For breastfeeding mamas, nutrition is crucial. While most of us know how important it is for our baby, we often get left out of the equation. Of course, as mommas, we want to put our children before ourselves. However, we must make sure we are getting adequate nutrition to be there and support our little. While breastfeeding, you need more nutrients, including protein. If you’re not a huge meat lover or follow a plant-based diet, you may question if it is safe to add protein powder while breastfeeding to fill in your dietary gaps.
The short answer is yes. Most protein powder shakes are 100% safe when breastfeeding. However, choosing high-quality protein powders for breastfeeding that are free of artificial ingredients, additional caffeine, and fat-burning ingredients is essential. In fact, protein powder shakes can be beneficial to meet your nutritional needs and properly nourish your little one.
Women who are breastfeeding need nearly twice as much protein as those who are not breastfeeding. A recent study from 2020 suggests that protein needs for breastfeeding women range from 1.7-1.9 grams per kilogram of body weight per day.
In this article, I want to dive into the safety of protein powder shakes while breastfeeding, ingredients to avoid, and discuss the best protein powder for breastfeeding.
Let’s dive in!
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So, Can I Use Protein Powders While Breastfeeding?
Having a protein powder shake while breastfeeding is completely safe, so drink up momma! However, as I mentioned earlier, it’s important to choose high quality protein powders for breastfeeding.
Do I Need Any Extra Nutrients While Breastfeeding?
While breastfeeding, you need around 400 extra calories per day. In addition, a lactating momma needs extra iodine and choline. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends 290 mcg of iodine and 550 mg of choline every day during the first year after the birth of your little.
As we know, our nutrients pass on to the baby while we are breastfeeding. With that being said, there’s a few ingredients you should steer clear of when buying protein powders for breastfeeding.
What Ingredients to Avoid in Protein Powders For Breastfeeding?
You’ll want to avoid protein powder shakes with caffeine. This is because excess caffeine intake can pass to the baby and cause sleeping issues, restlessness, headaches, and irregular heartbeat.
Generally speaking, you’ll want to consume less than 300mg of caffeine per day.
However, it’s important to have a conversation on your exact caffeine upper limit with your physician.
Fat Burning Ingredients
After we have a baby, I feel like we’re all trying to balance between having enough nutrients for healthy milk production and trying to lose the baby weight.
While fat-burning ingredients certainly may look appealing, it’s important to keep your little one in mind, too.
Common fat burners such as ephedra, phenylpropanolamine can be harmful to the baby. In addition, some of these ingredients can be harmful to mom, too!
Although it’s tempting to lose your baby weight and speed up weight loss, it’s not going to be the best option by any means.
Artificial Ingredients and Additives
Opt for clean ingredients and avoid contaminants. Artificial sweeteners that are considered to be safe in moderation include:
- Truvia (stevia)
- Splenda (sucralose)
- Equal, Nutrasweet (aspartame)
- Sugar alcohols (mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol)
You’ll also want to avoid lactation protein powders with dyes, chemicals, or preservatives. The American Pregnancy Association recommends against consuming saccharin (Sweet N Low) during pregnancy or while nursing.
Now that we know what ingredients to avoid in protein powder shakes let’s look at what to look for and some of my top picks of breastfeeding protein powders on the market!
What to Consider When Choosing a Protein Powder for Breastfeeding
Most protein powders for lactating mommas are vegan and free of allergens such as dairy and soy. You’ll want to consider how important a vegan certification is and the overall taste and texture.
With that being said, here are a few of my favorite protein powders for breastfeeding mommas:
Best Protein Powder For Breastfeeding
I have used Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides for years now and have had great results. Not only does it improve your skin’s elasticity and support healthy nails and skin, but it is also a clean protein powder that is a safe choice for breastfeeding moms. Its ingredients are sourced from pasture-raised, grass-fed cows and are gluten-free.
Boobie Body was created by a board-certified lactation specialist using only the cleanest ingredients. It can be used to boost milk production during pregnancy or simply after a workout. It’s made of a proprietary blend of pea, sacha inchi, organic chia, and organic flax to provide a vegan-friendly complete amino acid profile.
Milk Drunk Protein Powder contains additional nutrients such as B12 and folate, which are essential for those who are breastfeeding. It also is formulated to boost milk production and support healing postpartum. It is also vegan and non-GMO.
As an added bonus, it’s loaded with other blends and includes turmeric, cinnamon, and a milk-boosting herb blend.
This protein powder is formulated to fight postnatal depletion, boost energy levels, and increase your milk supply. It contains vitamins, minerals, greens, protein, phytonutrients, and galactagogue herbs to fight postnatal depletion. Moreover, it is non-GMO, vegan friendly, and free of artificial sweeteners.
Protein is a critical nutrient for lactating mommas. Whether you’re looking to purchase a protein powder for breastfeeding formulated to boost your milk production or simply trying to meet your protein needs, protein powders can be a great option. There are many options on the market, but the best protein powder for breastfeeding will be a clean source of protein powder that is free of artificial ingredients, fat-burning ingredients, and excess caffeine. There are some expensive brands of breastfeeding protein powder shakes on the market, but there are some very cost-efficient brands that can give you the clean protein you want as well.