Monday, June 21, 2010

Protein in Pregnancy

Experts agree that your need for protein significantly increases during pregnancy.

Why? Protein i s molecular compounds of amino acids, also known as the body's basic building blocks.

These amino acids are necessary for development of all new cells, especially those of a developing fetus. For the duration of pregnancy, we recommend an increased protein consumption of a minimum of 60 grams per day.

Women having twins or a multiple pregnancy need even more. However, it is important to note that protein is available through a variety of sources. As you increase your protein intake be careful to ensure that not all of your protein is derrived from animal products. You can obtain some of the most easily assimlated proteins from whole grains, beans, legumes, and nuts.

Protein is required for the physical growth and cellular development of your baby. It is also required for the placenta, amniotic tissues, and reproductive organs. Let's not forget that a pregnant woman's blood volume increases by 50% during pregnancy, and protein is needed to produce new blood cells and circulating proteins.

Protein is most critical in the last trimester of pregnancy. Your baby's brain development progresses the most rapidly during the eighth and ninth month of gestation. Protein is the primary nutrient essential to healthy brain development.

As you make the transistion into Postpartum Recovery protein will play an important role in healing. Protein will also increase the quality of nutrition for lactation. Add an additional 20 grams of protein to your non-pregnancy diet. Protein is utilized to produce breast milk and nourish the growing baby. Altogether, pregnancy and lactation significantly impact protein demands.

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