Probiotics are being used increasingly in pregnant women, whereas the efficiency on pregnancy outcomes is yet lacking. PubMed, Embase and the Cochrane Library were searched. Relative risks (RR) or weighted mean differences (WMD) with 95 % CI were employed to calculate the summary outcomes. A total of eighteen randomised controlled trials (RCT) including 4356 pregnant women were eligible. The summary RR indicated that probiotic supplementation was associated with a significant decrease in the risk of atopic eczema (RR 0·68; 95 % CI 0·58, 0·81; P < 0·001) and eczema (RR 0·79; 95 % CI 0·68, 0·91; P = 0·002) without significant heterogeneity. Probiotic supplementation was associated with a prolonged gestational age (WMD 0·09; 95 % CI 0·04, 0·15; P = 0·001) with insignificant heterogeneity, whereas no significant effect was exerted on birth weight (P = 0·851). The risks of death (RR 0·34; 95 % CI 0·13, 0·91; P = 0·031) and necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) (RR 0·38; 95 % CI 0·18, 0·81; P = 0·012) were significantly reduced in pregnant women receiving probiotics without evidence of heterogeneity. These findings suggested that probiotics in pregnant women were beneficial for atopic eczema, eczema, gestational age, death and NEC.
Keywords: Efficiency; Meta-analyses; Pregnant women; Probiotic supplementation.