How Important is Protein during Your Pregnancy?

Essentially, protein is the building block of life for humans. Protein is a set of amino acids that are essential to the growth of your cells, so it’s no wonder they are an important part of your pregnancy diet. Getting enough protein is vital to your baby’s growth, especially in the second two trimesters when his or her growth will be rapid. If you’re pregnant, you should make sure you consume approximately 75 grams of protein every day. This is approximately 30 more grams than the recommended amount for adult women, so you’ll need to make a conscious effort. However, for women who try not to eat a lot of carbs, it’s easy to get a lot of protein because it’s found in many healthy, filling foods.

If you’re trying to increase the amount of protein you consume, try eating more lean meats, poultry, fatty fish, eggs, and milk. By eating these foods at every meal, you will most definitely reach your protein goals. If you are restricted to a vegetarian or vegan diet, you’ll obviously need to make some adjustments. Beans, tofu, TVP, peanuts, wheat germ, and whole grains are all outstandingly high in protein. While many people think vegans and vegetarians don’t get enough protein, many actually get too much based on the high protein content of tofu and soy, so don’t worry too much about your intake.

Research shows that taking protein supplements or vitamins that contain extra protein will also help you reach your required amount, so you should do so if you feel that your diet will not accommodate these amounts.

If you notice you’re losing weight during your pregnancy and have been markedly fatigued, you should check your protein intake, as these are two common signs of deficiency. If you’re not sure how much you’re getting, try keeping a food diary for a few days to find out. It’s easy to find the amount of protein on any given food item right on the packaging, or you could find out online if you’re not sure. Protein will serve as the building blocks of your baby’s biology, from his cute button nose all the way to his brilliant little brain. It’s important to make sure he gets the protein he needs to develop fully. At the same time, it’s equally important for you to make sure you stay healthy by getting enough protein for two.

Source: Aamar Imdad et al: Effect Of Balanced Protein Energy Supplementation During Pregnancy On Birth Outcomes. BMC Public Health Volume 11 Issue 3 2011