Having a baby is one of the most rewarding, yet challenging things that a woman can do. Not only will their body undergo a number of biological changes during pregnancy, but an expectant mother’s nutritional requirements will intensify as the foetus will absorb a lot of the nutrients from the mother’s body – leaving them deficient.
Throughout this gestational period and even into the early stages of the newborn’s life, the mother will need to ensure that they’re overcompensating for this by increasing stored resources for their own body in order to help support growth and development. But it can often be a challenge to ensure that they’re getting the right amounts of essential nutrients from their diet, so many expectant/newborn mothers have turned to using protein powder as a supplement to their diet. As such, here we look at the benefits of using protein powder when breastfeeding.
Easy to integrate into diet
The use of protein powder as a supplement is such a simple way to increase the amount of protein you’re getting from your diet, especially if you’re not typically hitting your recommended daily amounts for the day. However, when breastfeeding, it’s even more crucial to ensure that your diet is one that’s high in protein as this will support your newborn baby’s growth and development.
For any new mother, it’s recommended that you should consume an extra 25g of protein per day, but with gastrointestinal issues (such as heartburn) being common with pregnancy/breastfeeding it can be often difficult to do so. This is why the use of protein powder is such an effective method of increasing your protein intake, since it’s so easy to integrate into your daily diet such as by making protein shakes or through food fortification. On this note, it’s a great idea to consume a shake when breastfeeding at night as your body will absorb the nutrients better, ensuring you harness more of what you need.
Great source of protein
As you would naturally expect, protein powders are designed to be a high-quality protein source which are rich in essential amino acids that can be easily absorbed by the body. Since it’s so digestible it means that new mothers will be able to harness the nutrients quickly before passing on some of these to their newborn baby during breastfeeding. Having the ability to quickly replenish protein stores in the body is one of the best health benefits of using protein powders when breastfeeding. Additionally, whey protein specifically, has been recommended to help lower blood pressure and may help to treat diabetes, which are two potential ailments to watch out for during pregnancy and when breastfeeding.
Many protein powders available are dairy-free and plant based, making them suitable for everyone including those with specific dietary requirements. This means that there’s always an option for everyone, no matter whether you’re a vegan or you’re lactose intolerant. Not only that, but many protein powders are organic and don’t include any artificial ingredients, making them a safe dietary supplement to use regularly and won’t harm your newborn baby. However, when opting to use any protein powder, you should always ensure that you’re picking the right blend for your requirements as everyone’s body is different. As such, it may be worth consulting your GP before using your chosen product whilst breastfeeding.
While it can often be a challenge to ensure that you’re intaking the right amounts of essential nutrients required to support your newborn baby’s growth and development when breastfeeding, protein powders have a proven track record of being an effective method of doing so. With so many options available, there’s no easier or better way to increase your protein intake than by using protein powders since altering your diet may not always be achievable due to things like a loss of appetite or heartburn. Additionally, the benefits speak for themselves, so why not give it a try and get more protein from your diet today.
Ellen Diamond did her degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.
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