Is Protein Powder Safe to Take While Pregnant and Nursing?

Day 4 of my 30 Day Blogging Challenge.  If you are new to my page, thank you for visiting!  I had a crazy idea to try to blog for 30 days straight this month – click HERE to read more about it and see a list of the blog posts I wrote/am writing about.


One of the most common questions I get is in regards to using protein powder when pregnant or nursing.  I want to preface all of this by saying that I am not a physician, dietitian, or personal trainer.  If you have any specific questions above and beyond what I’ve talked about here I recommend you talk with your midwife, OBGYN or family physician about it and get their professional opinion.

When I was pregnant this time around with baby #2 I asked my doctor about using protein powder and he said that one serving per day was perfectly fine as long as it wasn’t my only source of protein for the day.  He also suggested that I try to use protein powders that don’t use artificial sweeteners (sucralose aka Splenda).  He said that there aren’t any long term studies that have been done on sucralose, but that some recent studies suggest that sucralose could present some long term health risks.

Whether or not artificial sweeteners cause health risks is really controversial, and the majority of studies on artificial sweeteners have been performed on animals, and it’s not known whether the same effects would be seen in humans.  Click here for a recent article about this on MSN News and click here for a recent article about this on the Huffington Post.  Click here for a study released by Purdue University which has a good summary of the literature on artificial sweeteners.

So, with that being said, it is inconclusive whether or not artificial sweeteners pose a risk to your health. However, when I am nursing I tend to steer on the ultra-cautious side and so I try to stay away from things that have sucralose/Splenda in them.  If I eat something on occasion that has Splenda, I don’t stress too much about it, but if it is something I am eating every single day (like whey protein) I would prefer to use a different form of sweetener.

The whey protein I like to use is MRM’s All Natural Whey Vanilla.  I like it because their whey comes primarily from grass fed cows and no hormones are used with the cows they source their whey from. They don’t use artificial sweeteners, and don’t use fillers (meaning I understand all the ingredients on the ingredient list). It mixes really well in a shaker bottle (no clumps!), and it tastes awesome (no bitter after taste at all).  I like the Rich Vanilla flavor and if I am craving a chocolate flavor I add 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder.  You can order it directly through their website, on, or

So, there is my two cents in the matter.  I get asked this question nearly every day so I figured a blog post would be helpful that I could refer people to in the future.  My little girl is five months old now (where did my newborn go?!).  She broke her bottom two teeth at three months, and is really fussy right now as she works on her top teeth.  We are still exclusively breastfeeding and plan to start solids at the end of the month when she is six months.  She also just started sitting up today!  I know most of you don’t care about my kids, but since this is my blog and I am a proud mama I just have to share:
She loves getting kisses from her big brother!  I drove my little guy to preschool today to meet his preschool teacher and get ready for his first day next week and was just reflecting on how grateful I feel right now to have two healthy babies that love me unconditionally. It might sound corny or cliche, but becoming a mom truly has been the best thing that ever happened to me.  I never knew how much my heart would open up or how much I could fiercely love someone until these two entered my life.

Anyways…enough with the mushy stuff.  I hope this post was helpful for you!  If you have any questions let me know!

Your Friend,

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  • Please don’t say things like we don’t care about your kids!!! How could we not, they are so precious and happy and healthy! You are a wonderul Mama. Thanks for the healthy blog posts and recipes, I always love them!

  • So glad you posted this. I’m trying to stay away from sucralose and it seems to be in EVERYTHING! (even Mio water flavoring). I’ll have to check out MRM brand!

  • Any recipes for smoothies or protein shakes you would recommend with the protein powder?

  • Thanks for posting, Natalie. I have a (almost) 3 year old girl an 3 month old baby boy and can relate 110%! Being a mom to two happy, healthy children is the best feeling in the world 🙂 I have been using MRM vanilla and chocolate (I like to alternate) since 6 weeks postpartum and glad you stay away from the ones with artificial sweetness and fillers in them, as well. I will definitely be following you for these 30 days!

  • I am nursing, and my 8 week old is allergic to milk protein and soy. Do you have a suggestion for another protein powder?

  • Thank you Natalie! I will order it! (What do you bake with the Veggie protein)
    Do you also take the Fresh Omega while you are nursing? I take a different omega supplement right now, but the Fresh Omega sounds like a good product.

  • Hey Natalie! Thanks so much for this information… I am newly pregnant with my first child and have LOTS of questions regarding supplements and Whey Protein. I talked to my OBGYN about this and he said to stop taking everything except a prenatal vitamin. I’m a Cardiac Nurse myself, so I feel like I have a little knowledge, but as far as nutritional data I feel the medical community is lacking in this knowledge. On a side note, I plan to workout throughout my pregnancy and be the healthiest version of myself (mostly because I just lost 45lbs this past year and am trying to maintain this “new me”).. I feel the healthier the mother is, the healthier the baby will be.

    I know some supplements aren’t safe and I know to look at the ingredients in the protein powders to make sure I know exactly what I’m getting. Pregnancy is a whole new world for me… so I appreciate blogs and information like this- knowledge is power! Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!

  • Thanks for sharing!! What is your opinion on taking things like l-glutamine and BCAAs while breastfeeding? I know they are naturally occurring, but read that taking ‘extra’ of them can change the amino acid content of your breast milk which presumably be bad? Thoughts?

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I’m Natalie

Ten years ago I started out in the online world in the fitness space. I started blogging, sharing at-home exercises, and offering easy recipes. This turned into writing eBooks — one of which blew up in a way I could never imagine!

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