Protein is an important part of your daily nutritional value, but when you are pregnant it is crucial for your baby’s healthy development. Protein aids vital aspects of your body, including your red blood cells and muscle tissue. It carries nutrients and oxygen to and from red blood cells and regulates clotting around the uterus and placenta.
As your baby enters the second and third trimester, growth will happen rapidly. Protein is critical at this stage to support healthy development.
How much protein you should consume depends on both your ideal weight and physical activity. Always consult with your OB/GYN or midwife before making dietary changes.
Signs you aren’t eating enough protein
If morning or evening sickness is affecting your food intake you may end up not getting enough protein. Some symptoms of too little protein are recurring infections, build up of fluid in your extremities (hands, feet, ankles, arms, or legs), unexplained weight loss, and fatigue of the muscles.
Sources of protein
Even if cravings for ice cream are at an all-time high, and cravings for food rich in proteins are low, there are many sources of protein that can be tried. These include lean meats (poultry, fish, or shellfish), milk, tofu, yogurt, beans, eggs, and soy.
Throughout your pregnancy protein will provide a lot of benefits for both you and your baby, such as:
A leaner figure
Protein builds lean muscle rather than fat. Lean muscle is lighter and will reduce health complications by putting less strain on your body. With less strain you will experience less stress and so will your baby.
Remaining full during the day
While weight gain in pregnancy is normal, too much weight gain can lead to serious health complications. Eating a daily intake of approximately 80 - 100 grams of protein, depending on weight and physical activity, will keep your food consumption moderate.
Reduce the risk of gestational diabetes
Gestational diabetes is usually a temporary condition. As the placenta secretes hormones it may block the body from absorbing insulin, which will cause unhealthy blood sugar levels. Gestational diabetes may also turn into Type 2 diabetes later in life, so it is best to prevent its development.
Protein can prevent many of the issues associated with gestational diabetes such as increased birth weight and premature delivery.
If you are 35 or over, overweight, or diabetes runs in your family, you may be tested more frequently for this condition.
Promote your baby’s development
In the third trimester, protein really shows its benefits for your baby. It ensures your baby’s cognitive abilities and brain size are increasing as they should. Your doctor will monitor growth but you can feel comfortable in knowing you have eaten foods that support your baby’s maturation.
Finally, always remember to eat a variety of foods. Your baby needs an assortment of nutrients throughout development.
Adequate protein encourages a healthier placenta! Contact The Placenta Pill for your encapsulation if you live in Dallas, Denton, Fort Worth and surrounding areas.