If you did a brief search, you’d already know that high-mercury seafood, cigarettes, and alcohol are off-limits during pregnancy. But what about the collagen powder you’ve been adding to your granola to keep your skin dewy; hair luscious, and nails healthy? While you should always check with your doctor when starting a new supplement, collagen supplements are generally considered safe during pregnancy. They can be beneficial, even. To find out why (and how, precisely), continue reading.
Why are collagen supplements safe to take during pregnancy?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body. It is one of the primary building blocks of your bones, skin, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Now, if collagen plays this crucial role in your body, then it'll also play the same role in your little one. So, there it is… The underlying reason why collagen supplements are considered safe for consumption during pregnancy. Your body (not to mention, your baby’s body) is already made of it and naturally produces it from the foods you eat.
Benefits of taking collagen supplements during pregnancy
#1 – Boosts your protein intake
Because protein is a vital building block your body uses to create skin, muscle, hair and bones, you must increase your intake to ensure your baby's normal growth and the maintenance of your body's tissues. And how much protein do you need? Roughly 70 to 100 grams, depending on your total body weight. As you can imagine, stomaching this much meat and dairy–especially when dealing with pregnancy-related nausea–is a challenge. This is where collagen supplements come in. Collagen powder is a great (and easy) way of supplementing your diet, so you hit the recommended daily intake of protein.
#2 – Supports skin elasticity
You'll typically start to notice stretch marks (that can be red, purple, or silver in appearance) when you're somewhere around 13 to 21 weeks pregnant. These are tiny tears in the supporting layers of tissue under your skin. Although getting stretch marks with pregnancy is pretty much inevitable, you can minimise them to a certain degree by keeping the skin around your belly soft and supple. But… How? Well, the secret lies in collagen supplements.
Collagen is responsible for the elasticity of your skin. And the more elastic your skin is, the better your skin can cope with the rapid stretching of your belly during pregnancy. Meaning that you’d want to boost your body’s supply of collagen. Good news? A 2014 study showed that women who took a supplement containing 2.5 to 5 grams of collagen for 8 weeks experienced a significant increase in skin elasticity and less skin dryness compared to those who did not take the supplement. Now, you know what to do!
#3 – Strengthens joints and ligaments
Because your little one needs nutrients and energy, you have to eat a little more to provide for his/her needs. And that often translates into weight gain–anywhere between 11.5 to 16 kg. That's quite a bit of additional load to carry daily! This, in turn, can add pressure on your bones, ligaments, and other parts of your musculoskeletal system–possibly leading to inflammation and premature wear-and-tear damage to cartilage, resulting in pain.
To better cope with the inevitable increase in weight, you want to keep your joints as healthy as possible. As for how, well, you’ve probably already guessed it by now. Collagen supplements. Researchers believe that collagen peptides can help increase collagen synthesis in the connective tissues and/or modulate the inflammatory response, which keeps your joints in tip-top condition. Also, if you’re already dealing with joint pain? A 2012 study found that participants who took 2 grams of collagen daily for 70 days experienced a significant reduction in joint pain than those who did not.
Looking for a high-quality collagen supplement?
Not all collagen supplements are made equal. More likely than not, the ones from The Collagen Co. will be better than the one you have right now. In addition to packing all 3 collagen types you need to support you on your exciting pregnancy journey (at 5 potent grams each, no less!), our Premium Collagen Peptides also boasts 80 mg of vitamin C, which is essential for natural collagen production. And with our delicious flavours… These will be differences you'll not only feel, but also taste. Make the switch.
Gene Lim is the brains behind Thrive With Science, an evidence-based fitness and nutrition website that helps women workout and eat smarter. She writes extensively for health and wellness brands and enjoys communicating science in a simple, lively, and actionable way. She has made it her goal to help people approach fitness and nutrition in an enjoyable and sustainable manner.