Nutrition · Pregnancy

Is protein powder safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

Freshly blended fruit smoothies of various colors and tastes in open mason jars with straws

As we all know, additional protein is needed in the second half of the pregnancy to support the growth and development of the baby. Clients often ask me if they can have protein powder to meet their extra protein needs.

Extra protein from protein powders or supplements is rarely needed. Instead, it is easy to get what you need by eating protein-rich foods.

The safety of protein supplements has not been tested during pregnancy and lactation. Research shows that adding high protein supplements to diets may be associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes such as a higher rate of premature births. taking protein powder during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Following Canada’s Food Guide to meet those extra protein needs in pregnancy is the best way to go. Protein can be found in animal sources such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, cheese and yogurt. Some plants also contain protein like legumes, grains (e.g. lentil flour, soy flour, oat bran and wheat germ), nuts, seeds and some vegetables (e.g. edamame and lima beans).

When you’re feeling for a cool drink on a warm day, a milk shake or smoothie is an easy way to get some protein. Here’s one of my favourite smoothie recipes:



  • 1 ½ cup   low-fat (≤2% M.F.) vanilla yogurt
  • 1 cup       assorted fresh, frozen or canned fruits, drained
  • ½ cup      fortified soy beverage or milk (2%, 1% or skim)


  1. Wash all fresh fruit thoroughly before using.
  2. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Pour into your glasses and enjoy!

Smoothies are a great way to start the day.  You can make your own unique combinations using flavoured yogurts, ice, 100% fruit juice, fruits, and low fat milk.

Comment below and share how you meet your protein needs during pregnancy or breastfeeding.


Nutrition Information
Per serving: 240 calories, 3 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 125 mg sodium, 46 g carbohydrate, 1 g fibre, 38 g sugar, 9 g protein, 20% DV vitamin A, 50% DV vitamin C, 25% DV calcium, 4% DV iron.

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