FAQ

Folic acid is an essential vitamin (B9) for women who are planning to become pregnant, are pregnant, may become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. Folic acid is important during pregnancy, particularly during the early phases, because it can help prevent neural tube defects and other birth defects such as spina bifida, anencephaly, a cleft palate, cleft lip, and other heart & limb defects. Additionally, your body needs folic acid to make red blood cells as your uterus expands and is vital for the production, repair, and working of DNA.

Is folic acid important before pregnancy?

Neural tube defects occur in the first 3 to 4 weeks of pregnancy, many times before a woman even knows that she is pregnant. The CDC recommends taking a prenatal vitamin up to a month before you become pregnant. Taking folic acid before you are pregnant may reduce your baby’s chances of developing neural tube defects by up to 70% and reduces the chance of delivering early but up to 50%.

How much folic acid should I be taking?

Women how are able to get pregnant should take between 400-800 mcg of folic acid per day. If you are trying to conceive, you should be taking it at least a month before, generally as part of a prenatal vitamin. You should take at least 600 mcg once you get pregnant and at least 500 mcg when breastfeeding. Most doctors recommend women keep taking a prenatal vitamin while breastfeeding to ensure they getting all the vitamins and nutrients they need.

What else about folic acid intake should I know?

Be sure to tell your doctor if you have had a child with a birth defect or a relative who has had spina bifida; it is likely you will need to get more folic acid. If you are past your childbearing years, ask your doctor how much folic acid you need. Too much folic acid may cause your body to hide the symptoms of B12 deficiency.

 

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Category: Education

Flip open any muscle magazine and you’ll find trainers and athletes touting the importance of protein in your diet. Bodybuilders swear by protein when it comes to repairing muscle tissue. But what does protein intake have to do with pregnancy?? I mean, you are building a body but the focus isn’t on you right now, right? Well, here’s the truth – protein is responsible for a lot during pregnancy. After-all, its amino acids are quite literally the building blocks of the human body.

How does protein help pregnancy?

Protein has a huge benefit for pregnant women:

  • Transportation of nutrients and oxygen to and from red blood cells and control of blood clotting
  • Increases blood supply
  • Hair and fingernail growth and strengthening
  • Regulation of hormone secretion and digestion
  • Proper cognitive activity and growth

During pregnancy, proteins are providing the very same cell-building tasks for your growing baby. The third trimester of your pregnancy is when your baby’s brain will be developing. Therefore, it’s more important than ever to get an adequate amount of protein during those last few months of pregnancy.

How can lack of protein hurt pregnancy?

When you don’t get enough protein during pregnancy, here are the risks:

  • A higher risk of contracting infections
  • Weight loss
  • Retain severe amounts of fluid

All these symptoms of protein deficiency can prove to be detrimental to the healthy growth of your baby.

How much protein do I need?

Before you rush off to buy protein powder to help supplement the extra need during pregnancy, it’s helpful to know how much protein you actually need. Non-pregnant women are encouraged to consume about 45 grams of protein per day; women who are nursing or pregnant need about 75 grams. Your protein needs may be higher or lower depending on your ideal weight and physical activity. Because all of us are different – we created the Mommi protein calculator so you can know exactly how much protein you need based on your ideal weight and physical activity.

Please note – not all protein powders are created equal! Some are safe for pregnancy, many are problematic. Read labels. If you don’t want that hassle, just order Mommi 3-in-1. It’s pregnancy-safe whey protein powder, plus it includes a prenatal and DHA – everything your OB/GYN will tell you to take for a healthy pregnancy. We made it easy!

Other things to consider

It’s also a great idea to supplement your protein with B6 because it helps absorb the protein more efficiently. Like folic acid, B6 helps reduce the risk of neural tube defects and also aids in the development of the brain and nervous system.

 

Category: Education

Experts recommend women who are pregnant and nursing to take an extra 25 grams of protein a day. This might be a tall order to fill for women who basically want to throw-up every time they smell, let along look at any meat, dairy, and fish. Protein supplements are a great way to get that extra protein, but are protein shakes and powders safe during pregnancy? The short answer is yes, the long answer, is well… longer. The concern with protein supplements revolve around the type of sweetener used, how clean the protein is, and what other ingredients it contains.

Heavy metals in proteins

Most, if not all proteins, have some naturally occurring trace heavy metals. Veggie proteins tend to have higher heavy metal counts as do lower quality proteins. Animal based proteins (whey and whey isolate in particular) tend to have much lower heavy metal counts. If you are going to supplement your protein with protein powder, be sure it comes from a quality source.

Sweeteners to avoid

The American Pregnancy Association cautions women who are pregnant or nursing to not take products that contain cyclamate or saccharin. Some nutritionists suggest women who are pregnant or nursing to stay away from artificial sweeteners that haven’t been thoroughly studied on how they might impact a woman who is pregnant or nursing.

But there is good news if you have a major sweet tooth when you are expecting… Rebaudioside A (Stevia), acesulfame potassium (Sunett), aspartame (Equal or NutraSweet), and sucralose (Splenda) sweeteners are all generally recognized as being safe by the Food and Drug Administration and American Pregnancy Association.

Other considerations

The final concern with protein supplements relates to what other ingredients or additives it contains and if it is potentially harmful to you or your baby. Here is a rule of thumb when making decisions – read the label! And then keep this in mind: products that are marketed to athletes might contain something that is not meant for pregnant or nursing women. Most protein products that are not safe for women who are pregnant or nursing come with a warning label that will say just that. The safest approach is to consult a nutritional expert to ensure you are not taking something that could be harmful.

Why do I need protein?

Protein is very important during pregnancy and you need an extra 25 grams while you are pregnant or nursing. Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD, director of sports nutrition at the University of the Pittsburgh Medical Center, says that protein is necessary because “it has its hands in every critical function of the body.” For pregnant and breastfeeding women a protein-rich diet is essential to support the growth and development of your baby. Use the Mommi protein calculator to determine how much protein you need based on your weight and activity level.

Category: Education

You need to get about 25 grams of protein in addition to what you were taking before. So that’s a total of almost 75 grams a day – A LOT when protein doesn’t always sound appetizing.

Most women understand the importance of maintaining a complete diet during pregnancy. Since your baby’s development is completely dependent on your health, it’s essential you fill your body with the proper nutrients you need to support your growing baby; one of the most important nutrients you need is protein. Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD, director of sports nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, said that protein is necessary because “it has its hands in every critical function of the body.”  

How much protein do I need?

So how much protein do you actually need? Daily protein requirements vary by ideal weight and physical activity. For example, a woman whose ideal weight is 140 pounds and engages in moderate physical activity would need 45 grams of protein when not pregnant and 75 grams of protein when pregnant.  Use the Mommi protein calculator to determine how much protein you need based on your weight and activity level.

Why is protein so important?

On the surface, protein can help keep you lean. While you are expected and even encouraged to gain weight during pregnancy, gaining too much weight may cause serious health risks, let alone it’s hard to take off afterward. Good sources of protein will keep you feeling fuller longer, and will reduce the need to eat extra, empty calories.  It will also help you gain weight in the form of lean muscle rather than just fat. Another thing to consider during pregnancy is gestational diabetes. Eating a diet rich in protein helps to stabilize blood sugar levels.

Most importantly, the amino acids in protein are quite literally the building blocks of the human body. Proteins not only repair muscle tissue but also red blood cells. They transport nutrients and oxygen to and from those cells and also control blood clotting, particularly those in and around the uterus and placenta.

Proteins also play a huge roll in hair and fingernail growth along with the regulation of hormone secretion and digestion. And during pregnancy, proteins are providing the very same cell-building tasks for your growing baby.

The third trimester of your pregnancy is when your baby’s brain will be developing. Proteins high in omega-3 fatty acids like DHA provide the nutrients necessary for proper cognitive activity and growth.  Therefore, it’s more important than ever to get an adequate amount of protein during those last few months of pregnancy.

Without sufficient protein in your diet, you are more at risk of contracting an infection, suffering from weight loss, and possibly retaining severe amounts of fluid. Consuming the proper amounts of protein during pregnancy is vital to the health of your baby as it has also been linked to a lower risk of neonatal death and birth defects.

Please note – not all protein powders are created equal! Some are safe for pregnancy, many are problematic. Read labels. If you don’t want that hassle, just order Mommi 3-in-1. It’s pregnancy-safe whey protein powder, plus it includes a prenatal and DHA – everything your OB/GYN will tell you to take for a healthy pregnancy. We made it easy!

Category: Education

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