Protein and Mom
Where the consumption of protein is concerned, “muscle-building” has many aspects. Here’s one that may not have crossed your mind. Did you know that a newborn baby is typically expected to double its weight by the age of 6 months? Let’s say that again: a baby will typically double its weight by 6 months. That’s a serious addition of mass that has little to do with a bench press.
Whether carrying a baby or breast-feeding a newborn, a new mother’s sufficient intake of protein is essential to provide the Anabolic, or “mass-adding” state that grows a baby, both inside and outside the womb. In an adult, the Anabolic state enables the adding of tissue mass through exercise. During pregnancy, the Catabolic/Anabolic cycle is all about breaking food molecules down and using them to build a baby.
Water and Protein = Baby
The human body is about 60% water. The next ingredient on the list? Protein, at around 20 – 22% of body mass. It’s intuitive that the building of a new baby is going to require more ingested protein. How much more? Between the Department of Agriculture’s recommendation and several university studies on the subject, the consensus is that, whether her little one is waving his arms around inside the womb, or breastfeeding outside the womb, a woman should take in right around 71 grams of protein daily—that’s about 30% more protein than recommended for an adult woman under ordinary circumstances. It’s vitally important that a baby get sufficient protein, and a new mother’s delicate constitution adds an unwanted angle to the issue.
Eat it? I Can’t Even Look At It!
While eating the right foods during and after childbirth is the natural focus of new moms, eating at all can be an issue for some. Foods that naturally carry protein into the body—meat, eggs, and dairy—can be literally difficult to stomach in the months prior to, and immediately following, childbirth. It is for this reason the medical establishment has long been amenable to the use of protein powder supplements to assure baby and mom are getting all they need in the harried days and nights of early child-rearing. On balance, plant-based vegan protein is considered the protein supplement option least burdened with caveats. The standard production methods of whey-based protein supplements leave a lot to be desired in the “no margin for error” environment of a new baby.
Many commercial whey-based powders on the market are treated with high heat, and the production machinery acid-flushed and cleaned with detergents, blunting the vitality of the nutrients present and allowing trace contaminants into the whey product. In dairy farming there is also the risk of commonly used recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) sneaking into the final protein product.
Vegan Protein = Easier on the Tummy
Lastly, a new mom augmenting her diet with a protein supplement in order to avoid meat-and-dairy stomach upset, will not be well-served by a whey-based protein. The well-known lactose side-effects of cow milk-based protein—gas, bloating, headaches—are not generally considered mommy-friendly additions to the child-bearing experience. Which really puts this fine point on the whole discussion:
Whether sharing your daily diet with baby through the womb, or later through breast-feeding, the little one is receiving the very stuff of life, and optimally as close to the source as possible. Whey protein is the result of the dairy cow’s own plant-based diet. Remove both the cow and her milk from the “protein supply chain” and you have the plant-based proteins that are the foundation of all essential amino acids needed for life and growth—and none of the bovine milk side-effects. The proper vegan protein supplement will also be GMO, gluten and soy-free.
A tall, cold glass of cow’s milk and a cookie is something your child may find delicious some day. For now, a vegan protein supplement assures that baby is getting the necessary building blocks to grow, and that the only cow in her new life is the one that jumps over the moon.