"Before you were conceived I wanted you. Before you were born, I loved you. Before you were here an hour, I would die for you. This is the miracle of Mother’s Love"-Maureen Hawkins
“What are the best protein powders for pregnancy, and do I even need it?” – That’s a question I get asked a lot.
And my answer is always the same – yes, you do!
You even need the protein powder for breastfeeding to give your little bundle of joy the nutrition they deserve.
Not all powders are created equal and some may even have an adverse effect. For example, my friend tried THIS POWDER and almost got to the hospital with stomach pain (can't say exactly why taking this powder possibly be one of the reasons)
Pregnancy is one of the most cherished times in any woman’s life that takes her through many hurdles.
From heartburn, weight gain, and morning sickness to sleepless nights and mood swings – a woman goes through incredible mental and physical changes to bring a new life into this world.
At a time like this, mother’s care should be the top priority, and she must get nothing but the best regarding nutrition.
Hi, I’m Bella Hardy, and I want to ask you a question today. Are you getting the nutrition you need during pregnancy?
If your answer is something close to “no, or I don’t know about my nutritional needs” then you need to read this guide.
Below are my Favorite 3 Supplements that are safe + some questions answered below it:
3 Best Protein Powders for Pregnant and Breastfeeding Mothers
Baby Booster Prenatal Protein Powder
This prenatal protein powder from Baby Booster has to be my personal favorite!
My friend recommended it to me last year when I was a pregnant mom with my second baby, and I didn’t even feel the need to switch to something else.
This product is not only tasty (Tahitian Vanilla flavor being my favorite), but also offers a protein content of 20 grams of protein per serving.
That’s pretty neat for a package so reasonably priced. What led me to this product is the fact that it is Non-GMO, gluten free, soy-free, and devoid of any artificial sweeteners.
Being an advocate of yoga and natural health care, I can’t even begin to explain how important those traits are to me.
But that’s not all; this protein powder for women is also rich in vitamin B6 and might help you deal with nausea-inducing morning sickness a little bit better.
You can mix this protein shake it with either milk or water and enjoy up to 2 – 3 servings every day. It is obgyn approved.
I even used it well after birth because its beneficial for breastfeeding mothers as well. I suggest you give it a try to this prenatal vitamin supplement protein shake.
TGS All Natural 100%
This protein powder also comes with a recommendation from a dear friend of mine.
Even though the brand hasn’t explicitly mentioned this product to be specifically suited for pregnant women, my friend gave it a shot anyway.
What she liked most is the fact that this bag of whey protein was low-calorie and low-carb.
Now, unlike me, my friend continued working out at the gym (fit pregnancy) for almost 7 months into her healthy pregnancy and used this product as a post-recovery supplementation during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
She said that it great for exercise and worked wonders! I believe her.
This supplement has all the makings of prenatal protein powder as it is gluten-free, soy-free, and Non-GMO. It doesn’t come with any artificial preservatives or sweeteners as well.
So, I’d say that this product and my choice of quality protein powder for pregnancy (Baby Booster) are more similar than they are different.
Except this protein gives you 25 g of protein per serving whereas the product by baby booster gives 20 g.
So, if you’re someone who is hitting the gym while still flaunting the baby bump, this is one product you might want to try.
You can use TGS All Natural 100% after childbirth too as it helps in weight loss.
Seeking Health Optimal Prenatal Protein Powder| physician formulated
Seeking Health has created this nutritional product comprising of a unique blend of vitamins, minerals, and essential amino acids for pregnant women.
The company says that the unique combination is formulated to help to provide nutrition for optimum fetal development.
They also claim that the product is “physician formulated,” implying what I don’t quite understand.
But are these claims valid? I can’t say with 100% certainty, but I can say that this product works! I’ve spoken to a few women on this topic, and they had nothing but good things to say.
It supports cell growth, cardiovascular, immune, and cardiovascular health, and even without using any ingredients such as Egg, Fish, Dairy, Peanuts, and Shellfish, etc.
This item is 100% vegetarian and includes active B6 and ginger that may help with digestive comfort.
The only aspect that I don’t like is the flavor and pricing. It’s too sweet for my taste, and sometimes feels very... let’s say “artificial.”
The price is also a bit too much in my opinion as you only get 15 servings from a bottle that costs $47.
These are the pros and cons you must consider before placing an order.
There are few alternative product brands that I come across but can't say much about are: Morcal organic, Pure Food Plant-Based protein powder with probiotics, Vega, Nutrilite, Ora So Lean, Country Life, Beverly, IdealRaw, Shakeology protein shakes, Naked Whey, Pure Label, IdealLean, Sun Warrior, Arbonne, Nutiva’s Hemp, Tera's Way (container)
Importance of Prenatal Protein Powders for Breastfeeding Moms?
The importance of a protein-enriched diet cannot be stressed enough if a woman is pregnant or is breastfeeding. And even more so if the expecting mother has a gym routine.
This means you need to be mindful of the things you put in your body.
You see, our body goes through miraculous changes in those nine months to ensure that the fetus gets everything it needs to grow up to be a healthy baby.
And protein plays a vital role in ensuring that those changes occur as smoothly as possible.
By giving your body the necessary building blocks to facilitate cell growth.
Without enough protein, you could experience health problems like drastic weight loss, infections, excessive fluid retention, and muscle fatigue.
If lack of protein can wreak such havoc on your body, just imagine what it can do to your vulnerable growing baby/infant.
That’s why you need the best protein powder for breastfeeding moms as well.
The problem with regular meals
With enough nutrition, you can make sure that your body has enough to sustain itself and provide for the baby as it develops.
However, as good as food may be for the source of protein, getting the proper nutrition (nutrients) can prove to be difficult for the following reasons:
- Trips to the supermarket and preparing meal plan to cook up all the protein-rich ingredients can be incredibly challenging when you’re carrying a baby.
- Not everyone has the time or energy for elaborate meal plans, or the privilege to hire full-time help.
- There is only so many eggs, meat, beans, and cheese you can eat before feeling full.
At a time like this, switching to a more convenient source of protein can be of incredible help.
Believe me; I could have never got my filling of protein without the supplements.
But how do you buy the right one for your needs?
Don’t worry; I’ve researched on your behalf and come up with three recommendations.
Is Pea Protein Powder Safe During Pregnancy?
Pregnancy is all about some welcome changes, like cravings and mood swings. But for some expecting moms, there are also a few no-no's. They include caffeine (even a decaf!), alcohol, and meat. If you're a fan of snacks (or even ice cream), you might want to add one more food item to your list: protein powder. This sticky ingredient can come with serious risks. Women who take protein supplements during pregnancy, such as some popular brands like A'PIEU, eat fewer calories, but also need to cut protein from their diets to ensure that the baby's nutrition is still well-rounded, explains Jennifer MacLean, RD, assistant clinical professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences at Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, North Carolina.
And that's exactly why it's so dangerous. In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers found that an infant's sodium levels could be impacted when a mother takes in protein before giving birth. A study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (AJOG) suggests that consuming protein supplements during pregnancy can increase the risk of having an extremely premature baby, as compared to non-pregnant women. However, the trial had no data on whether the product or protein supplements were made of pea protein. The study also relied on the mothers' recall, rather than quantitative analysis, as a means to measure exposure to protein, and it relied on their ability to recall different protein products as well as manufacturing information.
What Happens If You Don’t Eat Enough Protein While Pregnant?
To get the most out of your pregnancy, it's important to consume enough calories. You can get these calories from a wide variety of foods. But just eating carbs alone won't be enough. You will also need to eat a variety of proteins throughout your pregnancy. During pregnancy, your body needs protein in order to stay strong and healthy. Protein helps maintain a healthy pregnancy. The hormone estradiol helps promote growth in the fetus during pregnancy. Many women need a steady intake of protein to stay healthy and deliver healthy, growing babies.
What Foods Contain Protein? There are several foods that contain protein. High-protein vegetables: Lettuce, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, lentils, tempeh, squash, kale, chard, tofu, soy, eggs. Lettuce, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, lentils, tempeh, squash, kale, chard, tofu, soy, eggs Lean protein foods: Ground chicken, lean pork, cheese, shrimp, salmon, hard-boiled eggs Ground chicken, lean pork, cheese, shrimp, salmon, hard-boiled eggs Beans: Black beans, garbanzo beans, white beans, lima beans, edamame, chickpeas, kidney beans, pintos Black beans, garbanzo beans, white beans, lima beans, edamame, chickpeas, kidney beans, pintos Meat alternatives.
Is Too Much Protein Bad for Pregnancy?
How to Choose Top Powders During Pregnancy Period?
This is relatively easy because all you have to do is avoid supplements that contain certain ingredients. The three most harmful ingredients are:
- Artificial sweeteners: Even though sweeteners now are not what they used to be in the days of aspartame and saccharin, still it makes sense to be careful. Natural is always the best way to go! Sweetened with stevia is fine!
- Additives: Do not use anything that is labeled as “energy enhancer” or any other term that implies a stimulant. Supplements for pregnant or nursing and breastfeeding women are vastly different than supplements for weightlifters (read the labels)
- Heavy metals: Check for the presence of heavy metals such as mercury, arsenic, lead, etc. and avoid buying baby products that contain them. Usually, grass-fed whey protein made by reputed brands has fewer traces of heavy metals than supplements made by not-so-known companies.
If you are allergic to whey or if it not good on your stomach, consider plant-based such as pumpkin, hemp, pea protein or brown rice powders.
Alternative sources: lentils (can be used in most vegan / vegetarian recipes), tofu, quinoa.
May Whey Protein Lower Blood Pressure?
A small number of studies on humans have studied the effect of whey proteins on blood pressure, and the evidence is inconclusive at this point.
One study in individuals who are overweight showed that supplementation with whey protein like hemp protein (54 grams of organic protein a day for Twelve weeks), lowered systolic blood pressure by 4%. Other types of milk proteins such as casein had similar effects (link). Protein isolate is the best in general as it is pure and has a good amino acid profile. Can possibly have some benefits on the milk supply as well.
Is Too Much Protein Bad for Pregnancy?
Have you heard of the "pregnancy protein"? According to the folks at BabyCenter, it's not one of those exciting pregnancy buzz words meant to get you going. It's just a dry, boring name for a kind of protein that pregnant women and those who have recently given birth shouldn't eat all of, right? If the idea of worrying about a cup of spinach or a cup of Greek yogurt may seem scary, it's not.
Experts at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have said that there's no evidence to suggest that consuming too much protein (more than about 0.8 grams a day) will negatively affect a fetus or newborn. However, there is some evidence to suggest that a high-protein diet in pregnancy—about the "recommended" 1.0 to 1.3 grams a day—is associated with lower birth weight, an increased risk for birth defects, and a few other possible developmental problems.
Can Pregnant Women Drink Protein Shakes?
Protein is absolutely crucial to your pregnancy diet. From getting your energy back after a long day to preventing stretch marks and building a healthy pregnancy baby bump, protein is a must. Protein has lots of beneficial nutrients that help you during pregnancy," says nutritionist Stephanie Middleberg, MS, RDN. "Protein provides essential nutrients to ensure your baby is getting what it needs to grow healthy and strong. While most experts agree that consuming high-quality protein can help reduce some of the swelling, cravings, and general unpleasantness of the first trimester, pregnant women are often cautioned about consuming high-protein shakes during pregnancy for a number of reasons.
As a disclaimer, I’ll have you know that I’m not a certified medical professional.
I’m just a stay-at-home mom with a degree in health sciences, and a passion for helping people lead better lives through my experiences and knowledge.
If you have any doubt about dosage or how might the organic whey protein act on your body, consult a doctor for how much extra protein you may need.
Try one of my recommended products and let me know what you think.