Why you need protein during pregnancy
The amino acids that make up protein are the building blocks of your body’s cells – and of your baby’s body as well. It’s important to get enough protein throughout your pregnancy, but it’s especially critical during the second and third trimesters. That’s when your baby is growing the fastest, and your breasts and organs are getting bigger to accommodate the needs of your growing baby.
How much protein you need
Protein requirements for pregnant women can range from as little as 40 grams to as much as 70 grams per day, depending on how much you weigh. To find out how much protein your body needs each day, you can go to ChooseMyPlate.gov and create an individualized meal plan.
You don’t have to get the recommended amount of protein every day. Instead, aim for that amount as an average over the course of a few days or a week.
Most women in the United States regularly eat more protein than they need, so you probably won’t have any trouble meeting your body’s needs during pregnancy. If you don’t eat meat, you can meet your protein requirements through other sources, including dairy, beans, eggs, or soy products.
Weight loss, muscle fatigue, frequent infections, and severe fluid retention can be signs that you’re not getting enough protein in your diet.
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