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Protein shakes are an amazing source of protein and additional nutrients for new moms. I’ve been using protein powder (mostly plant-based protein powder) for many years to help me with my weight management and nutritional intake during pregnancy and postpartum. I’ve found protein shakes to be super helpful when trying to eat healthily, get enough protein and maintain my milk supply while losing the baby weight.
While I was pregnant with my 4th baby, during the pandemic, I was so thankful for this protein powder because it gave me something delicious to look forward to, helped me not gain so much quarantine weight, and actually burn fat later on in my pregnancy. I always really struggle with protein intake and eating anything but chips and bread for about 18 weeks. This is HIGHLY abnormal for me, and combine that with a lot of sleeping and exhaustion, and I find myself always gaining a lot of weight in the beginning. Because I’ve been using protein powders for many years, and even created my own protein powder for pregnant women and postpartum mamas, I wanted to make a full list of the top lactation protein powders I’ve used after breastfeeding 4 babies.
Why is protein so important for postpartum and lactation?
Protein is an essential nutrient for breastfeeding and lactation. A low-protein diet has been associated with low milk production, and protein is essential for postpartum repair and recovery. Protein supplements are a great way to get in that extra protein that is so important as a new mom. A clean protein powder is really important, so all the protein powders on my list offer clean, organic ingredients to ensure you get the best products. Also, most of the protein powders are plant-based proteins because the plant-based, vegan protein powders tend to offer a lot more nutrients in the formula. Whey and Casein protein powders tend to have limited formulas with just the protein blend. Also, many new babies have sensitive, gassy tummies, and don’t do well when mom is consuming dairy.
How to use protein shakes for milk supply:
The best way to use a protein shake if you are worried about your milk supply, or hoping to maintain your milk supply is to create a meal replacement shake. Many times I would just blend Bump Dust with almond milk and ice for a quick shake, but when you combine your protein powder with other ingredients like healthy fats and fruits and veggies, you can get an amazing meal that is like magic for your milk supply. In my experience, I used my protein shakes as my first meal of the day to ensure I got my nutrients and lactation-boosting herbs in. I was able to establish a healthy milk supply right away with my 4th baby, and I completely attribute that to being able to have my Milk Dust with me in the hospital. You can also ensure you have the proper nutrition before baby arrives,so your milk supply will be completely supported and you will have a habit of eating for milk supply! I have a great, breastfeeding nutrition program I developed for Milk Dust, which you can start now, so you can have the tools when baby arrives!
#1 The best lactation protein powder: Milk Dust Protein
Yes, I’m probably completely biased, but I honestly created this protein powder BECAUSE there isn’t, and wasn’t anything on the market like it. I’ve had it reviewed by medical professionals, and it is a patent-pending formula for a reason. There is no other protein powder with the quality of natural ingredients in a formula that actually increases milk supply, while also helping with weight loss. Milk Dust is a plant-based protein powder manufactured here in the US. It is comprised of a very specific formula that focuses on first nourishing postpartum mamas to help combat postnatal depletion, while also balancing blood sugar and reducing sugar cravings. Milk Dust has no artificial sweeteners, and offers a complete profile of essential amino acids as well as 16 grams of protein per scoop.
Here is a bullet list of points:
- Gluten-free, Kosher, Dairy-free
- Science-backed lactation blend
- Science-backed propietary blood sugar blend to reduce sugar cravings
- Superfoods like chlorella and spirulina, spinach, blueberries and raspberries
- Hand-picked, lactation protien blend with Pea protein, brown rice protein, chia seed, pumpkin seed and flax seed
- 100 calories per serving
- 16 grams of protein per serving
- 59.99 for 22 servings
Milk Dust also tastes deicious, and it comes in Sweet Vanilla or Fudge Brownie. Bump Dust is the prenatal protein powder that is now formulated to replace your prenata vitamin (with doctor’s approval!). I obviously think it is the best protein powder, BUT keep in mind I was a mother of 3 by the time I created it because there was nothing that had everything I wanted for myself, and to help the mamas who were struggling to lose weight and keep their milk.
Majka lactation powder has a similar concept to Milk Dust, being plant-based and nourishing. Majka offers a very different lactation blend that consists of more herbs and spices. They steer clear of Fenugreek (Milk Dust has two formulas, one with Fenugreek and one without), despite some of the amazing results it has for most mothers. Majka also offers extremely high-quality ingredients that are organic, gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan. Majka offers many essential nutrients in their protein, with the focus being more on a nutritional shake, rather than a lactation supplement. It does have a great blend of probiotics and digestive enzymes, if that is something you are looking for. I used Majka many times, and I found that their shakes didn’t drastically increase my supply, but they did taste great and make me feel fully nourished. Milk Dust has more of a focus on fitness and weight management with the sugar-craving blend. I have a full, in-depth comparison that I wrote on the Milk Dust site if you aren’t sure which product is the best for you!
Here is a bullet list of points:
- Plant-based protein blend with pea protein, brown rice protein and chia seeds protein
- Polyphenol Blend Organic Apple, Organic Stawberry, Organic Bluberry, Organic Raspberry, Organic Sour Cherry, Organic European elderberry, Organic Cranberry.
- Lactation blend with flax seed, turmeric, gigner root, caraway seed, clove, shatavari root and sweet potato root
- Digestive enzyme and probiotics blend
- 100 calories per serving
- 15 grams of protein per serving
- 15 servings for 2 scoops
- $69 for one jar
Majka also has a wide range of other products to help nourish and hydrate mothers postpartum. You can check them all out on Amazon!
I’ve used Ora Organics products since 2018 when I found them because I was nursing my third baby and looking for a high-quality, plant-based protein powder. I found their brand, and I tried their vanilla and loved it! I then started sharing their products, and have met and collaborated with the executives of their company, who are all wonderful people. The So Lean and So Clean vanilla protein powder is full of organic ingredients and superfoods, as well as a digestive enzyme blend. Because this protein powder isn’t specifically formulated for lactation, it doesn’t have a lactation blend, but it does have some great ingredients for lactation.
Here are the bullet points:
- Simple protein blend of organic pea protein and organic brown rice protein
- Superfoods like cranberry, sacha inchi, sprouted quinoa, acai, and turmeric
- Offers fruits and veggies like apple, blackberry, blueberry, broccoli, kale, and Jerusalem artichoke
- 25 grams of protein per serving
- 120 calories per 2 scoops
- 35.99 for 20 servings per jar
Ora Organics is one of the top 3 because it is a great protein powder for pregnant moms and postpartum moms. Because it doesn’t have a lactation blend, if you are a breastfeeding mom that doesn’t need a boost in your milk supply, then this protein powder could be a good option for you.
Boobie Body Superfoods Shake is also a great protein powder for nourishment rather than increasing lactation. It has a great spectrum of plant-based proteins, probiotics and superfoods. There isn’t a specific lactation blend to really boost supply, but some of the ingredients are very beneficial to lactation. Some of those include flax seeds, Chia, Shavatari root and trumeric.
Here is the bullet points:
- Simple plant-based protein blend of pea protein, chia and sacha inchi
- Unique fiber blend not found in other protein powders
- Herb blend of moringa, maca root, shatavari, cinnamon and turmeric
- Probiotic blend
- 120 calories per serving
- 19 grams of protein per serving
- $44 per jar at 20 servings
Ritual protein is marketed for both prenatal and postpartum nutrition. This is a very simple formula compared to the other proteins on the list. There is no superfood blend, no lactation blend or any other special formulas, but it does offer a clean, plant-based protein with additional nutrients. It is the only protein powder offering additional choline, an important nutrient for prenatal and postpartum mamas.
Here is the bullet list:
- Simple pea protein only protein blend
- Additional Choline nutrition
- 20 grams of protein per serving
- $44 for 15 servings per bag
Other healthy, clean protein powders on the market that may also be good options for you if you aren’t too concerned about specific nutrients for lactation or postpartum:
There you have my top 5 lactation protein powders (with three additional options!). All of these protien powders have enough protein to help you meet your protein needs, offer clean ingredients, and will hopefully help you stay away from all the lactation cookies. These protein powders are a safe option for a breastfeeding mother, and protein drinks are such an easy way to stay consistent with your healthy diet. I know the protein shakes helped me so much with my pregnancies and postpartum. I was able to keep up my breast milk supply, while also getting back in shape quickly even after having four babies. It was definitely harder with the fourth. I gained more than usual because of the pandemic, and I was older at 35. It is a really good idea to focus on your fresh fruits and veggies, and eat as clean as possible so you can give yourself all the nutrients you need as a pregnant or breastfeeding mama.
If you are struggling with weight gain during pregnancy, don’t worry! You can even lose extra weight you gained during pregnancy safely by eating clean, taking your prenatal vitamin, limiting dairy products, and getting some sort of activity in every day.