Protein is a vital nutrient during pregnancy. Why you may ask? Well here are some reasons:
- Protein is involved with the development of new cells, enzymes, and hormones.
- Protein helps your baby develop properly. Including: hair, fingernails, skin, and organs!
- Protein is crucial to keeping a proper fluid balance in your body.
So how much does a pregnant woman need?
- 1st trimester your needs are the same as someone who is not pregnant: 0.36 grams/pound of body weight (pre-pregnancy weight). A woman who weighs 135 pounds requires 49 grams of protein.
- 2nd & 3rd trimester your needs increase to: 0.5 grams/pound of pre-pregnancy body weight plus 25 grams. The same 135 pound woman now requires 93 grams of protein.
What are good sources of protein?
- Poultry, Meat and Fish
- Dairy Products: milk, yogurt and cheese
- Nuts and Seeds
- Soy Protein
- Whole Grains
To make sure you are getting in enough protein daily, try to include some sort of protein with each meal and snack. If you think you may be running short read labels and use the internet to evaluate how much you are consuming on a given day. Here’s how I’ve been managing my protein needs:
- Greek Yogurt: provides ~18 grams per 6 oz cup
- Cottage Cheese: provides ~12 grams per 1/2 cup
- Skim Milk: 8 grams per cup
- Peanut Butter: 8 grams per 2 TB
- Eggs: 7 grams for each egg
- Chicken/Fish/Meat: ~21 grams for 3 ounces
- Cheese: 7 grams for 1 ounce
- Chickpeas: 6 grams per 1/2 cup
- Lentils: 9 grams per 1/2 cup
- Veggie Burger: 10-15 grams per patty (this can range quite a bit!)
- A lot of the time I have cottage cheese or yogurt with my lunch for protein.
- Almonds: 6 grams per ounce
- Babybel light cheese: 6 grams per round
- Soy Crisps: 14 grams per bag
- Edamame: 9 grams per 1/2 cup shelled
- Kashi TLC granola bars: 6 grams
- I also consume the breakfast proteins as my snacks.
Today is 37 weeks! That means I’m technically full-term so if the baby came she wouldn’t be considered a premie and she would most likely thrive. I’m still feeling great. Here’s a photo from last Saturday when I was 36 weeks. A friend said it looks like I swallowed a basketball – I think he’s right 🙂
Do you find it hard to reach your protein needs?