Background: Maternal obesity is associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes. Probiotic supplementation during pregnancy may have positive
effects on blood glucose, gestational weight gain (GWG), and the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus [GDM and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c)].
Objectives: This feasibility study involved a daily probiotic intervention in obese pregnant women from the early second trimester until delivery.
The primary aim was to investigate the effect on GWG and maternal glucose homeostasis (GDM and HbA1c). Secondary aims were the effect on
infant birth weight, maternal gut microbiota, and other pregnancy outcomes.
Methods: We carried out a randomized double-blinded placebo-controlled study in 50 obese pregnant women. Participants were randomly
allocated (1:1) to multistrain probiotic (4 capsules of Vivomixx®; total of 450 billion CFU/d) or placebo at 14–20 weeks of gestation until delivery.
Participants were followed with 2 predelivery visits at gestational week 27–30 and 36–37 and with 1 postdelivery visit. All visits included blood and
fecal sampling. An oral-glucose-tolerance test was performed at inclusion and gestational week 27–30.
Results: Forty-nine participants completed the study. Thirty-eight participants took >80% of the capsules (n = 21), placebo (n = 17). There was no
significant difference in GWG, GDM, HbA1c concentrations, and infant birth weight between groups. Fecal microbiota analyses showed an overall
increase in α-diversity over time in the probiotic group only (P = 0.016).
Conclusions: Administration of probiotics during pregnancy is feasible in obese women and the women were willing to participate in additional
study visits and collection of fecal samples during pregnancy. Multistrain probiotic can modulate the gut microbiota in obese women during
pregnancy. A larger study population is needed to uncover pregnancy effects after probiotic supplementation. This trial was registered at
clincaltrials.gov as NCT02508844.