Pregnancy is a time to get really particular about what you’re ingesting. From the cleanest prenatal vitamin you can find to ten months of minimal caffeine and zero sushi, you’re taking precautions. And rightfully so! So what does that mean for your favorite collagen supplement? Can you take collagen while you’re pregnant? You certainly can—and here's how to choose one that is formulated for pregnancy.
- Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, but production can decline or needs may increase based on body changes, age and lifestyle choices.
- During pregnancy and post recovery, protein needs are especially high, and collagen protein is a useful way to boost daily intake. Collegen protein offers specific benefits during pregnancy, including supporting skin elasticity and even reducing symptoms of morning sickness by balancing blood sugar.
- It’s really important to choose a clean collagen that’s made without additives or unneeded nutrients to protect your growing baby. The collagen you take for your skin and hair may not be the collagen you want while you’re pregnant.
What is Collagen?
Whether or not you’ve taken collagen, which is often touted for improving skin, nail and hair health, your body is already putting this protein to use. Collagen (1) is the most abundant protein in the body, which means it’s used literally everywhere—it’s in your skin, muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons, organs, blood vessels, and the list goes on. It’s a main building block for all sorts of things, and our body works diligently to supply it. As early as 15 weeks into gestation, our bodies begin using the foods we eat (or mama’s eating) to produce collagen, a process that begins to slow with age. Collagen production can also be slowed by poor lifestyle choices, like smoking, not enough sleep, minimal exercise, and even too much sun exposure.
During pregnancy, protein needs skyrocket. Mamas and growing babies alike need protein to build all sorts of important things. Mothers will use it to handle the demands of growing an entire little person, while babies need protein to grow new tissues, support a healthy immune system, proper muscle function, making hormones, and other key things. At birth, babies whose mothers have had sufficient amounts of protein are more likely to have a healthy weight.
The bottom line is that protein during pregnancy is super important, and the right collagen supplement can be an easy way to keep that daily protein intake high.
Collagen Protein During Pregnancy
Take it from the experts—here’s what the authors of a 2020 clinical study (2) on collagen through the life stages have to say: “Collagen supplementation during and after pregnancy (in particular during breastfeeding) can be a key beneficial support to the immense amount of changes that the body goes through during that period, supporting a hydrated and more elastic skin architecture, making it healthier and stronger, especially post-partum. It has also multiple benefits for joints, ligaments, muscle which will help carrying the baby during the pregnancy period and help alleviate muscle soreness and injuries.”
Clearly, collagen is a great idea during this particular life stage. But here comes that caveat—the collagen you take for your skin and hair may not be the collagen you want while you’re pregnant. Some collagen supplements include additives that are best avoided during this timeframe. Preconception and pregnancy are times to keep things super clean, after all, so it’s important to choose your collagen with care. Beli’s Prenatal Collagen Protein Boost is thoughtfully sourced in recognition of the importance of safety and efficacy during this time, and it’s an easy way to benefit from extra protein during every stage of pregnancy. A few other standout features include:
- It’s ethically derived from grass-fed, pasture-raised, hormone-free bovine sources, making for a protein that’s free of hormones, gluten, dairy, and soy
- It’s hydrolyzed, meaning the collagen has been broken down into tiny particles that the body is able to properly use
- Each scoop serving has 9 grams of collagen protein, and all you need is one a day to reap the benefits (just remember, consistency is key!)
- It’s completely flavorless and blends seamlessly into smoothies, soups, stews, batters, coffee, even plain old water, making it a good option if you’re navigating morning sickness
Just a scoop a day of Beli’s Prenatal Collagen Protein Boost not only ups your protein intake in general, which has its own benefits, it can help with all of the following:
- Supporting skin elasticity (3). Collagen can help support all of the stretching your skin will do to accommodate that bump (and that impressive new bosom). Plus, it may even help prevent stretch marks, too. Internally too, collagen helps build up the uterine walls to support a pregnancy, which makes it really helpful to women undergoing fertility treatments. They may be more susceptible to uterine lining issues as a side effect of certain fertility drugs.
- Enhancing cervical fluid. Collagen fibers make up a big part of the cervical structure (that’s why it’s so strong!), and additional collagen can help ensure it’s as strong enough to close up properly and protect your growing baby
- Reducing pregnancy symptoms like nausea and morning sickness, constipation, and anxiety. Collagen protein as part of your daily diet can help balance blood sugar and may also help regulate metabolism and hormone production.
Researchers from one study (4) about collagen during pregnancy say it well: “Collagen exerts a critical role during a successful pregnancy.”
The Bottom Line
Before taking supplements of any kind, it’s always a good idea to run the idea past your doctor. That’s especially true during pregnancy. A great collagen protein can make it easier to enjoy a healthier pregnancy, but the caveat is the quality of the collagen itself. The bottom line? During pregnancy, you want an ultra-clean, additive-free collagen supplement, and that may be different from what you used to support your skin, nail and hair health before those two pink lines made their debut. Fortunately, that’s exactly what you’ll get with Beli’s new Prenatal Collagen Protein Boost.
Collagen and Your Body: What to Know. (2022). https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/ss/slideshow-collagen-and-your-body
Skin collagen through the lifestages: importance for skin health and beauty. (2020). https://parjournal.net/article/view/3863
Bolke, L. et al. (2019). A Collagen Supplement Improves Skin Hydration, Elasticity, Roughness, and Density: Results of a Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Blind Study. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6835901/Shi, J. et al. (2020). Collagen at the Maternal-Fetal Interface in Human Pregnancy. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7294936/?report=reader