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Why Protein Intake is Important for a Healthy Pregnancy

Protein is an essential nutrient for women and their growing babies during pregnancy. Protein provides amino acids—which are considered the body’s building blocks.

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Published April 1, 2019

by Nina Spears

The Baby Chick®: Pregnancy, Birth & Postpartum Expert

As soon as you find out you are pregnant, one of the first things expectant mothers do is look at their diets and start eating healthier, more nutritious meals. And rightfully so. Giving your body and baby a well-balanced diet is one of the greatest gifts you can give to your new little one because a mother’s nutritional choices while pregnant can have profound and lasting effects on the child’s health.1 But as your belly and baby grow, so does your blood supply, organs, and breast tissue. All of this growth during pregnancy requires calories, yes, but also lots of protein.

The Importance of Protein During Pregnancy

Most expecting mothers understand the importance of eating healthy foods but don’t know that they need to increase their protein intake during pregnancy and the importance of doing so.

Protein during pregnancy is an essential nutrient for women and their growing babies. Protein provides amino acids—considered the body’s building blocks—necessary for fetal tissue development and maternal tissue expansion. It has been cited that protein is the single most critical element for fetal neurological development.2 A protein-rich diet positively affects tissue growth during pregnancy, including baby’s fetal tissue and brain, and the mother’s increasing blood supply, breast, and uterine tissue. A diet deficient in protein can lead to health problems for mother and baby.3

How Much Protein Do Pregnant Moms Need?

According to the USDA, pregnant women require about 70 to 100 grams of protein daily.4 That’s at least 25 grams more protein than non-pregnant women, who only need 45 grams daily. It’s surprising to most women that they are—more than likely—not getting enough protein.

Protein is especially important during the second and third trimesters when the fetus grows rapidly. This additional protein can be acquired by eating protein-rich foods as part of a healthy and balanced diet—including eggs, cottage cheese, chicken, salmon, beans, peanut butter, low-fat yogurt, tofu, and collagen.

Are You Getting Enough Protein?

Many women are surprised to discover that even while eating a nutritious diet during pregnancy, they may still be protein deficient. Research shows that most pregnant women have below normal protein levels.5

But don’t panic! There is time to make a change, and an easy solution to increase your protein levels is called Protiva.

Protiva: Nutrition When You Need It Most

Protiva was developed with two goals: to help pregnant women reach their nutritional needs in mid to late pregnancy and to help new moms heal from delivery while providing the additional protein and vitamins they need when breastfeeding.

Protiva is the only protein product proven safe for you to take during pregnancy. It’s the first and only pregnancy protein drink to have completed a clinical study approved by an institutional review board. It has demonstrated effectiveness in improving protein levels during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Their analysis showed that 98% of pregnant women tested in their third trimester of pregnancy had protein levels below or at the bottom of the normal range.6 After taking Protiva, 100% of women showed increased protein levels to the normal range.

Protiva is a convenient and easy way to pack in an extra 15 grams of protein a day, formulated specifically for the needs and safety of new moms and babies—including being allergen-free.

Protein powders generally use whey, soy, and casein protein. Protiva uses collagen—a naturally occurring fibrous protein that supports connective tissue growth. Collagen’s regenerative properties make it an ideal pregnancy choice to support joints, ligaments, and tendons, and post-delivery healing for anyone who delivered via C-section or had an episiotomy. It also helps with skin tone and elasticity, a nice bonus for moms post-childbirth interested in a quicker return to their pre-pregnancy bodies.

Supplementing with Protiva during pregnancy and in the months after baby arrives helps new mothers maintain more optimal protein levels, which helps to boost energy and repair the body.

Here are two fast and easy ways to help increase your daily protein intake with Protiva.

Quick Shake

Grab your protein shaker bottle, add 8-10 oz of almond milk and one scoop of Vanilla Protiva. Shake it in your bottle, and you’re ready to go!

Recommended Protein Intake During Pregnancy | Baby Chick
Recommended Protein Intake During Pregnancy | Baby Chick

Strawberry Smoothie

With this recipe, you’ll need a blender, frozen berries, 8-10 oz of almond milk, and Protiva. First, add your frozen berries–we added strawberries, then pour in your almond milk, add your one scoop of Vanilla Protiva, and blend until smooth. Once finished, pour into your tall glass, and you have a delicious smoothie perfect for you and your growing baby. 🙂

Recommended Protein Intake During Pregnancy | Baby Chick
Recommended Protein Intake During Pregnancy | Baby Chick
Recommended Protein Intake During Pregnancy | Baby Chick

Talk with your doctor or midwife about your protein levels and see if Protiva is suitable for you and your baby.

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Nina Spears The Baby Chick®: Pregnancy, Birth & Postpartum Expert
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Nina is The Baby Chick® & Editor-in-Chief of Baby Chick®. She received her baby planning certification in early 2011 and began attending births that same year. Since then, Nina has… Read more

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