How To Boost Your Protein Intake During Pregnancy

How To Boost Your Protein Intake During Pregnancy

How To Boost Your Protein Intake During Pregnancy

Hi there, I'm Katie a Pre/Post Natal Fitness Specialist and mom to 4 boys. I've been through 4 pregnancies, so I've learned some tips and tricks to get in enough protein during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester when everything tastes weird, and all I really want is chips. The first trimester is the worst for me when it comes to nutrition and weight gain. I actually gain weight the fastest during the first trimester because all I can do is eat salty chips, crackers and sleep. I crave food, then eat and can't stay awake. I go from running 4 miles a day to literally eating and sleeping all day, and it feels miserable. Once I developed Milk Dust, specifically Bump Dust the prenatal protein powder for my fourth pregnancy, I felt so much better during the first trimester. 


Bump Dust can replace your prenatal vitamin, and I formulated it to do so because the prenatal vitamins mostly have the synthetic folic acid, rather than folate, and they are really hard on my stomach. I can't take the standard prenatal vitamin pills because they made me more nauseas. As soon as I started having my protein shakes, I was less nauseas and I was able to get in all the vitamins I needed for the first trimester. The additional protein also really helped with my morning (or all day) sickness! 


The Importance of Protein During Pregnancy

Eating right during pregnancy, I've discovered through both professional and personal experience, goes beyond mere sustenance. Protein, particularly, stands as a cornerstone of prenatal nutrition for me as a Pre/Post Natal Fitness Specialist, and a mom to my four wonderful boys. This nutrient benefits not only me but also supports the health and development of my baby. Protein has played a pivotal role in ensuring the growth of fetal tissues, including the brain, and in aiding the increase of blood supply, allowing me to feel reassured that my baby’s developmental needs are being met. 

Moreover, I noticed significant gains in my own health. Protein bolstered my body's strength, preparing me for the rigorous journey of labor. For those of us keen on maintaining fitness routines during pregnancy, I cannot overstate protein’s value. It aids in the recovery process post-exercise, preventing the depletion of muscle mass and keeping unwanted weight gain at bay. From personal endorsements of protein shakes to other nutrient-rich snacks, it's evident that this macronutrient is indispensable for sustaining both maternal vigor and fetal well-being. 

Understanding Protein Needs During Pregnancy

I discovered that protein acts as a powerhouse during gestation. It serves as the foundation for my baby's growth and supports my health as we journey through these months together. Health care providers recommend I aim for 71 grams of protein a day. This target seemed daunting at first. Yet, it underlines the critical role protein plays in the development of my baby's muscles and tissues. Also, it boosts my immune system and helps in the creation of extra blood supply, meeting both our needs. With each meal, I think of protein as the building blocks for my child's future, knowing I'm doing my best to provide a strong start in life. 



Top Protein Sources for Pregnant Women

Finding enough protein can seem daunting, especially for us navigating the journey of pregnancy. I've discovered that a variety of foods serve as excellent sources. For those of us favoring animal products, lean meats and dairy products, like cottage cheese, provide not just essential amino acids but also the much-needed vitamin D and B. 

Meanwhile, the plant kingdom has not left vegetarian and vegan expectants behind. Legumes, soy products, and whole grains stand as pillars for meeting our protein requirements. Each serving comes packed with fiber, vitamin C, and additional protein, ensuring we're fully nourished. 

It's good news that protein powders, when selected with care, can supplement our nutritional needs. Still, it's wise to opt for those without harmful additives. Alongside, I've learned to incorporate a variety of foods into my diet. This approach secures not just the building blocks for my baby's growth but also caters to my body's heightened nutrient needs. 

Animal-Based Protein Sources

Finding enough protein, a cornerstone for fetal development, can be daunting for pregnant women. Lean meats stand out as prime sources, packed with essential amino acids crucial for the baby’s growth. They also contain other important nutrients, aiding in the prevention of conditions like gestational diabetes and facilitating overall maternal health. Dairy products, notably cottage cheese and other low-mercury options, offer an additional protein boost. They are rich in vitamin D and calcium, required for building the baby's bones and nervous system. Furthermore, incorporating such items into a daily diet ensures a varied intake of essential nutrients. These choices support not just the physical development of the baby, but the mother's health as well, reducing the risk of prenatal complications and aiding in a smoother pregnancy. 

Plant-Based Protein Sources

I found myself diving deep into the world of plant-based proteins. It struck me as an essential journey, particularly for us who follow vegetarian or vegan lifestyles during pregnancy. Among the gems I discovered were legumes, soy products, and whole grains. Each stood out as a powerhouse of nutrition. 

Legumes emerged as a hero in my quest for protein. They offered not just protein but also fiber, iron, and other vital nutrients. Soy products caught my attention next. They were versatile, making it easy for me to add them into various meals. Tofu and tempeh became staples, offering both high-quality protein and a host of other beneficial nutrients. Whole grains also played a crucial role. I was amazed to learn how much protein foods like quinoa and barley could provide. 

For us vegans or vegetarians during pregnancy, these plant-based sources were a revelation. They assured me that finding enough protein, essential amino acids, and other important nutrients was not just possible but simple and delicious. 

Incorporating Protein Powders Safely

Protein powders are a wonderful tool to increasing your protein intake. I personally like a plant-based protein powder for additional nutrients and protein. I developed Bump Dust as a safe, prenatal nutritional supplement that provides protein and essential nutrients during pregnancy. It also has the blood sugar/craving blends to help reduce pregnancy cravings and help you feel full. 


My Top 7 Prenatal Protein Shakes to Help Me Get More Protein and Stop Morning Sickness: 

Here are seven prenatal protein shake recipes that are nutritious and safe for pregnant women:

Banana Berry Blast:

  • 1 scoop Bump Dust Prenatal Protein Powder
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup mixed berries (such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (choose a prenatal-safe brand)
  • 1 cup spinach leaves
  • 1 cup almond milk or Greek yogurt
  • Ice cubes (optional) Blend all ingredients until smooth.

Green Goddess:

  • 1 scoop Bump Dust Prenatal Protein Powder
  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 1 cup spinach or kale
  • 1/2 cup pineapple chunks
  • 1 scoop plant-based protein powder
  • 1 cup coconut water or almond milk
  • Ice cubes (optional) Blend until creamy and well combined.

Peanut Butter Power:

  • 1 scoop Bump Dust Prenatal Protein Powder
  • 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter (check for no added sugars or additives)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder (prenatal-safe)
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • Ice cubes (optional) Blend until smooth and creamy.

Mango Madness:

  • 1 scoop Bump Dust Prenatal Protein Powder
  • 1 cup frozen mango chunks
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt or silken tofu
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 cup coconut water or water
  • Ice cubes (optional) Blend until smooth and creamy.

Cherry Almond Delight:

  • 1 scoop Bump Dust Prenatal Protein Powder
  • 1/2 cup frozen cherries
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 cup spinach leaves
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • Ice cubes (optional) Blend until creamy and well combined.

Tropical Twist:

  • 1 scoop Bump Dust Prenatal Protein Powder
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks
  • 1/2 ripe banana
  • 1 scoop plant-based protein powder
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup coconut water or almond milk
  • Ice cubes (optional) Blend until smooth and creamy.

Oatmeal Cookie Shake:

  • 1 scoop Bump Dust Prenatal Protein Powder
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • Ice cubes (optional) Blend until oats are fully incorporated and mixture is smooth.

These protein shake recipes can provide expecting mothers with essential nutrients, including protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, to support a healthy pregnancy. It's always a good idea to consult with a healthcare provider before making significant changes to your diet during pregnancy.


​My Top 5 High-Protein Prenatal Snack Recipes:

Here are five high-protein snack ideas that can be a nutritious addition to your diet:

Greek Yogurt Parfait:

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt (plain or flavored)
  • 1/4 cup granola (choose a variety with low added sugars)
  • 1/4 cup fresh berries or sliced fruits
  • 1 tablespoon honey or a drizzle of maple syrup
  • Optional: sprinkle of chia seeds or chopped nuts
  • Layer the ingredients in a bowl or glass for a delicious and protein-packed parfait.


Hard-Boiled Eggs with Hummus:

  • 2 hard-boiled eggs
  • 2 tablespoons hummus
  • Sprinkle of paprika or black pepper
  • Baby carrots or cucumber slices for dipping
  • Slice the eggs and serve with hummus and veggies for a satisfying protein-rich snack.


Cottage Cheese and Pineapple Salsa:

  • 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh pineapple chunks
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  • A squeeze of lime juice
  • Mix the ingredients together for a refreshing and protein-filled snack.


Turkey or Chicken Roll-Ups:

  • 4 slices of lean turkey or chicken breast
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese or hummus
  • Spinach leaves or sliced bell peppers
  • Spread cream cheese or hummus on each slice of turkey or chicken, add veggies, and roll them up for a protein-packed finger food.


Edamame and Sea Salt:

  • 1 cup edamame (steamed or boiled)
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Optional: sprinkle of chili flakes or garlic powder
  • Edamame is a great plant-based protein source. Enjoy them by sprinkling with sea salt and optional seasonings.


Remember to stay mindful of portion sizes and listen to your body's hunger and fullness cues.


Daily Meal Planning Tips to Help Increase Protein Intake

I've found it essential to weave protein into every meal, acknowledging the importance of a balanced diet. Breakfast might kick off with a smoothie, blending cottage cheese or a scoop of protein powder with fresh fruit. This combination ensures I'm loaded with essential nutrients right from the start. 

For lunch, lean protein, such as grilled chicken or tofu, pairs well with whole grains and a side of vegetable oils-dressed salad. It's a midday meal that beautifully balances my nutritional needs. Snacks weren’t left to chance either. A handful of nuts or soy products became my go-to, offering both protein and essential fatty acids. 

Dinner embraced variety, rotating among good sources of protein like fish, legumes, and lean meats. Incorporating dairy products, especially rich in vitamin D and calcium, supported my and my baby’s health in ways I had learned were invaluable. I discovered that diverse food groups—fresh fruit to whole grains—ensured my diet was rich in not just protein but also vitamins B and C, contributing immensely to my overall well-being and that of my baby. 

The Role of Amino Acids in Pregnancy

I found that during my pregnancy, understanding the crucial role of essential amino acids was key. These building blocks, vital for me and my baby's health, weren't produced naturally by my body. I learned I needed to source them from a variety of foods. Consuming enough protein, including both animal products and plant-based options, became a focus. Foods like lean meats, dairy products, soy products, and legumes made regular appearances in my diet. This ensured I received all essential amino acids, not just for my own nutritional needs but for my baby's growth and development too. 

Animal products, including cottage cheese and lean meats, were packed with these important nutrients. They offered not just protein but also vitamin B and iron. On days I preferred plant-based meals, whole grains and fresh fruit provided not only essential amino acids but dietary fiber and vitamin C. Balancing these sources allowed me not only to meet my increased protein requirements but also to support the healthy development of my baby's nervous system and immune system. 

Protein and Prenatal Vitamins

A high-protein diet was crucial for me during my pregnancy. It ensured the robust development of my baby's muscles and supported my bodily changes. However, I quickly realized that protein alone wasn't enough. Prenatal vitamins became my pregnancy superheroes, filling in nutritional gaps and enhancing my diet's effectiveness. Folic acid, in particular, stood out for its synergistic role alongside protein. This nutrient was imperative in preventing neural tube defects while supporting the rapid cell growth of my baby. 

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! 

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. It is my top pick for a pregnancy-safe protein powder, and I drank it all through my 4th pregnancy. It is not just a protein powder to help you meet your protein requirements, but also a dietary supplement that can replace your prenatal vitamin all together. 

Avoiding High-Mercury Fish and Unpasteurized Dairy

I have learned that during my pregnancy, my dietary choices will have significant impacts. It has become clear to me that while trying to boost my protein intake, I must be cautious about the sources I choose. Focusing on avoiding high-mercury fish and unpasteurized dairy products is crucial. 

One critical factor I found is that certain fish, despite being great sources of protein and fatty acids, contain high levels of mercury. These include shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish. Consuming them could lead to concerns for my baby’s nervous system development. Opting for lower-mercury options like salmon, canned light tuna, and cod will be better for both of us. Including a variety of other good protein sources, such as lean meats, dairy products rich in vitamin D and calcium, and plant-based proteins from legumes and soy products, can help me maintain a balanced and safe diet. 

Similarly, I have understood that unpasteurized dairy products can pose a risk. They might harbor harmful bacteria, including Listeria, which could increase the risk of gestational diabetes or lead to low birth weight. Thus, I will choose pasteurized dairy products and lean protein sources, ensuring they provide the essential amino acids and nutrients like vitamin B, necessary for my baby's growth and my health. 

Protein Needs in the Third Trimester

The third trimester is the most important when it comes ot needing protein.  Adequate intake is paramount to support not only your baby’s growth but also the expansion of maternal blood volume, and the development of the baby’s brain. Knowing this motivated me to continue drinking my protein shakes, eating my high-protein snacks and focusing on less sugar and processed foods. I tried hard to keep a variety of protein sources like chicken, cottage cheese, eggs, lean ground turkey and my shakes, but some days I had to just drink two shakes because they just tasted so much better! 

Consulting with Healthcare Providers

Consulting with a healthcare provider is important when you are looking to increase your protein intake. They will be sure you know which protein sources are the safest for you, and the most up-to-date information on the safest protein sources.

Bump Dust Prenatal Vitamin and Protein Drink:

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) 
  • Iodine
  • Iron
  • Potassium
  • Protein


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. 


  • 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
  • Plant-based 
  • 90 calories per scoop
  • Can replace your prenatal vitamin
  • Stops cravings and manages blood sugar
  • Uses L-Methylfolate not folic acid


  • cGMP manufacturing in USA
  • NPN certified by Natural and Non-Prescription Health Product Directorate (NNHPD) of Health Canada 
  • Non-GMO
  • Kosher
  • 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.