Pregnancy is an incredible time for any woman. Yes, even the morning sickness, heartburn and insomnia!
It’s also a time when you really need to focus on taking care of yourself and ensure you get all the right nutrition. Because let’s face it, you’re building a human!
Protein is essential for everyone – everyday. It’s even more essential for expectant mothers. But what if you feel you’re not getting enough protein? Should you add a supplement to your diet?
Or what if you’re already a frequent post-workout shake user? Are there any supplements available for pregnant ladies? If so, what is the best protein powder for pregnancy and breastfeeding?
If you want to know the answers to these questions read on and I will do my utmost to fill you in on all the facts.
Who Needs Supplements During Pregnancy?
It’s recommended that women consume 71 grams of protein daily throughout their pregnancy.
This can be a high goal to achieve through diet alone. Although you’re “eating for two”, it’s not advised to consume more than around 300 extra calories a day – especially in the early months.
For this reason, many women may turn to supplements to add a protein punch. However, you need to consider whether they are safe. Putting your bump first is the most important thing.
Fuelling Your Workouts During Pregnancy
Another reason some women may want to consume protein supplements during pregnancy is for fitness purposes.
If you’re a dedicated gym-goer with a strict exercise regime, you may not want to alter it too much and allow your hard work to slip during pregnancy. Although many people will tell you not to do anything during pregnancy, there’s nothing to say that women who were previously very active should not maintain a certain level of fitness during pregnancy.
In terms of weight training, it’s super important to take extra care. You should discuss your plans with your doctor, ensuring they know your fitness history as well as your intentions during pregnancy. This way, together you can work out best plan of action moving forward.
I also recommend working with a pre and postnatal fitness specialist if you want to continue working out during pregnancy.
With that said, there are lots of examples of women who have successfully maintained a heavy training schedule (including weightlifting) during pregnancy. There are even a couple who have impressively maintained a six pack almost up until the birth. Talk about pregnancy goals!
Regardless of your reasons for wanting to use protein powder during pregnancy, the problem is that most traditional brands strictly warn against the use of their product whilst pregnant or nursing.
Whether this is a case of the products genuinely being unsafe or manufacturers simply erring on the side of caution is yet to be determined.
However, the fact remains that your unborn child’s safety is top priority, therefore using products with these warnings is simply not worth the risk.
With that said, there are a small group of brands that have obviously seen a gap in the market and realized there are needs to be met. Behold: the pregnancy protein shake is born!
Protein and Pregnancy
During pregnancy your body does miraculous things. It ensures that your tiny fetus gets everything it needs to grow and develop into your beautiful bundle of joy.
This means that you need to be extra conscious about what you put into your body.
Your body makes sure that baby gets what it needs first and foremost. If you’re not getting enough nutrients to feed you both, your body will take what baby needs from you. Leaving your stores of vital nutrients depleted which can lead to more serious issues.
Unfortunately, I learned this the hard way during pregnancy with my daughter who took all of my iron – leaving me severely anemic. This lead me to collapse several times before the doctor caught the problem.
To avoid this, make sure throughout your pregnancy you stay stocked up on everything you and baby needs. One of the most important nutrients is of course protein.
What To Look For In The Best Protein Powder For Pregnancy And Breastfeeding
My first word of advice is to look for a product which specifically states it is for use during pregnancy.
Many protein powders are designed with bodybuilders in mind and have certain ingredients for enhancing performance. Some of these can be seriously dangerous for pregnant women. Therefore, stick to a pregnancy protein or don’t take the risk.
To be on the safe side always read the label! Many women develop sensitivities to foods during pregnancy, so make sure even products designed for pregnant women do not include any ingredients that might cause adverse effects.
It’s important to say that I would never review or in any way recommend a product which could be dangerous to the health of any pregnant woman or her unborn child.
This means that I have taken extra care looking at products trying to find whether there were even any worth reviewing. With that said, after extensive research I could only find two products which we good quality and specifically aimed at pregnant women.
As there were only two I felt were worth mentioning I have decided to list them both and discuss their features in depth, giving you enough information to make an informed decision.
Before significantly changing your diet during pregnancy, it’s always advisable to first speak to your prenatal care provider. If you really feel you need to use a protein shake and you like either of these products, discuss it with your doctor or midwife and be sure they are onboard before diving into something new.
So What’s The Best Protein Powder For Pregnancy And Breastfeeding
I appreciate there isn’t really a large selection to choose from but for me personally there was a clear winner between the two. That was the Baby Booster brand.
It’s so important to watch what you put into your body even when you’re not pregnant. That’s why, when it comes to supplements, I always look for the purest options with only necessary ingredients.
If you have any personal experience with either of these products I would love to hear from you and get your feedback. Feel free to comment below.