A healthy Pregnancy diet: Protein and how much of it do you need

Protein during pregnancy

Importance of protein during pregnancy

Protein have amino acids - the building blocks of our body's cells and those of the baby’s body too. Therefore it is important to get enough protein through your entire pregnancy, but most importantly during the second and third trimesters, when the baby is growing fast, as your breasts and other organs in order to accommodate the needs of your growing baby.

How much protein do you need during pregnancy?

Most women by way of a regular healthy diet are able to meet the protein requirements during pregnancy. This becomes a bit more challenging though if you are a vegetarian. So in case you don't eat meat, you should try to meet your protein requirements through other sources, which include dairy, beans, pulses, eggs, or soy products.

Unexplained weight loss, fatigue, frequent infections, and excessive fluid retention are all signs that you're not getting enough protein from your diet.

Pregnant women need around 70 g of protein per day.

Food sources of protein

Beans are an excellent source of protein. So are lean meat, poultry, shellfish, fish, eggs, milk and milk products like cheese, tofu, and yogurt. Remember that animal products contain complete proteins (all 9 amino acids), but plant sources don't. Consuming a variety of foods throughout the day will help make sure that you get all the amino acids you require.

Eat 3-4 servings of protein everyday and you'll be setting yourself for a healthy pregnancy and baby.

Here are some examples of good protein:


1/2 cup paneer: 14 g

1 large fresh egg: 6 g

150 g low-fat yogurt: 9 to 12 g

1/2 cup ricotta cheese: 14 g

1 cup low-fat milk: 8 g

30 g mozzarella cheese: 7 g

30 g Parmesan cheese: 11 g

30 g cheddar cheese: 7 g

Beans, legumes and nuts

1 cup black beans: 15 g

1/2 cup tofu: 20 g

1 cup cooked dal: 18 g

1 cup channa: 12 g

2 tablespoons peanut butter: 8 g

1 cup kidney beans: 13 g

1 cup soymilk: 6 g

30 g dry roasted peanuts: 7 g

Meat, poultry and fish

1/2 roasted chicken breast: 27 g

1 beef patty: 21g

90 g salmon: 23 g

Caution: Not all fish are safe during pregnancy because of the risk of mercury poisoning. Some fish, such as shark, king mackerel, tilefish, and swordfish, should be avoided.