Pregnancy: Protein Needs

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
  • Eggs
  • Dairy Products: milk, yogurt and cheese
  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Soy Protein
  • Lentils/Beans
  • Whole Grains

If you are a vegetarian or vegan, make sure that you are consuming complementary proteins.  To learn more about complete proteins and incomplete proteins read these posts.

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.

Pregnancy Update:

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?


10 Responses

  1. You look great! So healthy!
    I am definitely going to be keeping your blog in mind when my husband and I decide we’re ready to have a child. These pregnancy posts are great!

  2. I am finding your pregnancy tips so fascinating (even though I’m not even married so I don’t plan on having a baby for a looong time). You look so happy & healthy! Love the background of the city as well.

  3. Great photo! Thanks for sharing.

  4. You look absolutely beautiful! I’m glad to hear everything is going so well. 😀

  5. You look super! That’s a gorgeous shot. Great post re protein – even for those of us un-pregnant folks – and I love all the non-meat sources.

  6. You look stunning!

    What’s in the background? It looks like central park!?

    I remember a post you did about dirty sprouts … what about mushrooms? Are they safe to eat raw in pregnancy? They’re always covered in dirt and even after wiping as much as possible away I’m still not sure if they’re actually clean enough to eat raw during pregnancy.

    Are you having a baby shower? 🙂

  7. Thanks everyone for the comments.

    Shan: Yes that is central park! Mushrooms are fine, just wash them really well. If you feel like they’re really dirty then wash them rather than wiping them. If you can’t get rid of the visible dirt then I would skip it and stick to cooked mushrooms.
    No shower – we’re Jewish so we’ll do a baby naming after.

  8. That is a great view! Where is it taken from – upper east side or am I completely disorientated? 😀

    I think I’ll stick to cooked mushrooms.

    A baby naming ceremony sounds interesting!

  9. It’s actually taken from my balcony on the upper west side.

  10. congratulations on the baby, and beautiful view!

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