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Is it Safe to Drink Protein Powder While Pregnant or Breastfeeding?

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Are Protein Shakes Safe During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding?

Over the past decade, the information as to whether or not protein shakes are safe for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers has gone through a lot of change. The quality of protein powders available has increased dramatically in recent years.

In this post you will learn:

  • If pregnant women should be consuming protein powders
  • If nursing moms should be eating protein shakes
  • The importance of protein during pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • The safest protein powders for both pregnant and breastfeeding women

**This post probably contains affiliate links to items that I own and love and am confident will benefit you immensely. Please read the full disclosure here.**

learn if protein powder is safe to eat during pregnancy and breastfeeding

The Importance of Protein During Pregnancy

When a woman is pregnant it is vitally important to increase the nutrients she is consuming. While a pregnant woman’s energy requirements (required calories) only increase slightly during pregnancy, her nutritional needs spike notably higher.

Most nutrients need to be acquired from a woman’s diet to best be absorbed and utilized during pregnancy. Your nutrition during pregnancy plays a large role in your future child’s overall health throughout their entire lives.

If you have ANY questions about prenatal nutrition you should check out The Perfect Pregnancy Plan. It is the most comprehensive prenatal nutrition program there is by far.

One vital nutrient whose requirement increases exponentially during pregnancy is protein! A pregnant woman requires much more protein during pregnancy than they did prior to conception.

Current expert recommendations suggest consuming 75 to 100 grams of protein per day while pregnant.

Why you need so much protein during pregnancy.

Let’s be real, 100 grams of protein is A LOT!

In addition, a lot of pregnant women have an aversion to meat during some point of pregnancy (usually the first trimester) if not for their entire pregnancy.

Meat is extremely important to consume during pregnancy for its high nutritional content: protein as well as lots of other vital nutrients like iron.

Your body needs so much protein during pregnancy because protein is the building block of every cell in your entire body. And of course, it’s the building block of every new cell being created for the baby inside of your body as well.

You truly need all that protein to build the baby’s brain, muscles, and more while your body continues to grow and care for those and other components in your body also!

Getting enough protein is absolutely essential during pregnancy!

Prenatal nutrition and fitness feels like a mystery to many of us. I mean your doctor hardly even touches on that area at all.

And yet, we now know that what you eat and how active you are while pregnant directly affects your baby’s genetic outcome, turning on and off certain genes based on your nutrition and fitness!

How’s a mom to know what to eat, what not to eat, and how to safely exercise to have a fit bump-only pregnancy and grow the most healthy baby possible through her diet and exercise?

There is this new ah-mazingly extensive, detailed, and easy to apply 2-part prenatal nutrition and fitness course called The Perfect Pregnancy Plan.

It’s created by a Personal Fitness Trainer who’s also certified in Nutrition and Lifestyle During Pregnancy and it breaks down EVERYTHING about prenatal nutrition, has tons of amazing recipes, and even has a full 40 week workout plan that addresses all your prenatal needs from pelvic floor, to diastasis recti, to prenatal backache.

If you have ever wondered about anything related to prenatal diet and exercise, the Perfect Pregnancy Plan is exactly what you need.

the perfect pregnancy plan

The Importance of Protein During Breastfeeding

It is imperative that you consume extra protein while breastfeeding as well as while pregnant. Especially if you are exclusively breastfeeding.

Though your baby is no longer growing inside of your body, you are STILL their sole provider of nutrition.

Your body is pretty good at what it does. It is going to take the nutrients from your diet and give them to baby first, in your breast milk. The remaining nutrients are used for you mama.

Postpartum, your body is in a state of alteration and reparation. During your pregnancy, nearly every vital organ in your body was moved or altered in some way. During the months postpartum your body is taking time to repair and move back to a normal state.

There’s a good chance that during childbirth you may have torn or lost a lot of blood. Your body will require additional protein to repair.

  • Protein is essential to repairing and rebuilding muscle and connective tissue postpartum.
  • Babies are still growing rapidly in the first year postpartum and require a lot of protein themselves. 

To be sure you are getting enough to repair and rebuild yourself while also building up strength in that new baby, it is recommended that a breastfeeding mother consume an additional 25 grams of protein per day.

It’s not as high as the recommended 75 to 100 grams of protein per day recommended during pregnancy, but it is still putting you at about 55 to 75 grams of protein per day.

Postpartum Weight Loss While Breastfeeding

There is one struggle that so many moms have postpartum, knowing how to lose the baby weight safely while breastfeeding. Can you even do that? How can you diet and breastfeed? How can you lose the excess weight and not lose your milk supply?

For years I’ve been asked by my mom clients these same questions in different ways again and again. So as a certified online health coach, fitness trainer, maternal nutrition specialist, and mom of 3, I decided to compile the proven successful postpartum diet and exercise plan that I created for my breastfeeding mom clients into a program that now anyone can have access to!

It’s called the Milky Mama’s Postpartum Plan and it is built for you! To teach you everything you need to know to be successful at postpartum weight loss while breastfeeding! And you will learn all about the right protein shakes for breastyfeeding too.

Check out my 28 day plan now to help you regain strength postpartum with short effective workouts, increase your milk supply with loads of delicious recipes, and finally lose that excess baby weight at the same time! 

breastfeeding diet plan postnatal

Is it Safe for Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women to Drink Protein Shakes?

mango orange banana lactation smoothie

I remember researching this same question a decade ago when I was first pregnant. At that time it was not recommended that pregnant or breastfeeding women drink protein shakes. Every single protein powder I could find had a warning on the label: Do not consume if pregnant or breastfeeding. 

I was so saddened to have to change that part of my diet. But in 2020 things are completely different.

To the question of whether or not it is safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women to consume protein shakes the answer is a resounding YES, it is definitely safe to consume protein powder while pregnant. It is also safe and recommended to consume protein powder while breastfeeding!

But while you are probably ecstatic to hear that news, know that not all protein powders are created equal. Not all protein powders are safe for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.

However, there are many wonderful protein powders on the market now that have completely clean all-natural ingredients that are safe for pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Remember that most protein powders are seen as supplements, so check with your trusted physician or midwife prior to adding one into your diet.

Always check with your trusted physician before making any dietary changes during pregnancy and breastfeeding, including adding supplements.

milk boosting recipes ebook to increase supply with lactogenic food

What Protein Powders are Not Safe for Pregnant and Nursing Mothers

While there are a lot of wonderful protein powders on the market these days with all clean and natural ingredients, many cheap protein powders are still a far cry from healthy.

You want to be consuming only protein shakes with all-natural and clean ingredients while pregnant and nursing. Protein powders are a great low calorie and easy to consume way to get in all that extra protein that you need during this time of motherhood, but there are some bad ingredients that you want to be sure to stay away from when hunting for a new protein powder.

Ingredients you never want to see in your protein powders:

  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Added sugars
  • Artificial flavors
  • Food coloring
  • Soy
  • Casein
  • Vegetable oils and fats

Most of these ingredients are either artificially created in a labratory, genetically modified, or cause intestinal distress and discomfort. They are common in the cheap protein powders so be sure you know what to look out for when shopping for a great protein powder that will help meet your high protein requirements, and is safe for your baby.

The Absolute Best Protein Powders for Pregnant and Breastfeeding Mamas

You don’t have to hunt the aisles of your local health food shop reading every ingredient label to find the correct type of protein powder to drink while you are pregnant and breastfeeding.

I’ve put together a shortlist of the top 4 protein powders for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers that you can pick up online and have shipped right to your door! Some even give you discounts for subscribing to have it delivered regularly and I’ve got custom coupon codes to save you even more!

1. Shakeology Superfood Protein Powder

shakeology superfood shake for pregnant or breastfeeding mothers

Shakeology is the best of the best when it comes to protein powders. It has been meticulously designed to fill in all of your potential nutritional gaps. The ingredient list and nutrition content of Shakeology is absolutely without compare.

Every supplement that you should be taking for optimal health is included within this single protein powder, in addition to numerous superfoods and added nutrition!

In addition to whey and plant based proteins in each scoop of Shakeology you get:

  • Prebiotics and Probiotics which aid in digestion, gut health, and immune system function.
  • A powerful blend of Digestive Enzymes which also aids in vitamin absorption.
  • Adaptogens to help your body deal with mental and physical stress.
  • Over 70 superfoods.
  • Antioxidants to fight free radicals.
  • Greens blend.
  • More nutrients than most multivitamins.

This protein shake ranks first on the list because it is so much more than a protein powder. Every nutritional gap that you might find in a typical diet in 2020 is filled by this protein powder.

It is truly a superfood shake and if you are anything like me, it will replace up to $150 dollars of other supplements you are already taking. That may sounds far fetched but you can read more about it along with everything you want to know about Shakeology.

And if you are pregnant, you’ll definitely want to know all the pros and cons of drinking Shakeology while pregnant to make the best decision for yourself.

I have personally witnessed this superfood shake:

  • End  a decade long battle with chronic indigestion and constipation
  • Relieve indigestion symptoms said to only be relieved by surgery
  • End migraine headaches
  • Replace a prenatal vitamin (many times over)
  • Enhance energy
  • Curb sugar cravings

Ready to give Shakeology a try? You can try them out now in either Whey or Vegan varieties! Hint: chocolate whey is the best!

And of course you will want to know all my best tricks to save big on your Shakeology too! You can save up to $50 using my tips.

2. So Lean and So Clean by Ora Organic

the best protein powder for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers

As a mother of 3 certified in Nutrition and Lifestyle During Pregnancy, This is one of my  top recommended protein powder for pregnant mothers.

The name of this protein powder is a perfect description of it, “so lean and so clean.” Everything in this protein powder is real food, plant-based, and organic. Completely safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

So Lean and So Clean is low calorie, low carb, low sugar, and low fat to help you gain only the recommended amount of pregnancy weight and to help you shed that baby weight fast postpartum.

What I love about this protein powder is that it contains:

  • 22 grams of plant-based protein
  • 20 certified organic superfoods
  • a full amino acid profile
  • only 1 gram of sugar
  • only 4 g carbohydrates
  • a full spectrum of digestive enzymes
  • a full serving of greens (that you can’t taste)
  • read the full ingredient list here

I personally love to drink So Lean and So Clean Vanilla protein powder for breakfast and also for snacks. It love that it leaves me feeling refreshed and vibrant. (It also comes in pretty tasty chocolate and a vanilla chai variety too.) The digestive enzymes, greens, and light formula is an ideal blend for every stage of motherhood!

Let’s make a perfect protein powder even better: how about 10% off just for my readers! Enter code VIGORITOUT10 at checkout for an additional 10% off.

Get Ora Organic So Lean and So Clean Now!

the milky mama's postpartum plan

3. Vega One Organic All-in-One Shake French Vanilla

A pretty good alternative to So Lean and So Clean also safe for pregnant and breastfeeding moms is Vega One Organic. It comes in vanilla and chocolate, is readily available on Amazon, and has a wonderful blend of ingredients!

This protein powder is loaded with protein, vitamins, minerals, probiotics, antioxidants, and omega 3s, all sourced directly from the power of plants.

Each scoop contains:

  • 20 g plant based protien
  • only 1 gram sugar
  • 500 mg Omega 3 ALA
  • 50% DV 8 vitamins and minerals
  • lots of great greens to help you detoxify

Vega One Organic protein shake is USDA organic, non GMO, and certified vegan. Give Vega One Organic All in One Shake a try today!

4. Garden of Life Raw Organic Shake and Meal Replacement

Garden of Life Raw Organic Shake and Meal Replacement is packed full of organic, whole food, awesome ingredients.

In 2 scoops you get a protein blend, a fiber blend, a fruit and vegetable blend, a greens blend, and a probiotic and enzyme blend. There is really a lot of great stuff in this protein powder that is perfectly safe to take while pregnant or breastfeeding.

Some awesome things inside this protein shake are:

  • 20 g of clean organic plant protein
  • 44 superfoods including grass juices
  • 6 grams of fiber to keep you satisfied
  • probiotics and enzymes to aid digestion
  • 21 vitamins and minerals
  • less than 1 g sugar

The carb count is a little higher in this protein powder sitting at 8 grams, but nothing too high. The additional carbohydrates come from the extensive fruit and vegetable blend. A few natural carbs are worth all the vitamins and minerals you naturally get with such an extensive blend of natural fruit and vegetables.

Give Garden of Life Organic Shake a try now!

Wrapping Up if Protein Powders are Safe for Pregnancy and Lactating Mothers

So now you know without a doubt that protein powders are not only safe for women to eat while pregnant and breastfeeding, they are actually a great idea to be consuming!

You need to be very careful that the protein powder you choose contains only 100% real food and clean ingredients.

With wonderful choices like Shakeology Superfood Protein Powder, So Lean and So Clean by Ora Organics, Vega One Organic All-in-One Shake, and Garden of Life Raw Organic Shake and Meal Replacement, you will be filled with the protein you need for pregnancy and breastfeeding AND lots of additional great nutrients!

Additional Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Resources from Vigor it Out

Are Protein Shakes Safe During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding?

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    1. Wonderful question Angie! While I recommend these protein powders highly for pregnancy and breastfeeding their greens must be looked at independently. Greens are very good to consume during pregnancy but not all greens. Ora Organics’ greens are not safe for pregnancy as they contain ashwagandha. Garden of Life’s greens are safe for pregnancy on the other hand. For my pregnancy, I was sure to take a chlorella and spirulina pill each day for my greens (the drinks made me nauseous). The chlorella is essential during pregnancy as it is a safe way to remove toxins while pregnant, and the spirulina is a great way to get enough iron and other essential nutrients while pregnant.

    1. Ashley, great question! I just looked up that protein powder and reviewed all the ingredients. What a great powder! It is totally safe for pregnancy and breastfeeding. Let me know how the flavor is, if it’s good I’d love to give it a try myself.

    1. Great question Celine! I have never heard of this protein powder but after a quick review of their ingredients list I am quite impressed! This looks like a great choice of protein powder for either pregnancy or breastfeeding. I see nothing unnatural at all and the amount of nutrients and whole food sources of nutrition is impressive! How does it taste?`

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