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​​​​Best Protein Powders During Pregnancy & Safe Options for Breastfeeding Moms

this is a photo of our featured image for the best protein powders during pregnancy article

Whether you’re a first-time mom or a seasoned pro, you always want to fuel your body with the nutrients you need, both during pregnancy and while breastfeeding (if you choose to breastfeed). And it can be a little nerve-wracking trying to scour the internet to find the safest, healthiest options during this delicate, yet beautiful time in your life.

When it comes to choosing the safest protein powders for pregnancy, there’s a lot of information out there and even more products to weed through, making the whole process feel overwhelming. Luckily, we’ve put in all the leg work for you, selecting the the top brands based on our personal experiences, professional knowledge, and time spent pouring over reviews and ingredient lists.

We narrowed the list down to the top pregnancy-safe protein powder options and break them all down for you so that you can make the most informed decision when you’re choosing a protein powder to consume during your pre-natal journey and into your postpartum phase and while breastfeeding.

Top 7 Best Protein Powder Shakes For Pregnancy

The products we chose are the ones that have minimal ingredients, were recommended by OB/GYNs, and don’t include any ingredients that should be avoided—we’ll elaborate on those later in the article.

Of course, we spent hours researching affordable protein powders for this delicate time, but you should always consult with your doctor before consuming anything that you’re unsure of. Your doctor will give you the final thumbs up or down on your pregnancy protein choice.

If you’re anything like me, you want to stay healthy and fit during your nine months. In fact, being pregnant motivated me more than ever to be my healthiest, strongest version of myself so that I could prepare myself for delivery and the demands of being a new mom.

This is a beautiful, yet challenging time in a woman’s life—from the constant body changes to mood swings and fatigue, you must relinquish control of a lot during this time. You do, however, have the ability to choose the foods that you fuel your body with. Pregnancy protein shakes are a great place to start, assuming you choose a healthy protein brand and use in moderation.

Here are our full reviews of the top brands and products. Remember, I am not a medical expert and my advice does not replace that of yours — always run your choice by your doctor first if you’re unsure!

This is a picture of the product Orgain Organic Protein.

Orgain’s Organic plant-based protein powder is great for pregnant and non-pregnant women alike. The 21 grams of protein comes from a combination of pea protein, brown rice and chia seeds. This is an excellent option for those who prefer plant-based protein.

We wrote an authentic review on Orgain protein powder. Simply put, it's a great brand and they do an amazing job.

You can feel confident about the super clean ingredients as well as the price. This is one of the most affordable protein powders for pregnancy we feature.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Plant-based protein
  • All-natural ingredients
  • Tons of positive reviews
  • Powder mixes smoothly

Cons

  • Some women complained of a stomachache
  • Contains Stevia
This is an image of the product Baby Booster Pregnancy Protein Powder

It’s easy to see why Baby Booster made the list by just looking at the packaging. This formula is specifically designed for pregnant women by a board-certified OB/GYN.

This protein powder is created using only high-quality, natural ingredients that are good for both you and your baby. There are no preservatives, no artificial sweeteners, and no harmful junk that you’d prefer to avoid during this time. It even has DHA in it, which is vital to the growth and development of your baby.

Pros

  • Made for pregnant women
  • Created by a board-certified OB/GYN
  • 2 great flavors
  • No artificial or harmful ingredients
  • Mid-range price

Cons

  • Unsure if it’s organic
  • The chocolate flavor tastes a bit like coffee which can be off-putting to some

With so many pros that outweigh the cons, it's tough not to go with Boobie Body. Plant based, Probiotics, organic, vegan... this product has it all!

This is an image of the protein product Bumped Up

Bumped Up Prenatal Protein is another protein formula that was specifically engineered  to support your growing baby. It not only has 20 grams of all-natural, hormone-free protein, but it also includes some of the prenatal vitamins that your body needs.

It’s all-natural, no preservatives, no artificial sweeteners and it’s sourced from 100% grass-fed cows, making it highly clean and safe.

Pros

  • Designed to support a growing baby
  • All-natural ingredients
  • Can help combat morning sickness
  • Gluten-free
  • Caffeine-free

Cons

  • Pricey
  • A limited number of reviews
This is an image of the product Protiva, a protein that supports pregnancy

Next up, another protein powder that’s OB/GYN approved as a super safe option for prenatal moms. Protiva is a collagen protein that’s clinically proven to increase your energy and increase your protein levels, which is vital for the growth of your baby.

With 15 grams of collagen protein, all-natural ingredients, and claims to help increase your energy, this is a great whey protein alternative to try out.

Pros

  • All-natural
  • Preservative-free
  • Allergen-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Helps increase energy
  • Collagen is great for preventing stretch marks!
  • Helps women recover quicker after baby

Cons

  • Some women don’t like the taste
  • Doesn’t contain any additional vitamins

The first prenatal protein powder we chose is by Boobie Body. This brand also makes lactation supplements and bars to help moms boost and maintain their milk supply. While this particular product is marketed as a superfood shake for busy moms, it’s perfect for pregnant moms, too.

With 19 grams of protein, 0g sugar, 1g of carbs, and only clean ingredients, this is an awesome choice for expecting moms. You can feel good about the natural, hormone-free, plant-based protein that you’re putting into your body and the best part is, it tastes great, too! There are 3 flavors to choose from and plenty of rave reviews to back it up.

Additionally, this protein has 2.5 billion CFU of probiotics, prebiotics, and is an excellent source of fiber for healthy digestion. Maternity can wreak havoc on our digestion which can cause a myriad of problems and discomfort, so this is a great choice for expecting women who struggle with constipation while carrying their child.

Pros

  • Organic
  • Vegan
  • Lactation Friendly
  • Probiotics and Prebiotics
  • Plant-based protein
  • 3 flavors to choose from

Cons

  • Can be difficult to mix
  • A tad pricey

With so many pros that outweigh the cons, it's tough not to go with Boobie Body. Plant based, Probiotics, organic, vegan... this product has it all!

This picture shows the product Tone It Up, a protein powder for pregnancy

Tone it Up’s protein powder made our list for a couple of reasons. First, it’s all-natural, plant-based, and has 15 grams of protein. Second, it has tons of rave reviews and even one of Tone it Up’s founders claim she drank this during her journey, as approved by her doctor.

All the ingredients are organic and there’s no sugar, making it a product you can feel good about. This is actually the powder I still use.

Pros

  • Organic
  • Zero sugar
  • 3 flavors to choose from
  • Mixes well
  • Can be used in dozens of baking recipes

Cons

  • Not as much protein as some of the others on the list
  • There are no additional vitamins or nutrients
This is a picture of the protein powder product called Levels.

If you’re looking for a basic, clean whey protein that has great flavor—Levels has one of the top options. 100% grass-fed whey, 24 grams of protein and no added sugars or artificial ingredients makes it a great supplement you can trust and feel good about.

Pros

  • Giant size for a great price
  • Delicious flavors-particularly the chocolate
  • All-natural ingredients
  • Mixes well

Cons

  • Some women report an upset stomach
  • It’s not designed for prenatal moms, so no additional prenatal vitamins included

FAQs

We’re answering all your most burning questions so you can stop the internet rabbit hole madness.

Are Whey Protein Shakes Safe While Nursing?

Before you begin drinking any kind of protein shake while expecting it’s important that you speak with your doctor to verify its safe for your pregnancy. Every woman and every pregnancy are different, so you must speak with your doctor regarding your specific needs.

That said, it’s generally safe to consume protein shakes during this time as long as you pay attention to the ingredients and don’t overdo it.

Can You Drink Protein Shakes While Breastfeeding?

Similar to drinking protein shakes throughout your nine months, drinking protein shakes while you’re breastfeeding is generally safe as long as you pay attention to the ingredients and verify that they’re safe for consumption.

How to Know You’re Choosing a Safe Protein Powder?

Generally speaking, protein powder is one that has all-natural ingredients and doesn’t contain ingredients that should be avoided during your pre-natal period. Again, if in doubt, run your choice by your doctor before consuming it.

What Are Your Protein Requirements?

The amount of protein that a pregnant woman should consume  is highly dependent on several factors. However, most women need anywhere from 40-70 grams per day. Talk to your doctor to see what he or she recommends for you.

In general, if you’re eating a healthy, well-balanced diet that includes a broad spectrum of healthy foods then you should be meeting your daily protein requirement. However, it’s generally safe to consume protein shakes as an added source of protein as long as you don’t overdo it.

What Type of Protein is Best for Expecting Mommas?

There are many different protein powders available, including:

  • Whey
  • Pea
  • Soy
  • Egg
  • Hemp
  • Brown Rice
  • Plants
  • Casein

All of these different protein types are derived from natural food products, making them inherently safe for pregnancy, so the choice of which type of protein is the best protein depends on your personal preference and dietary needs.

The main thing to keep in mind, regardless of what type of protein you choose, you should never select an option that contains artificial sweeteners or additives. We’ll dive more into that below.

What Shouldn’t Be Included in Your Protein Shake?

All pregnant women are advised to thoroughly check the label of all foods they are consuming, this pertains to choosing pre-natal supplements, too. In general, finding a protein powder with the shortest list of ingredients, and the one with the ingredients that you know and understand is best.

There are several unsafe  foods that almost all doctors advise pregnant women to avoid. Included on this list are:

  • Caffeine
  • Arsenic and heavy metals
  • Certain herbs including Saw Palmetto, Goldenseal, Dong Quai, Ephedra, Yohimbe, Pay D’ Arco, Rosemary, Pennyroyal, Roman Chamomile, Passionflower, Black Cohosh
  • Excessive Vitamin A
  • Saccharin (artificial sweetener)

All of the products and brands that made our list do not contain any of the above ingredients that are potentially dangerous for pregnant women.

What Are The Benefits of Protein Powder While Nursing?

Protein powders when your expecting can help supplement pregnant women who aren’t getting enough protein from their diet. Some women struggle to get enough protein in their diet or are malnourished and in these cases, their doctor may recommend that they supplement their diet with pregnancy protein shakes.

It’s common for expecting women, especially in the first trimester, to not feel well enough to eat the nutrients she needs. In these cases, a protein shake for pregnancy may be recommended by your doctor to help supplement a diet lacking in the proper nutrients.

So, Can Prenatal Women Drink Protein Shakes?

Yes, protein shakes are generally a great way to increase calories, ensure proper protein intake and maintain a healthy body.

The Bottom Line

Prenatal protein powder consumed throughout your 40 weeks can be very safe as long as you pay attention to the ingredients and you run it by your doctor to make sure it's safe for your pregnancy.

I drank smoothies with protein powder in them throughout my pre and post-natal period and felt confident that I was fueling my body as well as my baby’s with the nutrition we needed.

Drinking protein while expecting can help you get the nutrients you need and also help curb some of those pesky pre-natal cravings healthily.

So, go ahead, get your shake on!

Ps. Any of the above brands and products pair perfectly with a high-quality prenatal vitamin. I used these throughout my whole journey, from trying to conceive to my postpartum months. I love that they were delivered directly to my door so my mom brain never forgot to buy more. And they're the only ones I've used that don't make me feel nauseous.