Our bodies are pretty resilient over time. If we go through a period of compromised nutrition, the benefit is that we can restore that balance over time. However, during pregnancy, this isn’t true.
Pregnancy is an incredible time of growth and newness, and because so much changes so quickly for the little ones, it’s essential to meet nutrient requirements every single day. While all nutrients are equally important, protein seems to be the one that women struggle with the most. High-protein foods typically feel heavy, or have strong smells that are unpleasant with hyperactive sensations, nausea, or feelings of fullness that come with pregnancy.
Here are a few tips for meeting the recommended protein requirements, and some reminders about the importance of protein during pregnancy.
Protein requirements for non-pregnancy:
- 0.8 g per kg body weight (for a 150-pound woman, this would be 55 grams daily)
Protein requirements during pregnancy:
- Minimum of additional ~25 grams per day
- Target range of about 80 to 100 grams, with around 100 grams being ideal
Getting enough protein is important for:
- Preventing pre-eclampsia, a dangerous state of elevated blood pressure for which the only cure is early delivery
- Ensuring adequate birth weight of infants and preventing low birth weight or premature delivery
- Proper hormonal balance before and after delivery
- Preventing anemia and fatigue
(Aside from meat, dairy, and eggs)