One of the most common questions we receive is: Is it safe to drink protein drinks whilst breastfeeding?
Choice Australia suggests mothers may need as much as 67grams or more protein per day during the breastfeeding period, Kids Health suggest 71grams. A healthy diet including a good mix of meat, eggs, dairy, legumes and nuts should provide most of this, but it is not always realistic or possible for busy mums to get everything they need every day from meals alone, especially those on more restricted dietary intakes.
Obstetrician & Gynecologist Laura E. Stachel M.D. says mothers may also need up to 500 extra calories per day to produce breastmilk than she did pre-pregnancy. Carbohydrates can give the mother enough energy, whilst proteins can assist in boosting milk production, as well as providing energy reserves. A simple way to top up protein intake, particularly for vegetarian and vegan mothers and those not eating a lot from the above food groups is to top up with protein powder.
Generally speaking, protein powders do not pose a major threat to the health of the mother or her breastfeeding baby as many contain only healthy doses of protein, calcium and other essential nutrients and vitamins. Unfortunately though, some protein products on the market these days are full of unnatural chemical additives, preservatives, artificial flavours and more. A number of chemicals and artificial fillers have been linked to various health issues around pregnancy and early onset developmental issues for children, so it is vital to choose a protein that is safe for mother and child.
What to consider before settling on protein powders.
Always seek the advice of your health professional. We, as humans, are all structured differently and while one food group may be beneficial to some, it can be detrimental to others. Nevertheless, as long as environmental, allergen and paediatrics advice have been considered and the mother is not undertaking a radical change to her diet without professional advice, then choosing a naturally sourced, additive free, protein powder to supplement diet while breastfeeding can be extremely beneficial for the health and well being of the mother and child.
Protein Powder – the benefits when breastfeeding.
Key nutrients for a breastfeeding mother that many all-natural protein powders contain are:
According the Australian Breastfeeding Association mothers eating a normal Australian diet, will quite likely not be receiving enough calcium. Protein powders, particularly Whey Protein and Vegan Protein (if mixed with calcium fortified soymilk) provide an excellent source of calcium.
Whey protein concentrate is absorbed very quickly in comparison to any other protein sources, within 30 minutes. During breastfeeding, a mother will need up to an extra 67grams of protein or more per day.
Protein powders that are high in vitamins can also be a wonderful way to introduce more vitamins into your diet.
The Mayo Clinic Health Organisation state that Whey concentrate contains beneficial nutrients like conjugated linoleic acids (CLAs)… which are healthy fats that can help to decrease body fat.
Fibre plays an important role in the healthy function of liver, digestion and overall metabolism. Fibre also helps stabilise blood sugar levels, which allows for sustained energy. The onset of sickness and disease is also greatly reduced when a diet contains a healthy level of fibre.
Fruit powders. Providing the product contains real wholefood created fruit/superfood infusions, these powders can provide additional levels of healthy nutrients found in the original food.
The right Protein is not only safe it is great for Breastfeeding.
Good nutrition and a healthy balanced diet are paramount for women who are breastfeeding. Protein intake should be increased to meet the extra demands on the body whilst producing breast-milk. Protein powders are an excellent source of not only protein, but also many other nutrients required at this important time. Protein powders can become an integral part of the diet for busy breastfeeding mums who will not always have time to prepare protein and nutrient rich meals.
"Ultimately Natural are an Australian based company who specialise in providing real food, protein and fibre enriched nutrition by blending completely raw plant and whey based protein powders with nutritious fruits, spices and superfoods. We use organic ingredients where possible and completely avoid the use of unnatural additives. Our unique, smoothie inspired creations are not only great for fueling workouts and post recovery but also aid in sustaining energy levels, improving immunity and attaining greater overall health & well being. Check out our "all natural" product range here.
Content Created by Maddie Francis
About the author:
Maddie is an ex-lawyer and current stay at home mother to two children aged 2 and 3 (+ a nanny to her 1 year old niece). She loves Ultimately Natural products and used them throughout both of her pregnancies and breastfeeding times. Maddie writes freelance for us now in between wrangling kids and updating her blog www.cookcreatecelebrate.com www.instagram.com/cookcreatecelebrate