is protein safe during pregnancy
Whether you're a new mom or you feel like you've got this whole pregnancy thing down pat, one thing is pretty much always true. You want to be making the healthiest choices possible for your baby.
I think that's probably why I've been getting TONS of questions about whether it's safe to use our LSF Protein Powder during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
First things first, talk to your doc
I really wanted to highlight all the things protein can do to support your healthy pregnancy and help with breastfeeding, but all of our bodies are different. And your pregnancy is unique to you, too.
Before you dive into a high-protein diet or start adding our Protein Powder to all of your meals, have a chat with your doctor. Our proteins are Organic, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free and vegan, but if you have any concerns about if protein is safe during pregnancy, your doctor can help ensure you're making safe, healthy choices for you and your growing baby.
"I started losing my milk supply and couldn't figure out what was going on. I quickly upped my protein intake and within a week was back producing healthy amounts of milk!" Ellie
Is protein safe during pregnancy?
Health experts say you should be getting quite a bit more protein while you're pregnant. While doctors generally recommend that women get a minimum of 50-60 grams of protein each day, that amount ticks up pretty significantly once you're growing a life inside of you. And that makes sense, since protein plays a critical role in your baby's development, helping them grow the tissue that makes up their bodies (including their brain). They call protein the building blocks of our bodies for good reason.
Because this essential nutrient is extra-important during pregnancy, experts recommend working a lot more of it into your diet throughout your pregnancy. The Mayo Clinic says pregnant women should aim for 71 grams of protein each day, while the American Pregnancy Association goes even higher, recommending 75-100 grams.
And keep in mind, these protein recommendations aren't necessarily accounting for women who are physically active as well. If you are staying active protein is not only safe during your pregnancy, but more crucial than ever.
Long story short, make protein a priority during pregnancy. If you look at the low end of protein recommendations for non-pregnant women, pregnant women should be seriously getting twice as much.
Benefits of protein while breastfeeding
Don't drop your protein intake back down after you give birth. In fact, protein is just as important during breastfeeding (if you decide to and are able to do so) because it does a couple of key things.
First, protein helps your body produce sufficient breast milk. So, yeah, pretty important.
Beyond that, when you're getting enough protein, you pass it onto your baby. And while they're growing and developing quickly during infancy, protein gives their little bodies what they need to do that hard work.
That's why health experts recommend an extra 25 grams of protein each day for breastfeeding women.
"When I increased my protein intake I also noticed I started dropping my baby weight WAY faster!" - Ellie
Good food sources of protein
Once your baby eats on their own, it gets a little harder to make sure they're eating what they should. You might have a picky eater on your hands.
But when you're pregnant and breastfeeding, you can make sure your little one is getting a healthy, balanced, nutritious diet pretty easily — by eating one yourself. What you eat gets passed to your baby, setting them up for success as they grow. In fact, if there's ever a time in your life to really be diligent about sticking to a healthy diet with plenty of what growing bodies need — including protein — it's right now.
But even when you want to eat right for your baby, it can be hard, especially when you're tasked with packing in so much extra protein. The good news? Getting extra protein doesn't have to mean chowing down on a ton of chicken breast. There are a lot of solid protein options that are safe for new moms, including:
- Nuts and nut butters
- Fish that's low in mercury
- L‚Äã‚Äãean meat
In other words, you've got options.
But I also know that during pregnancy, you might not always feel like eating. In fact, sometimes, eating might sound downright horrible.It also becomes much harder to find the time to make full-out meals. That's where smoothies, shakes, and a quick nutrient dense meal comes in handy.
Protein powder when it's hard to eat
More than half of women will have to deal with morning sickness while pregnant. And if that wasn't enough, some women even have to continue dealing with nausea as they breastfeed. Your mind and heart want to eat right to support your baby's health, but your body gets in the way.
That's where protein powder comes in. When the idea of eating a meal (or even a snack) seems daunting, a quick protein powder drink can help you supplement your diet and keep your protein intake up.
Blending up some protein powder with water and ice can give you a super simple way to get protein into your body. Or, if you're feeling up to it, you could try making an anti-nausea smoothie with protein powder in it. Some ingredients that can help to combat nausea include:
- Ginger (safe for pregnancy in low doses)
Protein powder can come in handy even when you're not being plagued with morning sickness or breastfeeding nausea.
If you're vegan or vegetarian, it can help you get enough protein while sticking to your dietary preferences. Especially our Love Sweat Fitness Plant Protein! It's Organic, Vegan, Non-GMO, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free and mixes great in smoothies, oats, baked goods, or anything you love!
And if you're just plain tired — because growing a life and going straight into being a new mom can be hard — protein powder can give you a quick and ultra-easy way to get the nutrients you and your baby need.
Protein, pregnancy and breastfeeding
Whether you're pregnant or breastfeeding, you've got a full plate. But making sure you're eating right is one of the best ways to support your baby's development. It's also the key to keeping your energy levels up, getting quality sleep (when you can!), and keeping your hormones balanced. And during both pregnancy and breastfeeding, that means getting a lot more protein than you probably did pre-baby.
Know this is your journey! Try different things to find what works for you. Just keep it clean and make sure you're focused on hitting 70+ grams of protein each day each day.
You've got this, mama!