When you are pregnant, it’s important to make sure you’re fulfilling all the dietary needs for both you and your baby. During the 9 months of pregnancy, your nutrient requirements increase to support the rapid growth and development of your baby.
When your nutrient intake falls below optimum levels, fetal growth is compromised. Nutrients will first be used to support your needs, before they become available to your baby.
One nutrient that plays a key role in the development of both maternal and fetal tissue is protein. In general, pregnant women need an additional 25 grams of protein per day. A lot of women find it difficult to get an additional 25 grams through whole foods.
So how can you ensure that your daily protein needs are met? One easy and convenient alternative is protein powder. However, there are several types of protein powders on the market today. It is important to understand which supplements are safe to use during pregnancy.
Choosing a protein powder
The types of protein used in protein powders can be divided into two categories: animal source proteins and plant-based proteins. Animal source proteins include whey, casein, and eggs, whereas plant sources include soy, rice, hemp, and pea proteins. Here is a breakdown of each protein source:
Whey – A by-product of milk. Makes up 20 percent of milk protein. Whey is quickly absorbed by the body. Contains lactose, which is a common allergen. Typically an inexpensive protein source.
Casein – Another by-product of milk. Makes up 80 percent of milk protein. Casein has similar benefits to whey protein, but is more slowly digested. Also contains lactose, making it allergenic to some individuals. Often more expensive than whey protein.
Eggs – Protein found in egg whites. Made by separating the yolks and dehydrating the egg whites. Not suitable for those with an allergy to eggs. One of the more expensive protein sources.
Soy – A by-product of soybeans. May come from genetically engineered soybeans. Found in many other food products, as it is a low-cost protein. Vegan-friendly.
Rice – Protein found in rice. Hypoallergenic. Vegan-friendly.
Hemp – Protein derived from the seeds of the cannabis plant. Hypoallergenic. Vegan-friendly. One of the most expensive protein sources.
Pea – Protein found in yellow split peas. Hypoallergenic. Vegan-friendly.
If you have read any article regarding protein, you are probably familiar with the terms complete and incomplete proteins. In most articles, the difference between the two terms is often described as follows.
Complete proteins contain all nine of the essential amino acids, and are found in animal sources. Incomplete proteins are missing one or more essential amino acids, and are found in most plant sources. With this description, it would seem that plant proteins are of lower quality than animal proteins. But is this really the case?
The short answer – no. The long answer – despite popular belief, all grain and vegetable proteins contain all of the essential amino acids. However, keep in mind two things. Plant proteins may contain lower amounts of the essential amino acids, when compared to the amounts found in animal proteins.
Plant proteins often have lower bioavailability compared to animal proteins. This means that less of the proteins in the food are available for absorption. While it may take more dedication for someone eating a plant-based diet to ensure they are getting enough of the essential amino acids, it can be done by eating a well-balanced diet.
So which protein to choose?
Realistically, any of the above proteins are generally considered safe for consumption during pregnancy. The one thing to note is that while most proteins naturally contain heavy metals, plant-based proteins tend to have higher heavy metal counts than animal-based proteins.
Some of these metals are required by the human body, but it is best to keep consumption to a minimum. They are only needed in trace amounts. Therefore, be sure to look into the safety, quality, and purity standards of any product, before you make a purchase.
If you are looking for non-GMO products, be sure to check the front of the package or the ingredient list. Some soy-based proteins come from genetically engineered soybeans.
Lastly, although research is limited, most nutritive sweeteners, and a few non-nutritive sweeteners, have been deemed safe for consumption during pregnancy. However, be sure to stay away from products that contain the non-nutritive sweetener saccharin, as the safety of its use during pregnancy is still under question. Please refer to the link below for more information about the consumption of sweeteners during pregnancy.
Protein powders specially formulated for pregnant women
If you are pregnant, getting enough protein in your diet is just part of the picture. You also want to make sure you are getting enough vitamins and minerals. One of the best products available on the market today is called Mommi Prenatal Protein Powder (no bias here).
Are you looking for a great way to get an all-in-one solution, without having to do a lot of your own research and testing between different alternatives? If that’s the case, the Mommi Prenatal Protein Powder is an easy choice.
Mommi Prenatal Protein Powder is a specially formulated product, which contains a complete prenatal vitamin and 15 grams of whey protein. The formula is non-GMO, gluten-free, and contains all of the essential vitamins women need during pregnancy. The vitamins in the presence of protein allows for greater absorption of the vitamins, helping to ensure you meet your daily micronutrient requirements.
Perhaps the best thing of all about the Mommi formula is that it comes in two different delicious flavors – chocolate and vanilla. When taking the Mommi, you can simply throw it into your blender with water or milk; you can even blend it with fork if you don’t have a blender or shaker bottle. Alternatively, you can mix it together with your favorite ingredients to make a smoothie. You can also find some really tasty recipes on the mommi.com/recipes.
If you are concerned about your dietary requirements during pregnancy, then consuming a protein powder product is ideal for you. We are talking about products which contain all of the essential vitamins and minerals. Despite the product, you need a well-balanced diet, since that’s an easy and pain-free way to ensure you’re getting everything you need, for both you and your baby.
Mommi Prenatal Protein Powder has been created specifically with pregnant and nursing women in mind. Visit mommi.com/shop to try one pouch or sign up for a subscription and save. Alternatively, there are other good products available. Just be sure to do your research first, to verify that they are suitable for pregnant women.