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protein while pregnant...

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
I know the expectation for being pregnant with twins is ~110 grams a day. WOW! Has anyone had a healthy full term twins (37+ weeks) on less? I feel overwhelmed by this number. Most days I am about 70-90 g and eating a vegetarian diet (with dairy and eggs)...
post #2 of 30
I know what you mean. Some days I struggle to eat enough protein. I have been 'mostly veggie' for 12 years, but have definitely had to include meat in my diet now that I am carrying twins. I knew that I would not be really good and devoted to cooking and eating tons of legumes and beans, esp b/c my first trimester was rough and, well, legumes and beans make me gassy and that's the last thing I need more of right now!!! And overconsumption of dairy tends to make my joints inflamed, so I try not to have more than 3 servings of milk products per day, either.
A 9 oz chicken breast has 63 grams of lean, high quality protein... and I can easily eat that amount in one meal, so including meat in my diet has been the best route for me to take. Also, I never before would spend money on smoothies and other drinks like that, but there is a good whole fruit smoothie place that just opened near my work, and they can disguise 30 grams of protein in a small smoothie, which has also really helped me.
I'll be interested to see other responses.
post #3 of 30
Auctually the Barbara Luke reccomendations(and supported by Elizabeth Nble) for a twin pregnancy are 3,500 calories and 176grams of protien per day. so 70-90 is WELL short of that.

The RDDI for a non-pg woman is 2,200 calories and 50 grams protien

Pregnant women (sngleton) is 2,500 calories and 60 grams of protien.

My daily goal was 176 and i made 145 mandatory. I carried to 39 weeks. It's not jsut about full term, but healthy weight and optimal placental function.

Can you add a quality protien shake? Whole Foods are the ideal source for quality protien but there are some good products out there that may help you.
post #4 of 30
: I was aiming for over 100... but 176?!

Please keep tips coming!!!
post #5 of 30
I ate 120 grams of protein daily (literally kept track of every gram) and it was hard. (I got to that number with the Luke book and in consult with a nutritionist and my ob.) I carried to 39 weeks and had 7 lb 4 oz babies (each)

I started vegetarian, but it was nearly impossible for me, so I added meat (actually started craving it at one point).

I ate meat, tons of nuts, eggs, and dairy. Also added a soy protein shake nearly every day (I had a concoction that was a good 30 grams of protein in one glass, so it was good especially at the end when I couldn't fit quantities of food in my tummy.)

Adding a shake might be the easiest way for you to make a big change quickly.
post #6 of 30
I read the Luke book as soon as I found out I'm having twins, but I am simply physically unable to consume that many calories. I just can't do it. I keep trying. And protein? Well, I was a vegan, but immediately added in eggs and dairy (actually I added a small amount of dairy in my first trimester), and I do eat a lot of nuts and beans, but I'm sure I'm not coming close to those recommendations. I'm not keeping track, though.

I can only do my best. The babies seem to be growing quite well, so hopefully that means something. I have a friend who carried her boys to a scheduled c-section at 38 weeks (both were transverse and wouldn't shift) and she said she didn't eat nearly the recommended amounts and didn't gain as much weight as Luke would recommend. Her boys were 6 pounds each (and her older DD wasn't much bigger as a singleton).

So while I'm not dismissing the recommendations, I just can't feel too guilty about not meeting them. I keep trying, but I can't do more than that. Guilt can't be good for the babies either

I'd love to know what kinds of protein shakes y'all are using. I looked around but was completely clueless about what to get.
post #7 of 30
Okay, now I'm not feeling so overwhelmed or guilty!!! Most days I do get around 120 grams.

As far as protein powders go, I have a vanilla soy Whole Foods brand that is 24 grams per scoop. I'm sure a protein mix would be better than straight soy, but this one isn't too expensive and does the trick. Just make sure you blend it for a long time with other ingredients that aren't too thick, otherwise the smoothie will be too thick and gross to drink
post #8 of 30
I did a food log to keep track of protein and calories for just a month. That helped me understand just how much was in what. If by dinner time I saw that I was short, I'd eat more. It was rare that I could get in more than 120g of protein. The protein shake was what helped me keep up. That and cottage cheese. I rarely ate meat. I also had cashews but my sensitive gums made me give those up. I carred to almost 38 weeks.
post #9 of 30
Thanks for this thread! I need to stay on top of my protein intake, and the bigger I get, the more of a challenge this becomes.

In addition to everything else, I try to eat 2 eggs/day and have added cottage cheese. I have a recipe for crepes that takes 2 eggs + 1/2 cup milk and yields 2-3 crepes, which I stuff with cottage cheese. Lately I've had to add a bit of maple syrup to make it more appetizing -- even favorites get old after a while!

Some days I just ask dh to buy me some meat, either gyros or a good quality hamburger, and shovel it in. I don't even enjoy it anymore--just looking at it as feeding the babies.

I was told by a nutritionist to not overdo flax or soy, because both have estrogenic qualities. Take that with a grain of salt. I'm sure at some level the benefits of the protein outweigh the risks. At least that's what I tell myself when I get a McMuffin (no soy, of course, but it's McDonalds for heaven's sake!).

Other fun protein sources: peanut butter on bananas, cheese on whole wheat crackers, homemade chocolate pudding.

ok, gotta go eat some more...
post #10 of 30
I made sure I got at LEAST 200 gms of protien a day while pregnant. It was VERY hard, but so worth it to have big healthy babies. I ate a lot of meat and beans, all day long.
post #11 of 30
So disappointed that my attempt to reply didn't work. So, here's my post in brief:
Protein is hard, and boring, but I believe it's important. As many mamas here have said, just eat, even when you don't want to. Some quick ideas:
Protein powder, yogurt, banana, frozen fruit, milk. (or use silken tofu, maybe add spinach, or do it all). had a friend suggest almond butter in smoothie.
Mrs. May's nut clusters dipped in peanut butter
Keeping boiled eggs on hand and eating them a lot, and mixing with tuna and cheese on whole grain bread.
Trader Joe's organic cocoa powder (add extra, go easy on sugar, and add extra milk) 7 grams protein to powder, and with milk equals about 15 g protein and sooooo tasty (especially to carb lovers like myself)
Barley in a veggie soup, maybe add beef
Chicken sausage and 3 eggs scrambled (sausage has 20 g protein, and each egg 8????
I know you're a veggie, I used to be and can appreciate not wanting to eat meat. I have found meat helpful, though in this boring diet
Also, I wonder if vegans' bodies don't adapt themselves to less protein. I really think a vegan diet is a perfect diet, yet I would probably be inclined to change it during a twin pregnancy, just because I wouldn't know the outcome.
Also, build your body up! My friend had twins, and couldn't eat in first trimester. She went to 37 weeks with 6 pd. babies, but could only nurse 3 months and got sick A LOT the first year (I think she was sooooo depleted).
post #12 of 30
I don't know how much I got a day but I ate at least 2 omega 3 fortified eggs a day, usually scrambled with whole milk and cheese. God bless my DH and all the cooking he did. I *craved* flilet mignon and would eat it as much as possible, almost daily. It was seriously odd. Chicken and even ground beef turned my stomach. I normally hate milk but again craved it and drank tons of chocolate milk. Dr. Luke said Snickers bars were ok so I had a few of those. : I couldn't eat large quanities by about 26 weeks so I was glad I gained early on. Mine were born via scheduled c-section with no signs of labor at 37w5d 6lbs 12 and 7lbs 6. I credit the early weight gain, eggs, and all the filets! Too bad I can't afford them now!
post #13 of 30
Thread Starter 
Would you mind posting your crepe recipe? TIA...
post #14 of 30
Even as a self described protein junkie it's tough to get that much. I am making sure i have a couple hard boiled eggs, a couple glasses of milk, some cheese, and a whey protein shake every day on top of my regular eating. Everything you eat think of what you could add to add some protein. LIke if you are having fruit add yogurt, or a soy taco add some cheese and sour cream etc. I also use quinoa as a side a lot and think i am going to do a tabullah type salad with it. Oh that reminds me - i've been eating lots of hummus and feta sandwiches. I also munch on pretzels made with protein powder. Good luck!
post #15 of 30
I aimed for 175 grams each day and kept track of my food/water intake daily. I usually got around 150 grams each day, on average. 110 grams is really not enough for a twin pregnancy IMO. Check out "When You're Having Twins, Triplets, Or Quads" by Barbara Luke. She has great recommendations for meals in there.
post #16 of 30
I'm a vegetarian too and aimed for 100-120g a day. I didn't count calories. My twins were born at 37 weeks 4 days and weighed 6 lbs 14 oz & 7 lbs 13 oz. I ate as well as I felt I could. Once I knew it was twins (26 weeks) I really tried to step it up but basically if I forced as much food into me as I'd have to to get that many grams of protein in, I literally would have thrown up. I was making myself horribly sick trying that. Instead I took the less popular approach (around here) of following my body's lead and trying to make every bite count. Well, I *did* drink a fair amount of chocolate milk (I can't stand plain milk) to boost protein at the end of the day if I was lacking.
post #17 of 30
After reading the last post about "not following your body's lead" as the popular approach around here, I felt I needed to clarify what I said. I think, above all, you must always follow YOUR body's lead. I would never eat to the point I made myself sick. I am, by nature, a big eater, but the foods that I am focusing on aren't exactly what I would eat "naturally". But, I look at it as reprogramming my thinking, and trying to see what I am eating as good. But, quite frankly, a big cheese pizza every day would seem perfect to me normally, but I have found that I feel nauseated when I eat my "carby" diet. I have sooooo much more energy than normal, and have had Bell's palsy for 3 1/2 years, and it is now at it's best ever.
I am a HUGE believer in intuition, and I find women to be especially gifted in this. So, I guess everyone could give you a laundry list of protein ideas, but ultimately, talk to your babies, get quiet, get in touch with yourself and see what it is that your body needs to grow these babies, and what the babies need. Technology, and research all have their place, but ultimately, I think nothing beats intuition. My best to you!
post #18 of 30
i think there is a balance to be struck between intuition and research. personaly i found Barbara Luke's results from her clinic compelling. They spoke to my intuition. Her statistics for avoidance of preterm labor and pre-e, rate of full term multiples and high average birth weights was impressive. i did use her guidelines as my daily goals. mine were born at 39w5d and were 7lbs 4oz and 8lbs 6oz. reaching her protein goals can be challenging. sometimes in order to keep from choking yourself with large amounts of food you have to get creative. some would work with a veg diet.

here are some "sneakies" as i call them, for upping your protein intake without gagging yourself with an insane amount of food.

- you can also stir eggs into hot rice and hot soup (works well with chicken soup, makes a sort of "egg drop soup"- stir soup while adding beaten eggs and hot broth will cook it)
-stir milk into your egg mixture when making scrambled eggs
-make french toast
-brewer's yeast on popcorn or anything else you like it with
-add ricotta or cottage cheese to your regular spaghetti sauce recipe
-buy egg noodles or the protein enriched pasta vs. plain
-add beans to meat dishes (making chicken & rice, add a few scoops of beans to the mix)
-eat bacon/sausage/corned beef hash with your morning eggs
-add powdered milk/yogurt/cottage cheese/cheese to pancake/waffle batter, bread dough, oatmeal, grits, etc.
-asian themed rice dish- stir soy sauce and tahini into hot rice
-add soy flour to pancake/waffle batter, french toast, bread dough, oatmeal, grits, etc.
-add ground almond meal (or other ground nuts) to anything you might think it would taste good in-- lots of possibilities here.
post #19 of 30
ok, I'm convinced, and I'm eating.

But ladies, tell me, is there any way to get through this without growing enormous thighs? I'm keeping up with Dr. Luke's weight gain recommendations, and am proud to say that most of it seems to be going to my belly/babies. Until about two weeks ago. I'm in thunder thighs category now. I'm sure it happened gradually (maybe) but now there's no denying it. Tell me thigh "insulation" comes off with breastfeeding!!
post #20 of 30
For likeniceweather....the Crepe Recipe:

(This recipe yields 4-5 crepes. I cut it in half but keep both eggs for a single serving of 2-3 crepes.)

3/4 c. flour
1 t. salt
1 c. milk
2 eggs
2 T. sugar
1 T. melted butter
1/2 t. vanilla extract

Put the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Gradually whisk in milk. Whisk in eggs, one at a time, then whisk in remaining ingredients. Cover and let rest in fridge for 1 hour [not sure how important this step is].

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Melt a pat of butter and swirl around to lightly coated.

Add 1/3 c. batter and swirl in circular pattern to coat pan with batter. Cook for about 1 minute or until starting to golden/brown, then flip and cook 45 seconds to 1 minute longer. Remove to plate. Repeat with remaining batter.

You can fill these crepes with anything, but cut out the sugar if you use a savory filling.


[Half recipe with both eggs + cottage cheese = about 25 grams protein. Not bad for a tasty breakfast.]
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