As a mom of 4 and a Pre/Post Natal Fitness Specialist, I am very serious about choosing safe protein powders. As the market grows tremendously, the number of products claming to be safe is growing. There are some ways you can determine whether a protein powder is actually safe for you while pregnant, and I am going to show you which protein powders actually have certifications to illustrate their efficacy and quality. For example, I will talk a lot about Bump Dust, which I think is the best protein powder for pregnant women, and the Natural and Non-Prescription Health Product Directorate (NNHPD) of Health Canada, which is a really important certification Bump Dust has, but many other protein powders do not. As a mom myself, it was so important to me to formulate a product that mothers can trust, and have the product third-party tested to ensure the quality of ingredients. There are very few protein powders that actually have what is stated on the ingredient list, and I want to make sure you know which ones are safe, so you can make the best decision for you when it comes to protein shakes!
Why is protein powder safe for pregnant mamas?
I typically recommend a plant-based protein powder for pregnancy because there are usually more nutrients in the formula, and it eliminates dairy, which many are sensitive to in some way or another. If you aren't sensitive to dairy, and I love the texture of a good whey protein powder, then a whey protein powder can be a great source of essential amino acids. Plant-based proteins don't offer all the essential amino acids except for pea protein, so you want to make sure you have a pea protein powder blend of some kind. Protein powders are a great way for pregnant mothers to ensure they are meeting protein needs. Protein is essential for both mama and baby, and is a macro nutrient required for a healthy pregnancy. Dietary supplements like protein powders are really great tools to ensure protein intake. I am going to go over the only protein powders I think are safe for prenatal mothers, because of the certifications they offer, in addition to the protein blends and nutrients.
Who am I?
Hi, I'm Katie a mom of 4, and founder of Milk Dust. I created Milk Dust to offer optimal nutrition for pregnant and postpartum mamas. I assure you, I've taken the hard steps to ensure the quality of Milk Dust products that many companies don't take. I am a Pre/Post Natal Fitness Specialist and Certified Nutrition Coach through Preciscion Nutrition. I have been studying nutrition specifically for pregnancy and postpartum for a decade now, and you will see that the formulas for Milk Dust and Bump Dust are quite exceptional compared to others on the market. I made Bump Dust, the prenatal protein powder for my fourth pregnancy, and drank it all through my pregnancy. I then used Milk Dust for lactation and weight loss, and I know my products are quality and they work! I would never sell a product to mothers that I wouldn't use myself, and I know exactly how each batch is made.
I put together my top picks for prentatal protein powders considering what is available on the market now. Many protein powders are marketed to pregnant mamas, but they are actually no different than any protien powder you can grab off the shelf at Whole Foods. Seriously, marketing is very strong, but when you look at the ingredients of the protein powders, you can see the differences in wat they offer. I hope this list helps you in deciding what the best protein powder for you is, even if it isn't Bump Dust. I want you to have all the information to ensure you can choose a product that helps you get your protein in and meet your nutrition goals through pregnancy!
FDA, Manufacturing + Testing Requirements :
All of these products below follow the basic requirements for FDA regulations which are cGMP, third-party testing and certificate of analysis on all ingredients. This is actually pretty standard, but we also don't want to assume, so I checked and verified these processes are at least stated to be followed on the company website.
The FDA sets a requirement that brands and manufacturers must produce dietary supplements in a quality manner and ensure that they do not contain harmful levels of contaminants or impurities, and are accurately labeled according to current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) and governing labeling regulations. This sets the stage for any company for meeting quality and safety standards appropriate for consumption. In other words, FDA guidelines are the mandated baseline for our product safety and labeling practices. All of these brands follow cGMP, which is really important.
Certificate of Analysis:
In addition to FDA manufacturing certifications, you want to chose a company that has COAs for their products. You don't have to look at the COAs, but even if they state they ensure they have COAs for all of their suppliers, ingredients and productions.
Heavy Metal Testing:
Heavy metal testing is a test you want companies to do. Many of them, like Bump Dust, the heavy metal testing is provided with the COA for each ingredient, and then done by a third party to certify the blend. If you are choosing a plant-based protein powder there are going to be more heavy metals then a whey or animal based protein. This is because the plant-proteins come from the dirt, where there are going to be more heavy metals present.
Some heavy metals are not bad. Our bodies need some minerals and metals from organic soil, but the testing is also for mold and toxins, which is really important. Testing for mold ensures the ingredients are fresh and safe for consumption, and a brand that does heavy metal testing usually includes mold and toxins as well.
The best, certified-safe prenatal protein powders for 2023:
Bump Dust Prenatal Protein Powder and Vitamin:
Bump Dust Prenatal Protein Powder is the best prenatal protein powder on the market because it is certified and tested, but also because you can use it as a prenatal vitamin. It is a complete multivitamin supplement for pregnant mamas, with so much to offer in one scoop.
I created Bump Dust, so I would have a prenatal protein powder for my 4th pregnancy. I had made Milk Dust Lactation Protein Powder, and I wanted a prenatal formula that gave me the nourishment I needed in a prenatal vitamin. I formulated Bump Dust to offer 16 grams of protein per serving, to help me get enough protein during pregnancy each day, without having to eat extra eggs or chicken. Bump Dust is a plant-based protein powder with a very unique blend of proteins, and no other proteins blends have the extensive blend that Bump Dust offers. Bump Dust has a cravings blend, to help balance blood sugar and manage cravings, it also offers super foods like chlorella, spirulina, spinach and blueberries.
Bump Dust offers a full pregnancy vitamin supplement panel that includes, and it offers folate, rather than the synthetic folic acid (not good more on that later!) Pregnant moms can now make an amazing protein shake that offers everything they need for a balanced diet, stronger hair, energy production and overall craving reduction!
- Folate (L-Methylfolate, not folic acid)
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B 12 (and other B vitamins)
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin A
- 55 mg of Choline
- Omega 3 DHA (from vegan source free of mercury)
Bump Dust is certified safe by the Natural and Non-Prescription Health Product Directorate (NNHPD) or Canada (the only prenatal protein with this!).
In order to obtain an NPN, you must submit the exact amounts of every ingredients, certificates from those suppliers, and the Natural and Non-Prescription Health Product Directorate (NNHPD) of Health Canada reviews every single ingredient in the formula for safety, efficacy and overall quality.
Milk Dust achieved an NPN from the NNHPD and is determined safe, effective, and of high quality. This is a big deal, and verifies the safety of Milk Dust for consumption in the US. The US has much lower standards on products, where Canada strictly regulates any products in the health and wellness field. You can read more about the process, but it is strict and focused on only certifying products that are healthy and safe for consumers.
Bump Dust Main Points:
- 14 grams of essential protein amino acids
- Nutrient-dense protein blend of pea protein, organic brown rice, organic pumpkin seed protein, chia seed protein and organic flax seed protein
- No artificial sweeteners or artificial flavors
- 90 calories per scoop
- Can replace your prenatal vitamin
- Stops cravings and manages blood sugar
- Uses L-Methylfolate not folic acid
Bump Dust Certifications + Testing
- cGMP manufacturing in USA
- NPN certified by Natural and Non-Prescription Health Product Directorate (NNHPD) of Health Canada
- COA for each ingredient and production
- Heavy Metal, Mold and Toxin Testing
- Additonal supplement panel and nutritional label testing
- Dairy free, soy free, gluten free
- Certified Organic Facility
- Halal Certified Facility
As a pregnant woman you can count on Bump Dust to help you get in all the essential nutrients you need, while also easing morning sickness! I loved sipping on my Bump Dust shake to ease my nausea.
Ritual Essential Daily Shake Pregnancy & Postpartum
Ritual Prenatal Protein Powder is another prenatal protein powder marketed to pregnant mamas. It is a plant-based protein powder, and verifies that as a brand, all the major testing and certifications are highly important. I love that they take time to explain the testing and certification requirements, and that is something I aim to do for Milk Dust. As for the protein powder itself, it is only comprised of Pea Protein. There isn't an extensive blend of different protein powders like Bump Dust, but you do get 20grams of protein per scoop at 115 calories.
The Ritual protein shake doesn't offer much more than protein. it has additional Choline, which is an important nutrient for pregnancy, and is of course in Bump Dust as well. Ritual can not replace your prenatal vitamin, but it does offer a really good amount of extra protein. If you are just looking for a protein supplement, without additional nutrients or whole foods, then Ritual is a simple, pregnancy-safe protein powder.
Ritual Main Points:
- 20 grams of plant-based protein per scoop
- 115 calories per serving
- Pea protein blend
- MCT oil
- Natural sweeteners with Monk Fruit and Stevia
- Can not replace your prenatal vitamin
- No Folate, Iron, DHA, or other essential vitamins for pregnancy
Ritual Testing and Certifications:
- Certified Non-GMO
- cGMP in the USA
- Informed Sport Certified
- Gluten-free, soy-free, vegan-friendly
Ritual is a great basic protein powder for pregnancy to help you get in your daily protein requirements, and the brand goes to lengths to ensure you know where your protein is coming from. There aren't any additional nutritents to help you meet your nutritional needs, but the protein powder could be combined with your prenatal vitamin to help get there.
Baby Booster Prenatal Protein Powder:
Baby Booster Prenatal Protein is a whey protein powder with natural ingredients, no artificial sweeteners and uses natural flavors and sweeteners. It offers 20 grams of protein per serving, with additional vitamins that are great for pregnant women. Baby Booster is not particularly allergy friendly because it is a whey protein powder, and it does have corn fiber in the ingredients, so it isn't corn-free as well. It was developed and formulated by a doctor to help nourish pregnant mothers, and take the guess-work out of determining which foods should and should not be included in a healthy diet. The protein powder does contain extra vitamins to help pregnant mothers. It is a good choice if you don't need to have a plant-based protein source. A plant-based diet is usually more common with breastfeeding mothers because breastfeeding babies can have sensitivities to dairy. It is up to you whether you want to use a plant-based protein powder or a whey protein powder.
I had a hard time finding many certifications listed on their website. They state that they are certified the SQF Quality Supplier. SQF certification is based on government and industry food safety requirements, so businesses at every level have the ready documentation they need to demonstrate the steps they’ve taken to increase food safety. In addition, the SQF program provides specialized guidance documents on standards within specific categories, such as egg processing, and fresh produce packhouse operations.
Because they've taken time to include their certification for manufacturing, and they use a certified vegan source of DHA, I think their protein powder is a safe protein powder for expectant mothers. It is also a whey protein, so the protein source is going to be lower on heavy metals to begin with. If they don't do third party testing, it is likely that there is a low amount of heavy metals.
Baby Booster Main Points:
- 20 grams of Whey protein per serving
- 130 calories per serving
- Vitamin B6
- Life's DHA 430 mg (vegan source mercury and toxin free)
- Natural sweeteners
- No artificial flavoring
- No Choline
- No superfoods
- No additional iron or essential vitamins
- Can not replace your prenatal vitamin
Baby Booster Testing and Certifications:
- Certified quality supplier by the SQF
- Non-GMO working on certification
- Created by an OBGYN (doctor's approval)
Baby Booster is definitely a safe protien powder for pregnant mamas, and it is one of the few whey-based protein powder options that have the additional and needed vitamins for pregnancy. They don't market many certifications, but do verify the facility is certified with high standards.
Needed Prenatal Collagen Protein:
Needed has many products specifically formulated for pregnancy. They have a prenatal multivitamin powder, and a prenatal collagen protein powder. The mutlivitamin does not have protein, but is a prenatal vitamin drink mix. Their prenatal protein is a collagen protein, containing 15 grams of protein per serving. They go into detail on the specific amino acids included in the collagen protein, which is basically just breaking down each amino acid profile, that are all present in any protein powder with a complete amino acid profile. It is labeled as a typical amino acid profile, and doesn't have anything else added to the powder at all. This is just a pure scoop of protein with no additional vitamins and minerals. I do appreciate the fact that the collagen is ethically sourced from the hides of grass-fed, pasture-raised, hormone-free bovines.
Needed Prenatal Collagen Protein Main Points:
- 15 grams of protein per serving
- 80 calories per serving
- No artificial flavorings or sweeteners
- No taste
- Not vegan friendly
Needed Prenatal Protein Certifications and Testing:
FDA, GMP and QAI Certified Organic facility
Dairy-free, egg-free, fish-free, wheat-free, soy-free, gluten-free
Tested for pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, microbes and allergens
Needed only has one ingredient for their protein, so they don't need to provide as many tests and certifications because the formula is super simple. They do have a certified facility, and state they test their batches for any poisins or allergens. If you have a good prenatal vitamin to supplement your nutrition, the Needed Prenatal Protein is a great boost of protein and only that.
Mama Bird Protein by Best Nest:
This is a lesser known prenatal protein powder that offers essential amino acids in a plant-based formula. The Mama Bird Protein offers a protein blend for organic pea protein and organic hemp protein. I like that there are two different protein blends in this protein. This offers additional nutrients and 15 grams of protein per serving. It comes in a vanilla flavor sweetened with Stevia. There are no additional nutrients, vitamins or minerals added to this powder. This means that you are only getting protein in this product. It is a great option for a plant-based protein powder to up your protein intake. It is a certified organic protein powder, and third party tested, so it comes with the certifications necessary to make it a high-quality and safe protein powder.
Mama Bird Protein Main Points:
15 grams of protein per serving
- 85 calories per serving
- Organic, plant-based protein
- No additional nutrients
- Can not replace your prenatal vitamin
Mama Bird Protein Certifications and Testing
- cGMP facility
- Gluten tests
- Third party tests for pesticides, heavy metals, microbiology
Mama Bird Protein is a great source of plant-based protein for pregnant mothers. It will not replace your prenatal vitamin because it doesn't have the additional nutrients needed for pregnancy, especially the folate in the first trimester. The protein is a great option if all you want to add to your diet is protein. The company reports that they do the proper certifications and testing to ensure quality, so the safety measures are there for a safe, plant-based protein option.
Pink Stork Pregnancy and Nursing Protein:
Pink Stork Pregnancy and Nursing Protein is another whey protein option marketed to pregnant mamas. It offers 20 grams of protein per scoop, and comes in a chocolate flavor sweetened with natural sweeteners like Stevia. They use a cGMP facility and state they also do third party testing. It is a great source again of pure protein, but with very little additional vitamins and nutrients added. There is a small amount of minerals like magnesium, potassium and sodium added for hydration, but those are not the most important nutrients during pregnancy. Pregnant mothers need more iron, DHA omegas, choline and other nutrients that aren't present in the basic protein powders like Pink Stork's.
Pink Stork Pregnancy and Nursing Protein Main Points:
20 grams of protein
90 calories per serving
Naturally sweetened with Stevia
Can not replace your prenatal vitamin
Pink Stork Pregnancy and Nursing Certifications and Testing:
Allergy friendly (claims major allergen free)
Overall, Pink Stork offers a basic whey protein powder that is no different than many other whey protein powders on the market. They do have some electrolytes added to their formula, but very little and not essential for pregnancy. They do seem to have the minimum certifications needed to ensure the product is safe for pregnancy.
Best Pick for Prenatal Protein Powder in 2023: Bump Dust Prenatal Protein and Prenatal Vitamin
Of course my overall best pick is going to be Bump Dust. I took so much time to formulate the product to be unique to any other prenatal protein powder on the market. As you can see after going through the nutritional panels of the options on the market, none of the prenatal protein powders can completely replace your prenatal vitamin. Of course you have to get your doctor's approval, but you will see the additional nutrients and vitamins plus the protein give you so much in one scoop. I also love the taste and texture. For the price and servings, it offers amazing ingredients compared to other prenatal protein powders.