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Babies need protein to grow and form cells. Protein powders offer essential amino acids that greatly increase the protein contents of the mother’s milk. However, it is extremely important to purchase a clean, safe protein powder with a transparent table of contents since some might contain ingredients that are unhealthy for the baby.
Also check out the best protein powder for pregnant ladies here.
The most suitable protein powders for breastfeeding mothers
Milk Dust Lactation + Weight Loss protein powder
Review: Hands down, this is the best clean-label protein powder, specifically designed for breastfeeding mothers. Not only do breastfeeding mothers need a clean source of protein to supply their baby with the much-needed macronutrient for growth, but most new mothers also aim to lose the weight they gained during pregnancy.
This is what Milk Dust protein powder is best known for – aiding healthy lactation and a balanced weight loss.
Milk Dust Lactation is a plant-based protein powder that does not contain any GMOs and is packed with organic ingredients only. It is specifically designed for breastfeeding mothers and contains a unique blend of herbs that greatly help hormonal health.
This amazing product offers free 6-serving samples, so you can try it before actually purchasing it. There is also an option to purchase a recipe book for breastfeeding mothers that shows you how to implement the protein powder into healthy recipes.
- Specifically designed for breastfeeding mothers
- Contains a wide variety of herbs and plant-based ingredients that balance the hormonal levels of breastfeeding mothers
- Also balances blood sugar levels
- Contains 16 grams of protein per scoop
- Has specifically picked vitamins like Folate, which is essential for healthy lactation
- Does not contain minerals like Calcium, Iron, Zinc, or Magnesium, which are also needed for healthy lactation. Make sure to consume enough sources of these vitamins, or get them from a separate supplement.
- Only 25 servings per container
Naked Whey Protein Powder
Review: Although Naked Whey is not specifically designed for breastfeeding mothers, it is unarguably one of the cleanest protein sources out there. It contains no additives, no chemicals and no artificial flavors that might affect the milk in any harmful way. Naked Whey is derived from the milk of grass-fed cows and is free of GMOs, soy and gluten.
Another great benefit of this protein powder is that it is cold processed and gets rid of any possible chemicals or contamination before packaging. It is 100% free of heavy metals, bleach, acid and synthetic additives that a lot of other protein powders contain.
Naked Whey has very high contents of Glutamic acid, which is used to form proteins and help the nerve cells of your body. Studies show that high consumption of glutamate for a breastfeeding mother leads to a healthy nerve system in the baby.
- Contains 25 grams of protein powder per scoop
- 5 grams of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which greatly aid healthy lactation
- Boosts your metabolic rate
- No additives, chemicals, heavy metals or artificial flavors
- One of the cleanest protein powders
- A bit higher in cholesterol than other proteins on the list (17% of your daily dietary recommended intake)
- Comes only in the unflavored option
Majka Lactation Support Protein Powder
Review: This is another plant-based product specifically designed for breastfeeding mothers. In addition to being non-GMO, and full of only organic ingredients, it also tastes great. All sweeteners used are labelled as healthy.
It also includes methylfolate, which is the active form of folate and is much easier to digest. Folate is essential for healthy lactation and this Majka protein powder brings just that. Another great addition here as an ingredient is galactagogues which also aids milk production in the mother’s body.
- Contains high-quality galactagogues and methylfolate
- Full of digestive enzymes that boost metabolism and help weight loss
- Plant-based, organic and non-GMO
- Has a sweeter taste than most protein powders
- Contains choline (Which aids the development of the baby’s nervous system)
- Only 15 grams of protein per serving
- Does not mix as well as other options on the list. You might need a blender or a good shaker bottle.
FitMiss Delight Protein Powder
Review: This product is a popular choice among amateur female athletes for a reason. It’s a vegetable-based protein powder, which contains a blend of healthy herbs and vegetables that can aid in healthy lactation. It contains only 90 calories per serving, which is amazing for the new moms trying to lose weight.
It is also low in sodium, contains less than 1 gram of sugar and only 1.5 grams of fat. It has a really high dose of Vitamin B12 which is very important for lactation.
- 16 grams of pure plant-based protein
- Gluten and soy free
- Does not contain any heavy metals or chemicals
- Low sugar content and low-fat content
- Comes only in 2 flavors
- Too thin when mixed with water
Ideal Raw Protein Powder
Review: Just like Naked Whey protein, this is another amazing product that was not designed for breastfeeding women. However, it is so clean of anything harmful that it is actually better than some products created specifically for lactating mothers. Ideal Raw protein powder is a plant-based protein powder that doesn’t contain all amino acids, but it still offers a good amount of protein – 15 grams per scoop.
It does not have any ingredients besides the protein powder, which can both be an advantage or a disadvantage, depending on your diet and other supplements. Ideal Raw protein powder is recommended for mothers who take additional supplements for lactation and vitamins or minerals, since it is clean of digestive enzymes or anything other than protein.
- 15 grams of pure plant-based protein per scoop
- The vanilla flavor tastes amazing
- Does not contain anything other than protein
- Does not bloat the stomach after consumption
- The only completely cholesterol-free product on the list
- Contains a good amount of iron
- Does not contain the full amino acid profile
- Needs to be paired with other supplements like vitamins and minerals to best support healthy lactation
Ora Organic Vegan Protein powder
Review: This organic, soy-free and vegan protein powder contains a whopping 22 grams of plant-based protein per scoop. It is derived from a wide variety of 20 organic superfoods which deliver the full amino acid profile.
Ora Organic vegan protein powder does not contain any artificial flavors, sweeteners, colors or preservatives which makes it a great choice for lactating mothers. Not only that, but it is also a third-party tested product and labelled completely clean. Ora Organic’s product also sets an end to bloated stomachs as it supports digestion with probiotics and digestive enzymes.
- Non-GMO and soy-free
- Not full of bulky calories – a good choice for weight-loss
- Contains 22 grams of protein per scoop
- Has digestive enzymes and probiotics essential for a healthy stomach
- Comes in three choices: Chocolate, Vanilla and Vanilla Chai.
- Contains only 20 servings
- A bit expensive
Milk Drunk Protein powder for breastfeeding
Review: Although this protein is specifically made for breastfeeding, it is ranked below others on the list that didn’t target new moms. The reason for that is that it is not certified non-GMO, non-dairy or soy-free. Moreover, it is manufactured in a facility with a lot of other ingredients that could contaminate it.
However, it does contain a great dosage of fenugreek and brewer’s yeast, which greatly aid healthy lactation. It also has flax seeds and oat flour, which are key ingredients for lactation desserts.
- Contains fenugreek, flaxseeds, oat flour and brewer’s yeast, which are very helpful for lactation.
- Contains 18 grams of vegan protein per serving
- 7 grams of fiber for a healthy stomach
- No artificial sweeteners
- A bit higher on the calories – 170 calories per serving
- Is not non-GMO, non-dairy or soy-free certified
- Produced in a facility with other ingredients
Everything breastfeeding mothers need to know about choosing a protein powder
In addition to containing important milk-nourishing ingredients like folate, flaxseeds, fenugreek, oat flour, brewer’s yeast and vitamin B12, protein powders for breastfeeding mothers need to be clean of harmful substances. Anything that the mother consumes will be transferred to the milk she feeds her baby, so a clean product is very important.
Most substances have the same effect on the baby as they do on the mother, only multiplied. So, generally speaking, healthy food and a balanced diet will result in a healthy growing baby. Therefore, protein is essential and much needed to properly develop a strong physical structure, as well as a good nervous system.
How does a protein powder help breastfeeding mothers?
After giving birth, a woman needs to recover for a long period of time to get back to her normal shape. Many women go on a strict diet and start exercising to get healthy quicker, but this isn’t the best approach, especially when you’re breastfeeding.
Mothers are often very busy tending to their babies so they might not have the time to think about their own nutrition. However, you baby needs a well-nourished mama. This is where protein powders and supplements can come in handy.
The more protein a mother consumes, the higher its content will be in the milk she lactates for her baby. Protein helps mothers heal faster and recover after birth. It also repairs the baby’s cells and increases the speed of growth, ensuring that it develops all bodily systems properly.
What are the criteria for a healthy protein powder for new mamas?
When you are choosing a protein powder to consume as a breastfeeding mother you should consider two things.
- Does the protein powder contain the needed ingredients to boost your healthy lactation process? If it doesn’t, will you supplement with vitamins and minerals from another source?
- Is the protein powder safe to use? Does it contain any harmful substances for you or your baby?
If these two criteria are met, then you have a great protein powder for breastfeeding mothers. If not, you could choose a clean labelled protein powder that is safe to use and pair it with other breastfeeding supplements. This is the reason why the top product on our list is a combination of these two factors – it is both a clean product and it contains healthy substances for lactation.
Harmful substances might depend on you since some people are allergic to soy, others to gluten or dairy. On a general note, when breastfeeding, try to avoid products that contain added sugar, artificial sweeteners, colors, preservatives, are GMO, or contain any heavy metals or chemicals.
Do breastfeeding mothers really need to consume protein shakes?
Nobody is obliged to consume protein shakes. Mothers can find the best protein sources by simply following a healthy diet without using supplements. On the other hand, it is very tiring to not only tend to your baby, but to also follow a strict diet and look after yourself.
Protein powders are a simple way of reaching your daily intake target. It takes less than a minute to prepare a shake, whereas it might take you hours that you don’t have, to prepare a healthy meal that contains everything you need for proper lactation and weight-loss.
It is much better to consume protein shakes if you are not reaching your protein target, than just continuing to no meet your protein needs. Just make sure you look for protein powders with low sugar content that are free of allergens. Never rush a supplement’s purchase and consider consulting a licensed medical practitioner or a nutritionist to best suit your needs.
Other ways to boost milk lactation and milk supply without supplements
One of the smartest and quickest things you can do to increase your milk supply is to nurse more often. Even if it feels like you are “empty” of milk, your body will react to stimulus. Let your baby suck on your breast and milk should start producing eventually.
If you seem to be having a supply issue, consider using an electric pump to quickly empty your breasts entirely. If you pump more frequently, you will also produce more milk than usual. Just be careful about over using your pump because it can lead to oversupply issues that your baby can’t keep up with and cause infections like mastitis.
Getting good rest and following a healthy diet is essential for nursing mothers. Do not consume alcohol, drugs, sedatives, or cigarettes. Consider consulting a certified lactation consultant if you are struggling with breastfeeding. She can check baby’s latch and give you advice.
Lactation cookies are very popular in recent years. There are many lactation cookie recipes, but the key is to include galactagogues or other milk-stimulating foods like brewer’s yeast, flax seeds, whole oats and wheat germs.
Make sure you baby “empties” one breast, before starting on the other, so baby gets both foremilk and hindmilk. Hindmilk is especially important for nutrition. Try offering both breasts even if the baby seems uninterested.
Consider breast massage while nursing as there is a simple way to compress in order to push more milk out from your breasts. You can also use this technique while pumping out milk with the help of a breast pump.
FAQ about protein and breastfeeding
How much protein do breastfeeding mothers need?
The USDA states that breastfeeding mothers need almost 50% more protein than they usually would if they were not nursing. For example, an average 30-year-old woman would need around 70-80 grams of protein per day in order to deliver healthy lactation. Whereas if she were not lactating, she would only need around 50-60 grams of protein per day to maintain her weight.
Does the type of protein consumed matter to breastfeeding mothers?
Yes. Different protein powders, derived from different sources and ingredients contain a different amino profile. It is very important for breastfeeding mothers to consume the full spectrum of amino acids. Make sure to check whether protein powder supplements contain all essential amino acids and BCAAs, which also serve a helpful function in forming a good lactation.
Can protein powder be harmful to breastfeeding mothers and their babies?
Everything, when consumed in excess, can be harmful to you and your child. Protein powder should be consumed as a supplement to balance out your diet, not as the main source of protein. Protein powder is a supplement and should not be used to replace meals, as a mother’s body needs more than just protein to function and to lactate healthily. We need minerals, vitamins, carbs and healthy fats, as well.
You should also be aware that some protein powders are not non-GMO, soy-free and dairy-free certified, and they might cause allergies and be harmful to you and your baby. Keep in mind that all substances you consume will be transferred to your child via the milk you produce. Avoid protein powders high in sugar and ones that contain heavy metals or chemicals.
What other supplements, aside from protein powder could breastfeeding mothers consume for healthy lactation?
There are some supplement products that help to increase the flow of your milk. Many scientists and doctors have stated that lecithin is a safe substance that can act as an emulsifier to prevent milk from coagulating and to ease the better flow of milk from your breasts. Another good supplement is the Moringa Oleifera plant, which brings great antioxidants and acts as an anti-inflammatory.
What supplements to avoid when breastfeeding as a mother?
Avoid herbs such as sage tea, which reduce milk flow and amount. Avoid CBD and essential oils as well since they can have an impact on your baby as well. Peppermint should also be avoided because it has the potential to partially dry your milk supply. Teas are generally a good way of testing which herbs do what to your body since they contain 10 times less than capsules would of the same herb.