Here are the 9 best, safe protein powders for breastfeeding moms based on nutritional needs, price, and overall best in the category.

Nutrition for a breastfeeding mom is so important. Let’s take a look at certain protein powders and determine what is the best, safe protein powder for breastfeeding moms. Plus, we’ll talk about the one ingredient you can add to your existing protein shakes that may increase milk supply.

Much focus is given to pregnant women and their nutrition. It is equally important to focus on nutrition in the fourth trimester, especially if a mother is also nursing her baby.

Babies are known for sleeping much of the day, but what few people tell you is that sleep schedules can be quite erratic. Newborns need 8-12 feedings per 24 hours. This equates to nursing every 2-3 hours. This amount of feeding is a NEED. Breast milk is the perfect food and is digested very quickly, so when your baby wakes up hungry, chances are they have already used up all of that milk they drank.

Is it safe to drink protein shakes while breastfeeding? 

is protein shakes safe while breastfeeding

When a breastfeeding mama gets proper nutrition it encourages the production of breast milk and a healthy milk supply. New mothers actually need extra calories, about 500 extra per day. The extra calories help with healing your body, giving your growing baby what they need, and keeping your milk production up.

Breastfeeding mothers concerned about weight loss: Don’t rush trying to lose the baby weight. The good news is it should naturally drop off over the next few months as you get good nutrition, focus on a healthy diet, do gentle daily activities, and nurse your baby.

Yes, it is safe to drink protein shakes while breastfeeding, and here’s why.

Protein shakes are a convenient way to meet a breast feeding mothers extra nutritional needs. In fact, a high quality protein powder may be the best way to get daily protein requirements. Many of us simply don’t get enough protein, and a clean protein powder is an easy way to do this. Dietary guidelines state that nursing mothers need 65g vital proteins in grams per day. I have done lots of research for you. I have combed through the ingredient list to check for artificial sweeteners, essential amino acids, and essential nutrients you need, along with protein shakes that fit all of those needs best.

Plant proteins vs whey protein powder

Common questions I receive are in regard to which type of protein is the best choice.

If you prefer vegan options, go for the plant-based proteins.

For lactose intolerance, the plant based proteins are a great protein powder for you. Whey or collagen protein may upset your stomach. One of the pros of whey protein is it can cost less than plant based protein drinks but can still have clean ingredients. Collagen proteins can also be beneficial for the health of our skin, hair, and nails.

Not all protein shake powders are clean or beneficial for us! Here, I will only list protein drinks that I would and did drink myself when breastfeeding.

Questions to ask before picking your protein powder:
  • Am I sensitive or allergic to dairy products? If so, choose plant-based.
  • Is my stomach easily upset with protein shakes? Choose plant-based or the bone broth protein option.
  • What is my price point for buying monthly protein?
  • Which protein can I afford to drink daily, or at least almost daily?
  • Is it known to have good flavor or flavor choice? If you don’t like the taste, it’s less likely you will actually drink it.
  • Do I have an abundance of breast milk? If your milk supply is more than you know what to do with, choose a protein that isn’t known to increase milk supply.
safe protein for breastfeeding

The Best Safe Protein Powder for Breastfeeding Moms

Let’s look at lactation-based options first. If you do not need an increased breast milk supply, but instead are looking for a good, nutritious protein shake to meet your and your baby’s need, see below.

Plus, let’s look at one ingredient you can add to protein shakes that aren’t already lactation based which may increase milk supply.

Boobie Body

Boobie Body is an organic breastfeeding protein powder. Its main ingredient is organic pea protein and it is sweetened with monk fruit extract and stevia. Maca root is the ingredient that may increase breast milk supply. It boasts complete amino acids plus chia seeds and is USDA Certified Organic, Dairy-Free, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Keto-Friendly, and Non-GMO. The taste profile is described as “bearable” but the nutrition profile is stellar. Bonus feature: these can be bought in single-serving pouches. Comes in 4 flavors: chocolate, coffee caramel, vanilla chai, and vanilla cookie. Cost: around $40 Get it here.

  • Protein: 19 grams
  • Servings per container: 20
  • Plant-based

Milk Drunk Protein Powder

Milk Drunk is a lactation protein powder with a special lactation blend of oats, flax, and brewer’s yeast to promote better milk production. The main protein ingredient is pea protein. It’s sweetened with cane sugar and stevia leaf. Milk Drunk offers several flavors including strawberry, mocha, vanilla, chocolate, and salted caramel. It overall has a clean ingredient profile (minus cane sugar depending on who you ask) but is non-organic. The taste is described as “not great, but it does increase milk supply.” For the price, I personally would choose an organic protein option instead. Cost around: $40 The nutrition profile isn’t quite as impressive as the others. However if increasing milk supply is the need and others aren’t working, this is worth a try.

  • Protein: 17 grams
  • Servings per container: 20
  • Plant-based

Ora Organics

Ora Organics So Lean and So Clean is a plant-based protein powder made with organic ingredients. The main protein source comes from organic pea protein and rice protein. It is clean, vegan, non-GMO, whole-food ingredients sourced from USDA Organic certified farms. So Lean and So Clean is also free from gluten, dairy, fillers, sugar, and artificial ingredients. Ora Organics tests for heavy metals, which makes it a great choice for nursing mothers. The overall taste is good. The flavors are chocolate, vanilla, vanilla chai, and unflavored. Cost around $40 Find it here.

  • Protein: 21 gram
  • Servings per container: 20
  • Plant-based

Garden of Life Raw Protein

A personal favorite, this Garden of Life Raw Protein Powder is a safe option for the breastfeeding mother. The main protein ingredient is organic pea protein. It boasts an impressive nutritional profile with essential amino acids along with probiotics. It’s sweetened with erythritol (a fruit sugar alcohol that is considered safe for breastfeeding mothers) and stevia extract. The taste is good with chocolate being my favorite. and it has 22 grams of essential proteins per serving. Cost around: $35 Click here to find it.

I love the Garden of Life Raw Meal Replacements version, but I never use it as a meal replacement. One difference in the raw protein vs the meal replacement raw protein is the extra greens found in the meal replacement version. It covers better nutritionally than the regular protein powder. A breastfeeding mama shouldn’t be cutting meals out. The Garden of Life Raw Protein powders use complete proteins made from whole foods. It’s a great way to meet a mama’s nutritional needs. It also contains folate, the natural form of folic acid making it great for your growing baby. Cost around: $45 Get it here.

  • Protein: 20 grams
  • Servings per container: 20
  • Plant-based

Ancient Nutrition Bone Broth Protein Powder

Ancient Nutrition Bone Broth Protein Powder is a great option for healthy gut, joint, and protein needs. I was so skeptical when I was first introduced to bone broth protein powder. All I could think was it would taste like chicken noodle soup, but I was wrong. It’s actually a highly nutritious and good-tasting protein powder, and it is easy on the stomach. Bone broth protein is great for gut health. Flavors are chocolate, vanilla, and unflavored. Unflavored options allow you to mix it in all kinds of food, like oatmeal, smoothies, or even sauces. Cost around $40. Get it here.

  • Protein: 20 grams
  • Servings per container: 20
  • Bone Broth Protein with Collagen

Naked Whey

Naked Whey is a great option for a clean protein powder. With only three ingredients, whey, vanilla, and coconut sugar, it’s an impressive option. Their Grass-Fed Whey is sourced from small dairy farms in the US to bring you non-denatured whey packed full of essential amino acids. Cold-pressed insures no cross-contamination with heavy metals. Flavors include vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and unflavored. Cost around $94. See it here.

  • Protein: 25 grams
  • Servings per container: 61
  • Whey Based

Orgain Grass-Fed Collagen

Orgain Grass-Fed Collagen is a great option if you are already getting a good protein intake throughout your day, but need a bit of a boost. One thing I love about this product is it easily mixes in coffee or other smoothies. Nursing mothers can have up to two cups of caffeine per day, so no worries if you want it with some coffee. It is considered a clean product since it’s grass-fed, but it is not organic. Even so, I like this product. Cost around: $23. Find it here.

  • Protein: 10 grams
  • Servings per container: 45
  • Collagen Peptides (Bovine Based)

NorCal Organic Whey Protein

NorCal Organic Whey Protein is the first Non-GMO Project Verified, American Humane Association Certified, USDA Organic, Kosher Organic Whey Protein. It is non-denatured and cold processed. It comes unflavored which makes it good to mix in other foods or drinks you are already having and also in vanilla. The vanilla is sweetened with stevia. This is an organic and clean protein drink. Costs around $64 Get it here.

  • Protein: 21 grams
  • Servings per container: 36
  • Whey Based

How I made my regular protein powder “lactation beneficial.”

I nursed my last baby for two years. It was longer than I ever thought I would nurse, but it was right for him and me. I had been gifted a few protein powders, but I wanted something to help me maintain my milk supply especially when I was exclusively nursing. But I also absolutely wanted to use what had been given to me!

After some research, I settled on Maca Root. Research shows that it may increase breast milk supply and it can also help with hormone balance. Yes, please! I’ve also heard that it can help increase sex drive as well which can absolutely take a dip after childbirth. Side benefits are antioxidants, zinc, iron, and increased energy levels. The maca proved beneficial for me! I simply added a 1/2tsp to my protein shake and never struggled with milk supply. Ask your health care provider or lactation nurse if this could be right for you.

How are your emotions? Breastfeeding mothers often struggle with depression. Don’t miss these 13 natural ways to fight depression in motherhood.

The Best Safe Protein Powder for Breastfeeding Moms

I’ve been around long enough that I have tried many different brands and flavors of protein shakes. I have a favorite now, though I’m not opposed to bouncing back and forth between the ones I listed above. The most important things for me in a protein shake is that it has clean ingredients and I can handle the taste of it. Any of the above choices would be a good choice for a breastfeeding mother.

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Rachel is a Postpartum Nurse of 15+ years. She is also a Spinning Babies® CPE, Childbirth Educator, Published Author, and Recipe Creator. Rachel's passion is to encourage and empower women in all things related to motherhood.

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