protein shakes for pregnancy

Prenatal Nutritionist Picks Top Protein Shakes for Pregnancy

As a Pre/Post Natal Fitness Specialist and certified Nutrition Coach, I have been helping both pregnant and postpartum mamas maintain a healthy weight, as well as lose weight while breastfeeding through nutrition. I specialize in nutrition during pregnancy and postpartum, and I am obsessed with maternal nutrition overall. I'm 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 wanted to offer an in-depth post on protein shakes during pregnancy, so you can compare what products are on the market, and choose the one that fits you best! I also have some great information on protein shakes in general, and why protein is so important during pregnancy. If you want to skip below to my top picks for protein shakes, you can scroll down to get to the products and my overview of each one! 


Are protein shakes safe for pregnancy?

Yes, it is generally safe to consume protein shakes while pregnant, but there are some important considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Choose Safe Protein Sources: Opt for protein shakes made from safe and reputable sources of protein. Whey, casein, soy, and plant-based protein powders are generally considered safe. Be cautious with herbal or unregulated supplements, as they may not be safe during pregnancy.

  2. Read Labels: Carefully read the labels of commercial protein powders to ensure they do not contain any ingredients that are unsafe during pregnancy, such as excessive caffeine or artificial additives.

  3. Avoid Raw Eggs: Some homemade protein shake recipes call for raw eggs, which can carry the risk of salmonella infection. It's best to avoid raw eggs during pregnancy. You can use pasteurized eggs or egg substitutes in your shakes instead.

  4. Stay Hydrated: Protein shakes can be dehydrating, so be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated.

  5. Balanced Diet: While protein shakes can be a convenient way to increase your protein intake, they should not be used as a substitute for a balanced diet. Pregnant women need a wide range of nutrients, so be sure to include a variety of foods in your diet.

  6. Consult Your Healthcare Provider: Before adding protein shakes or supplements to your diet during pregnancy, it's advisable to consult with your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian. They can provide personalized guidance based on your specific nutritional needs and any medical conditions you may have.

  7. Gestational Diabetes: If you have gestational diabetes, you may need to monitor your carbohydrate intake, including those from protein shakes. Work closely with your healthcare provider and dietitian to manage your blood sugar levels.

Remember that it's essential to maintain a balanced and nutritious diet during pregnancy to support the growth and development of your baby. Getting as much protein as necessary is important to baby's growth and development, as well as your health. Protein supplements like protein shakes and protein powders are a great way to get in all the essential amino acids for mama and baby. 


Protein shakes can be a convenient way to increase protein intake, especially if you have dietary restrictions or food aversions, but they should be part of a well-rounded and diverse diet that includes a variety of foods rich in essential nutrients.

Benefits of protein during pregnancy: 

Protein is an essential nutrient during pregnancy, and it plays a crucial role in supporting the health and development of both the mother and the growing fetus. Here are some of the benefits of protein during pregnancy:

  1. Supports Fetal Growth: Protein is necessary for the development and growth of the baby's tissues, organs, and overall body structure. It's a fundamental building block for the fetus.

  2. Placental Health: Adequate protein intake helps maintain the health and function of the placenta, which is responsible for providing oxygen and nutrients to the fetus and removing waste products.

  3. Amniotic Fluid Production: Protein is essential for the production of amniotic fluid, the fluid that surrounds and protects the baby inside the womb.

  4. Cell Growth and Repair: Protein is required for the formation and repair of maternal and fetal cells, including blood cells, muscle cells, and skin cells.

  5. Immune Function: Protein plays a role in strengthening the immune system, which is important during pregnancy to help protect both the mother and the baby from infections and illnesses.

  6. Blood Volume: During pregnancy, blood volume increases to support the needs of the growing fetus. Protein is necessary for the production of hemoglobin, the molecule that carries oxygen in the blood.

  7. Prevention of Pre-eclampsia: Adequate protein intake may help reduce the risk of developing pre-eclampsia, a serious condition that can affect blood pressure and organ function during pregnancy.

  8. Muscle and Tissue Health: Protein supports the health of maternal muscles and tissues, helping to accommodate the changes that occur in the body during pregnancy.

  9. Satiety and Blood Sugar Control: Protein-rich foods can help regulate blood sugar levels and promote a feeling of fullness, which can be beneficial for managing weight gain during pregnancy.

  10. Reduced Risk of Gestational Diabetes: Adequate protein intake, especially from lean sources, may help reduce the risk of developing gestational diabetes.

  11. Postpartum Recovery: Having sufficient protein during pregnancy can contribute to a faster recovery after childbirth, as it supports tissue repair and healing.

  12. Breast Milk Production: Protein is essential for producing breast milk, which is the primary source of nutrition for the baby after birth.

It's important for pregnant women to ensure they are getting enough protein through a balanced diet that includes a variety of protein sources. Lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, legumes, nuts, and seeds are all excellent sources of protein. The specific protein needs during pregnancy can vary depending on factors such as age, activity level, and whether the pregnancy is carrying one or more fetuses. Your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian can provide personalized guidance on your protein intake during pregnancy.


How protein shakes help with weight management and cravings during pregnancy: 


Protein shakes can be a helpful tool for weight loss after pregnancy, and weight management during pregnancy. I loved getting in my grams of protein with protein shakes during pregnancy because they tasted amazing, helped with my morning sickness (or all day sickness!), and was a great way for me to get a fast meal in.  Protein shakes were also a great tool for me to keep my weight gain down during pregnancy. Here are some ways in which protein shakes can help a pregnant woman manage weight gain and stay healthy: 

  1. Satiety: Protein is known to be more filling than carbohydrates or fats. Consuming a protein shake can help you feel full and satisfied, reducing the likelihood of overeating or snacking on unhealthy foods between meals.

  2. Calorie Control: Protein shakes, particularly when prepared with low-calorie ingredients, can be a convenient way to control your calorie intake. They can serve as a meal replacement or a snack, allowing you to manage portion sizes more easily.

  3. Muscle Preservation: When you are trying to lose weight, you want to lose fat, not muscle. Adequate protein intake can help preserve muscle mass while promoting fat loss. This is especially important for maintaining a healthy metabolism.

  4. Metabolism: Protein has a higher thermic effect of food (TEF) than carbohydrates or fats, meaning your body burns more calories digesting protein. This can slightly boost your metabolism.

  5. Blood Sugar Control: Protein can help stabilize blood sugar levels, preventing sharp spikes and crashes in energy, which can reduce cravings for high-sugar, high-calorie foods.

  6. Convenience: Protein shakes can be a quick and convenient option for busy individuals. They can be prepared and consumed on the go, making it easier to stick to a weight loss plan.

However, it's essential to use protein shakes as part of a comprehensive weight loss strategy and not as a sole solution. Here are some important considerations:

  1. Nutrient Balance: While protein is important, it's crucial to maintain a balanced diet that includes a variety of foods rich in essential nutrients, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats.

  2. Real Food Preference: Whole foods are generally preferable to processed shakes. They provide a broader range of nutrients and can help you establish long-term healthy eating habits.

  3. Calorie Awareness: Pay attention to the calorie content of your protein shakes. If you consume more calories than you burn, you won't lose weight. Be mindful of portion sizes.

  4. Quality Ingredients: Choose high-quality protein powders without excessive added sugars or artificial additives.

  5. Exercise: Combining protein shakes with regular physical activity can enhance weight loss results and help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

  6. Consultation: Before making significant dietary changes or starting a weight loss plan that includes protein shakes, it's advisable to consult with a healthcare provider or registered dietitian, especially if you have any underlying health conditions.

Best protein shakes and best protein powder for pregnancy:



best prenatal protein powder 2023

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. 

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! 



  • 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


Ritual 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. 



  • 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
  • Choline


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. 


  • 20 grams of Whey protein per serving
  • 130 calories per serving
  • Vitamin B6
  • Folate
  • Life's DHA 430 mg (vegan source mercury and toxin free)
  • Natural sweeteners
  • No artificial flavoring
  • Calcium
  • No Choline
  • No superfoods
  • No additional iron or essential vitamins
  • Can not replace your prenatal vitamin


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.



  • 15 grams of protein per serving
  • 80 calories per serving
  • No artificial flavorings or sweeteners
  • No taste
  • Not vegan friendly


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. 




  • 85 calories per serving
  • Organic, plant-based protein
  • No additional nutrients
  • Can not replace your prenatal vitamin


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. 


  • 20 grams of protein 

  • 90 calories per serving

  • Naturally sweetened with Stevia

  • Chocolate flavor

  • Can not replace your prenatal vitamin

  • Not organic

  • Not vegan



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.