Ask an expert

06 Feb 2013

Safe supplements during pregnancy
Hi Doc

I''m 7 weeks pregnant, and following a largely vegetarian diet. I''ve been tracking the nutritional value of my meals, and I''m struggling to get to above 70g of protein a day, despite adding in lots of low fat dairy, eggs, quinoa, whole grains, nuts, seeds and a variety of vegetables.

I''ve been adding bits of fish and meat back in every now and then to try and up my protein intake, but I''m just wondering if there''s a safe protein supplement I can take? (i.e. whey protein?) I was specifically looking at the peanut butter bomb smoothie from kauai that contains 44g of " muscle works"  whey protein, and thinking how having one of these every now and then would help even things out!
Answer 1,556 views

01 Jan 0001

Dear Abc
Congratulations on your pregnancy. The recommended daily dietary intake for pregnant women is 71 g protein/day throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding. So if you are achieving 70 g of protein a day with eating lots of low-fat yoghurt and cheese, drinking milk and eating eggs, then you and baby will probably not suffer from a protein deficiency. You don't mention legumes, which are among the richest sources of plant protein in most types of vegetarian diet? Legumes are: dry cooked or canned beans, peas, lentils and soya (products like Toppers and tofu). By having one portion of legumes a day you can boost your protein intake. If you like the peanut butter bomb which contains whey protein then you can certainly use it when required. Please make sure that you are also getting sufficient calcium (1,300 mg/day), iron (27 mg/day), zinc (12 mg/day), selenium (60 microgram/day), folic acid (600 microgram/day), vitamin B12 (2.6 microgram/day) and omega-3 fatty acids (approx. 1 gram/day) either from your diet or by taking supplements, to ensure the health of your growing baby and your own health too.
Wishing you all the best for your pregnancy
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.