probiotics. The creators of Flora Bloom have also added a special prebiotic to help enhance its longevity and to regulate digestive health and vaginal pH. But what makes Flora Bloom unique is that the creators also added 2 special ingredients - Cranberry and D-Mannose, which have been proven to help the body ward off urinary tract infections (UTI’s) - particularly in women prone to recurrent UTI’s, as is often the case with pregnant mothers. {6} {7}

Until the release of Flora Bloom, I was an avid supporter of Fem-Dophilus, a popular probiotic used by women. What I observed through years of experience working with pregnant women, was that while Fem-Dop seemed to help reduce the number of positive GBS cultures around the 35 week mark (when taken for several weeks prior), women would often need to be given a secondary supplement to help with urinary tract infections, a common recurrent problem for pregnant women. I often thought to myself how great it would be to create a probiotic blend for women that combines 2 supplements which are usually separated. Intimate Rose has quite honestly created the best probiotic for women in the world, and I strongly suggest you give it a try!


 Probiotics Comparison Chart



With Intimate Rose Flora Bloom you get... 

✓ More Probiotic Strains
✓ Higher Probiotic Count
✓ Prebiotic For Long Lasting Effects
✓ D-Mannose for Urinary Tract Health
✓ Cranberry for Urinary Tract Health
✓ Digestive Support

{1}(CDC 1996; CDC 2005; CDC 2009)
{2} Ohlsson, A. and V. S. Shah (2013). “Intrapartum antibiotics for known maternal Group B streptococcal colonization.” Cochrane Database Syst Rev 1: CD007467
{3} Turnbaugh PJ, Ley RE, Hamady M, Fraser-Liggett CM, Knight R, Gordon JI. The human microbiome project. Nature. 2007;449:804–810.
{4} Ackigov, Z. C., S. Gamberzade et al. (2005). “Inhibitor Effect of Vaginal Lactobacilli on Group B Streptococci.” Mikrobiyol Bul 39 (1): 17-23
{5} Zarate, G. & Nader-Macias, M. E. (2006). “Influence of Probiotic Vaginal Lactobacilli on in vitro Adhesion of Urogenital Pathogens to Vaginal Epithelial Cells.” Lett appl Microbiol 43(2): 174-178
{6} Jepson, RG. A Systematic Review of Evidence for Cranberries and Blueberries in UTI Prevention. Mol Nutr Food Res. June, 2007.
{7} Kranjcec, B. D-Mannose Powder for Prophylaxis of Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections in Women: a Randomized Clinical Trial. World J Urol. Feb, 2014.

*The information contained in the article above was not written by a medical professional and  is not meant to be taken as medical advice. Pregnant women should always consult their doctor before taking supplements and/making changes to their daily routine.

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