Whey Protein During Pregnancy (Safety, Benefits, Dangers)


Following a complete diet is an inseparable part of a healthy pregnancy. Having protein powders beside your diet during pregnancy helps you to treat nutritional deficiencies. For example, consuming whey protein during pregnancy provide you all 9 essential amino acids your body needs for supporting a healthy pregnancy.

Whey protein, a complete protein of milk, can be added to soft foods, liquids or smoothies.

In this article on Hipregnancy, we will explain all you need to learn about taking whey protein during pregnancy, including its benefits, side effects and potential risks. Keep reading this article to the end if you are searching the best protein powder for pregnancy.

Protein powder and pregnancy

Protein is a key nutrient needed during pregnancy for the health of the mother and development of the growing baby, however, several studies show that many pregnant ladies do not get enough protein during pregnancy due to several reasons.

Protein powder & pregnancy

For example, usually those pregnant ladies who suffer from nausea and vomiting can’t eat enough protein rich foods like eggs, meat, poultry. Or those who follow vegan diet have lower protein level in their diet and can’t consume animal protein.

In such conditions, protein requirement increases and protein supplements such as whey protein powder should be added into a daily diet. But how much protein during pregnancy? let’s discuss it.

Researches show that the suitable amount of protein intake for adults is about 0.75g per kg of body weight daily. Pregnant ladies should consume 6g more than the mention amount to meet the demands of their body and their unborn baby.

The amount of protein intake should be changed till the end of pregnancy, as your body weight changes during this period. Consuming protein powder during pregnancy help you meet your needs, however, consuming it might be harmful for someone, like those struggling with kidney issues.  

Also Read: pregnancy protein shake

Is it safe to consume whey protein during pregnancy?

Is it safe to consume whey protein during pregnancy?

The short answer to the above question is yes, whey protein powder is one of the safe protein powders for pregnancy, but we should note that the number of researches on the safety of whey protein for pregnant ladies is a few.

Whey protein is a protein of milk, which is separated from the casein protein. It is considered as a complete protein contain all 9 essential amino acids. The lactose content of whey protein powder is lower than dairy products, as a result, it is a suitable option for those with lactose intolerance. (Read more about lactose intolerance after pregnancy)

Consuming whey protein during pregnancy provides several health benefits as it is rich in essential amino acids, calcium, and potassium. Read on the following parts to see how much useful whey protein is for a healthy pregnancy.

Also Read: is azithromycin safe in pregnancy

3 common types of whey protein pregnancy

3 common types of whey protein pregnancy

There are 3 type of protein can be consumed while pregnant, including;

1- Whey protein hydrolysate (WPH); considered as a predigested whey protein which can e easily absorbed.

2- Whey protein concentrate (WPC); is low in carbohydrates and fat. The percentage of its protein is between 30 and 90 percent, depending on how concentrated the WPC is.

3- Whey protein isolate (WPI); contains 90 percent protein and all its fat and lactose is removed.

Hipregnancy recommends you consult your doctor or healthcare provider before taking whey protein during pregnancy. Your doctor helps you to choose the best type of whey protein based on your body protein requirements.

Health benefits associated with consumption of whey protein during pregnancy

Benefits of consuming whey protein during pregnancy

Read on to find out top health benefits of consuming whey protein powder while pregnant;

  • Whey protein can boost the immune system during pregnancy, a sensitive period in women’s life. This protein can reduce the risk of getting sick by improving your body’s ability to fight against causes of disease.
  • This protein can reduce the risk of heart issues, by improving insulin sensitivity. In addition, it can lower cholesterol levels and keep your heart healthy.
  • Whey protein is a great option for those struggling with hypertension or high blood pressure. Actually, it can reduce blood pressure, enhance endothelial functions, and regulate lipid profiles.

It is good to mention that consuming whey protein powder provides many other health benefits, but as the studies on pregnant ladies in this field is limited, we just mentioned proved advantages of this protein for pregnant women.

Is whey protein isolate safe during pregnancy?

The number of studies on the safety of consuming whey protein while pregnant is limited. Still the available data suggests that eating whey protein during pregnancy in moderation will not harm the mom and the unborn baby. What about whey protein isolate? Is it safe for pregnant?

Whey protein isolate is a great source of potassium and calcium for pregnancy. This protein powder comes in different versions, including unflavored, and flavored versions. Unflavored versions called pure whey protein isolate and flavored versions come in two flavors, chocolate and vanilla, with added sweeteners.

 It is good to know that whey protein isolate contains higher protein levels, but lower carbohydrate and fat levels preserving in comparison with other varieties of whey protein, due to the processing steps used in its production.

Since whey protein isolate has low lactose content, it is a smart choice for pregnant ladies with lactose intolerance. Hipregnancy recommends consulting a health provider before having this type of whey protein while pregnant to find out how much you can include it in your diet. In such a way, you can minimize any possible risks.

Possible dangers of whey protein during pregnancy

Generally speaking, consuming whey protein in mild doses does not cause any health issues, but consuming it in excess may cause the following problems, including;

  • Acne
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Reduced appetite
  • Headache
  • Stomach pains
  • Cramping
  • bloating
  • Wind

Hipregnancy recommends you visit your doctor if you feel the above issues after consuming whey protein during pregnancy. You might need to check up to ensure about the health of the baby.

A role of thumb is to consult a healthcare provider before adding whey protein into your diet, as well as taking it in mild doses!


Whey protein diet is beneficial for pregnant ladies, as consuming whey protein during pregnancy can reduce the risk of heart disease and regulate blood pressure. Although the studies on the safety of whey protein for pregnant women is limited, the mild doses of this protein has not caused any problems yet.

In this article on Hipregnancy, we covered the essential points all pregnant ladies need to learn about whey protein consumption while pregnant.

Is there any missed points? If yes, do share your points and tips with us and other moms-to-be.

1 Comment
  1. Hannah says

    What about whey from hormone treated cows? I read elsewhere that could be a possible negative to whey protein during pregnancy.

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