Protein is needed to build your growing baby’s body and organs, and maternal tissues to support developing baby’s growth. It also helps in many other ways during your pregnancy.
As your pregnancy progresses and your growing baby grows in size, he or she needs help from you to support his or her growth. You can support this by getting enough protein in your diet.
Protein plays a key role in the development of your growing baby’s entire body and the organs within, including his or her muscles, nerves and braini.
Importantly, adequate intake of protein can also help avoid stillbirth and pre-term births.ii
How much protein do you growing baby need?
In your first trimester, your protein requirement stays the same, which is around 60 g of protein per day.iii As your developing baby grows bigger, your protein needs also increases. You need extra protein of 10 g in your second trimester, and around 30 g in your third trimester.iii
For example, 1 egg or a glass of milk (200 ml) contains about 6 g of protein while 100 g of fish or meat contains about 20-30 g of protein.iii
Where can you find protein?
Meats (such as chicken, beef and pork)
Dairy products (such as milk, cheese, and yoghurt)
Fish (such as cod, salmon, and tilapia)
Soy products (such as tofu and tempeh)
Nuts and spreads (such as pistachio nuts and peanut butter)
iProteins are the Body's Worker Molecules. (n.d.). Retrieved April 10, 2017, from https://publications.nigms.nih.gov/structlife/chapter1.html
iiBalanced energy and protein supplementation during pregnancy. (n.d.). Retrieved April 10, 2017, from http://www.who.int/elena/titles/energy_protein_pregnancy/en/
iiiJoint FAO/WHO/UNU Expert Consultation on Protein and Amino Acid Requirements in Human Nutrition, (2002). Geneva, Switzerland. WHO Technical Report Series 935, pp. 243-244). Retrieved 2 June 2017 from, http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/43411/1/WHO_TRS_935_eng.pdf