High birth weight indicates the future risk of obesity and increased fat mass in childhood. Maternal gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) or overweight are powerful predictors of high birth weight. Studies on probiotic supplementation during pregnancy have reported its benefits in modulating gut microbiota composition and improving glucose and lipid metabolism in pregnant women. Therefore, probiotic intervention during pregnancy was proposed to interrupt the transmission of obesity from mothers to newborns. Thus, we performed a meta-analysis to investigate the effect of probiotic intervention in pregnant women with GDM or overweight on newborn birth weight. We searched PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, and Web of Science databases up to 18 December 2019. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing pregnant women with GDM or overweight who received probiotic intervention during pregnancy with those receiving placebo were eligible for the analysis. Newborn birth weights were pooled to calculate the mean difference with a 95% confidence interval (CI). Two reviewers assessed the trial quality and extracted data independently. Seven RCTs involving 1093 participants were included in the analysis. Compared with the placebo, probiotics had little effect on newborn birth weight of pregnant women with GDM or overweight (mean difference = −10.27, 95% CI = −90.17 to 69.63, p = 0.801). The subgroup analysis revealed that probiotic intake by women with GDM decreased newborn birth weight, whereas probiotic intake by obese pregnant women increased newborn birth weight. Thus, no evidence indicates that probiotic intake by pregnant women with GDM or overweight can control newborn birth weight.
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