By: Dr. Kinga Babicki-Farrugia Hon, BSc, ND.
Your protein needs, like other nutrients, go up in pregnancy. Protein helps to form new cells for both mom and baby and is essential to building baby’s body. Consuming adequate protein can also help prevent low birth weight in baby and keep blood sugar stable in mom. A diet full of healthy proteins has been linked to a lower risk of gestational diabetes!
Did you know you can figure out your unique protein needs during pregnancy using a simple calculation? Its based on the fact that generally speaking you need about 1gram of protein/kg of your body weight (more than most mamas realize!). So if you weigh 75kg you would aim to consume about 75g of protein, if you weigh 90kg, you aim for 90g. Easy peasy right? Do keep in mind there are some conditions and situations where you may not want to increase protein too much. This is why its very important to talk to your healthcare provider. They know your health history and are aware of any reasons you need to be cautious.
There are a variety of healthy protein sources to ensure you get your daily needs met. Both meat and non-meat depending on your unique needs and preferences. Some ideas include: grass-fed beef, pastured chicken, eggs, lamb, fish, beans/lentils, organic soy, nuts/seeds, quinoa and even oats. Did you know 3 tbsp of hemp hearts provide 11g of protein? I love adding these to a shake instead of using protein powder.
What sources of protein are you including to keep you and baby strong and healthy? Share in the comments below! I ate a variety in both of my pregnancies but looooved my eggs (still do!).