Protein is an essential macronutrient for a healthy pregnancy and postpartum journey. As getting enough protein in your diet is one of the most powerful ways to keep all cells in your body happy and healthy. This includes the millions of cells that are used to grow a baby and produce breast milk.
Most women are not meeting their protein intake requirements
There is no question, protein is an absolute essential part of your pre and postnatal nutrition – 20% more protein is required to supply your growing baby and the organs and tissues that internally support your baby. It is also imperative to help rebuild/heal your organs and tissues post birth and produce quality breast milk supply.
Current Research via Lily Nichols REAL FOOD FOR PREGNANCY “40% of 2nd trimester mothers and 67% of 3rd trimester mothers fell below optimal intake levels, averaging only ~82 g protein/day. Optimal intake would be a minimum of ~100g/day (more if you’re a larger person or very active).“
Why Protein is essential during and after Pregnancy ?
Eating a wide selection of protein sources is a great choice during and after pregnancy. However meeting this intake can be challenging due to nausea, exhaustion or prenatal food safety risks. Supplementing your nutrition with a quality wholefood protein powder is a great option for those who are time poor or don’t get enough protein from quality food sources.
When personally dealing with my own energy levels and hormonal challenges I follow an eating plan that includes lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, healthy fats and omega 3s which help to support my well-being and provide me with great energy.
Easy Steps to meet your Prenatal and Postpartum Protein Requirements
I also understand life can get in the way when trying to nourish yourself, it can be challenging to shop and prepare protein sources like meat, eggs etc. That is why use a quality no nasties, pre and post natal safe protein powder to ensure I meet my protein requirements.
Watch my 5 min video to follow my easy steps on how I do this (no blending required for this one Mama) …
Protein isn’t just for Bodybuilders !
I find it alarming how many women cut out certain macro nutrients, such as protein, when counting calories in an attempt to “lose baby weight”, when in fact, protein is the key ingredient for supporting healthy hormones, glowing skin, digestive health, lean muscle mass, and sustained weight loss.
Protein will NOT make you “bulk up” – in fact it will give you strong lean muscles, that will help you burn fat. Plus protein fills you up, so you don’t end up over-eating the stuff that does make you overweight like sugar and processed foods ! Just one serve of pregnancy and postpartum safe protein powder contains up to 26 g of protein.
Pregnancy Postpartum Protein Smoothie Recipes
My protein smoothie recipes are a great place to start to improve you protein intake….have them for breakfast, snacks or even in the middle of the night if those pregnancy or post nursing cravings hit !!
More recipes to nourish you and your baby
Let me know if my Facebook Community what recipes you try and if you have felt more energised and had reduced cravings by boosting your protein intake. Science says and research has proven that protein helps stabilize blood sugar levels, which can help you manage and avoid gestational diabetes, hormone fluctuations, hunger pangs, headaches and nausea. Plus if you are facing nausea or food aversions you may find that eating small amounts of protein (like my smoothie recipes above) will help.
Protein requirements increase during and after pregnancy, and are actually considerably higher than the current conventional prenatal nutrition guidelines (see my interview with Nutritionist Lily Nichols). Try to make sure you are nourishing both you and your baby quality and a variety of protein sources.
Dahlas Fletcher is one of Australia’s most respected and successful certified and experienced Pregnancy and Female Fitness Trainers. Her goal is to help you be the happiest, most fabulous version of yourself, inside and out.