This is a very common question I get asked on a regular basis and my answer was “no” until I started doing more research and actually going through pregnancy and breastfeeding myself.
A good quality protein supplement is absolutely necessary during pregnancy and breastfeeding especially because our protein needs are much higher (we’re eating for two). It can also be challenging to eat the amount of protein we require regularly because of nausea or food aversion while pregnant or even lack of time once our bundle of joy arrives.
I personally didn’t suffer from much nausea during my first trimester but my cravings for carbohydrates were incredibly high so my macronutrient intake was off, protein powder was so quick and easy for me to consume and it saved me from cooking up chicken, fish or steak…which was the last thing I wanted to do during my first trimester.
Now that I’m a busy new mom who is breastfeeding a very hungry boy, time is of the essence. I hardly have time to shower so cooking food has been nearly impossible. Throwing together a quick shake that is highly nutrient dense is definitely convenient because I know that in a few seconds I can satisfy my hunger and make sure I’m getting adequate quality nutrients for my Baby Boy.
I recommend looking for a high-quality New Zealand Whey Protein powder that doesn’t contain any artificial sweeteners and I, personally, use and recommend InterActive Absolute Whey. I used this throughout my pregnancy and love it because it’s completely natural with no artificial colours or sweeteners and it’s also growth hormone free. Even better, it tastes great and the vanilla and chocolate combine well with any fruit. It’s also only 110 calories with 23 g of protein and less than 2 g of sugar per serving because I like to keep the calories, carbs and fat lower in my protein powder because it leaves more room for whole, natural ingredients to be added.
Since breastfeeding I found that dairy or whey also had an effect on my little one – he seemed to get more gas and spit up episodes so I’ve recently switched over to InterActive Absolute Vegetarian Protein which has helped tremendously! It’s primary ingredients are organic sprouted, whole grain rice protein and yellow pea protein isolate with 120 calories and 21 g of protein per serving and very flavourful (it’s very hard to find a Vegetarian Protein that tastes great)!
I love to make a power shake in the morning and if I’m short on time I’ll make another one during the day.
Power Protein Smoothie:
- 1 serving of (Vanilla or Chocolate) Protein Powder (either Interactive Absolute Whey or Interactive Absolute Vegetarian Protein)
- 1 cup Blueberries
- 1/2 a Banana
- 1 cup of water or almond milk
- 1 tbsp of chia seeds
- 1 tbsp Hemp Hearts
- 2-3 handfuls of spinach or kale
Blend for 15 seconds and drink up!