Thursday, April 2, 2015

Are Protein Powders and Other Supplements Safe During Pregnancy and While Breastfeeding?

One of the most common questions that I get is "Can I take that while breastfeeding or while pregnant?" After all, most of you guys are either expecting, trying to get pregnant, or breastfeeding.

As I am still breastfeeding, I am very careful about what I eat and what supplements I take as their is only one brand that I trust. While pregnant, I actually did not take any supplements-out of fear. But then again, I was new to the whole health and fitness thing so I was pretty ignorant.

So, while I am usually asked this question, I usually give the same answer which is USUALLY along the lines of:

"Well, I take "this product" because it is 100% natural and safe, and also my doctor has approved it for me to take while nursing/pregnant. I recommend that you speak to your doctor first as I am not a dietician or a physician." 

While this is a pretty cut and clean answer, I realize it is dull and doesn't really hit on your question.

As a nurse, I have worked with pregnant women in an OB/GYN office where the doctor approved most protein powders. They usually brought in the label or nutritional facts and let the doc read all about it first-this is a great idea.

Let's get this straight: protein is GREAT during pregnancy and while nursing. You tend to lose a lot of muscle tone (thanks, hormones!) during these two milestones of your life. So, no, taking a protein powder in general is not bad at all. But make sure you are not using your protein powder as: 1) a meal replacement and 2) as your only source of protein in your daily diet.

You want to stay away from protein powders with a lot of extra added crap. Yes, some protein powders are CRAP. I just stopped taking a few that I was using religiously because I finally did my research-go figure!

First things first, watch the artificial sugars. The American Pregnancy Association cautions women who are pregnant or nursing to not take products that contain cyclamate or saccharin. Some nutritionists suggest women who are pregnant or nursing to stay away from artificial sweeteners that haven’t been thoroughly studied on how they might impact a woman who is pregnant or nursing.

Secondly, make sure your protein powder and other supplements are GMO-Free. A genetically modified organism (GMO) is any organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. Not only do they harm the environmen, GMOs increase herbicide usage and can be harmful to your health.

While you are at it with going Non-GMO, make sure your protein is certified organic. 

Are you confused now or what? You are probably thinking... "so which protein powder makes the cut then???" 

Well, there are lots of them! But, my favorite is MRM's Natural Whey Protein Powder. This protein contains no artificial sugars, no hormones, no MSG, no BSE, and more. 

In addition to this powder, I also take their BCAAs + G Reload for muscle recovery after my workout, Smart Blend Fish Oil, and their Biotin for my hair & nail growth. All of these are safe and I feel so comfortable knowing this. 

If you are interested in any MRM product to try, feel free to use my personal discount code SIA at checkout to take 40% off of your total purchase!

Here is a chart of their products below which lets you know what is approved during pregnancy and breastfeeding, in case you are wondering:

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