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Protein and Breastfeeding

Protein and breastfeeding

Protein is the nutrient that serves as your tissues building blocks and fosters growth. As a mum, you and baby need protein to ensure your body can build, repair and maintain your muscles, connective tissue, skin and organs. 

Consuming an adequate amount of protein after the birth of your child provides you with optimal nutrition to maintain lean tissue while your body returns to normal and supports your ability to produce nourishing milk.  

During lactation, your body uses protein to produce breast milk and to sustain your growing baby. Protein also helps in quicker recovery times after birth and faster return to pre-pregnancy weight. 


Is protein powder safe during lactation? 

Go Good Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie

Whey protein is a natural component from dairy foods like cheese and milk, both routinely consumed during pregnancy and lactation. Whey is also pasteurised when it’s manufactured and transformed into protein powder.  

Whey protein powder as well as vegan plant protein will be processed by your body like any other protein.  

Much of the confusion regarding the safety of protein powders relates to the added ingredients such as artificial flavours, sweeteners, and preservatives. 

Just Good sources brands that use the highest quality sources available and don't include any artificial ingredients or high-level doses of synthesised amino acids. Our products are an acceptable source of protein during lactation for healthy women. 

Why use protein powder when breastfeeding? 

If you are able to breastfeed, breast milk is the ideal food for your baby. It’s the perfect alimentation to sustain your child’s health and development. When breastfeeding, though, nutrition becomes a predominant concern because you have to worry about nutrition for two.  

A healthy diet with an adequate amount of calories from varied sources promotes quality milk production and boosts your energy. While most women can usually get enough protein in their regular diet to support lactation, some may need a little extra help. 

Physical barriers, lack of time or possibly being unable to move around as easily just after a Caesarean, mean that achieving this vitally important intake can be pretty difficult for some. This is when protein supplements can help fill in the gaps. 


Ways to use protein supplements  

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Opting for a high-quality, clean protein powder provides that necessary nutrition in an incredibly convenient and easy to consume form. A smoothie, for example, can be whipped up in a flash and requires little to no preparation.  

Another excellent way to use protein powder is as a form of food fortification. This can be done to dishes that already feature in a mother’s daily diet. Adding protein to yoghurt or porridge, or making something like a batch of cookies or pancakes, will just help to gradually increase your protein intake. These are easy ways to support postpartum healing and milk production.  

For those struggling with morning sickness, sleep deprivation or lack of time these slightly drier options can also be a great way to avoid turning to more processed snack foods if someone’s appetite has become affected. 

While protein is essential to your diet while lactating, also ensure you get a variety of other foods to meet your nutritional needs. Whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, calcium-rich foods and healthy fats – particularly omega-3 fatty acids – should share the plate with your protein dishes. 


Stay away from fat burning blends! 

Many women try to lose weight after they have their babies, and it may be tempting to hurry the process along. The biggest concern you can have with protein supplements relates to hidden ingredients or additives they may contain and could potentially be harmful to your baby (or even yourself).  

Many protein powders that are designed for athletes might contain something that is not meant for pregnant or nursing women such as extra caffeine, guarana, ginseng, green tea extract, etc. Stay away from fat burning mixes! They often contain stimulants that are dangerous for your baby. 


Final words 

Bottom line - yes, protein powders are an extremely convenient way to meet elevated protein body needs during lactation. Just make sure you choose a blend with a high-quality protein base and read all labels in order to avoid dodgy ingredients.  

Pregnancy and early motherhood are extremely personalised, every individual is different and may have specific requirements or a need for special caution. We do recommend that prior to taking protein supplements, breastfeeding women should seek independent advice from their GP to be sure what protein powder is right for them. 

Article is kindly contributed by Go Good


We Recommend  

Vegan Protein Chia Seed Smoothie

Go Good organic vanilla flavoured whey or plant protein powder make the perfect dietary companion while breastfeeding. With clean ingredient sources that tick all the right boxes and an authentic vanilla flavour profile that compliments almost any healthy recipe.

Winners of 2020 New Zealand's best natural protein powder you can be sure our protein is good for you and baby.