I’m Kim, a Registered Dietitian with a Masters in Public Health, and I’m anticipating the arrival of my second baby any day now! Some of you might remember me from my stories about how collagen helped me postpartum.
Today, I want to talk about why I’ve been taking collagen throughout this pregnancy.
Let me be clear here. I’m not a doctor. And I’m certainly not telling you what is best for your body or your pregnancy. But I know how much I longed for anecdotal, real-life, discussion and recommendations from other mamas out there through both my pregnancies. So I hope sharing what I’ve been doing and why will possibly help others of you out there tune into your own bodies and evaluate its needs. As with anything, have the discussion with your doctor or midwife and make your own informed decision, and don’t choose to do anything because it worked for someone else.
I was super cautious with my first pregnancy. I triple-checked every food label, avoided most supplements except my prenatal, and generally went by the book when it came to recommendations from my doctor around food, activity, etc. I felt so blessed to have the privilege of bringing new life into this world, and I was not willing to jeopardize anything for that.
I feel just as grateful this second time around. That said, I’ve been a bit more relaxed with my pregnancy. Don’t get me wrong, I still see a traditional OBGYN and generally play by the rules, but I’ve also learned to do a bit more of my own research and to listen and trust my body a bit more.
I’m a big believer in a healthy combination of Eastern + Western medicine. I see value in both, and am thankful for both. I also believe that our bodies ultimately tell us what they need.
Why am I telling you this? Because collagen is one of those supplements that many conventional doctors will likely not give you the green light to use during your pregnancy. (Most shy away from supplements in the diet beyond a traditional prenatal vitamin). And as a healthy pregnant woman, I was a little uncertain about using it until I educated myself about what it is, and why your body (or my body at least) actually really would benefit to taking it while pregnant.
With my increasing knowledge and regular use of collagen after my first baby I felt more than confident that I would continue to take it during my second pregnancy. I was confident it would not only safe for me and baby, but would also be advantageous to my body.
1. MY SKIN
I like to think I’m not a vain person, but let's be honest here - no one wishes for stretch marks, including me. The skin over that growing belly is constantly (and rapidly) stretching and expanding. While butters and oils are helpful to keep skin hydrated and smooth, they won’t prevent stretch marks. The amino acids present in collagen are ultimately what you need. They promote skin elasticity and help improve skin moisture levels, smoothness and suppleness from the inside out.
2. INCREASED NUTRIENT DEMANDS
When you’re pregnant you’re sharing all your nutrients with that growing babe. And baby does not care if you don’t give your body adequate levels of said nutrients - your body will pull them from stores you already have to meet those demands - further depleting mama. Collagen is the most abundant form of protein in the body and the basic building block of our cells and tissues. It supplies essential proteins that not only your body benefits from but also your baby can use to grow.
3. MY JOINTS & BONES
As the baby grows more and more pressure is put on your joints. Collagen peptides promote joint health by helping to repair joint matrix degeneration and improve long-term joint comfort and mobility, as well as helping to restore bone mineral density and support healthy bone metabolism. There’s a LOT of stress put on our joints as we carry the weight of babe and ensuring I am supplying my body with adequate nutrients is essential to me. That and I hope to keep up with my babies for many years to come (not to mention continue to run for many more years!) and ensuring that today I have healthy joints and strong bones is a critical component of self-care for me.
4. MY HAIR
Your hair already (usually) looks amazing when you’re pregnant, but mine has been looking especially good this pregnancy! And, I’m hoping that the continued use of withinUs TruMarine™ Collagen during my postpartum care helps reduce that dreaded 3-month postpartum hair loss.
I’ll remind you that this is all my own opinion based on what has worked for me. I am not a doctor and can certainly not recommend what’s best for you and your body / baby. My hope however, is that if you are pregnant and have questions about collagen, some anecdotal stories and reasoning from a fellow mama will help lead you to your own research and decisions.