Whey Protein and Breastfeeding

While a normal consumption of whey protein through food is probably safe for most women who are breastfeeding and their infants, it may not be safe to take whey protein supplements while breastfeeding. Whey protein is found in many baby formulas, but it may not be safe to use if your baby has a severe cow's milk protein allergy. If you are taking whey protein and breastfeeding at the same time, talk to your healthcare provider.

An Overview of Whey Protein and Breastfeeding

Consuming whey protein in normal amounts found in foods (obtained through a well-balanced diet) is safe for most women who are breastfeeding and their infants. However, it is always a good idea to check with your healthcare provider before taking any dietary supplement if you are breastfeeding.

Is Whey Protein Safe While Breastfeeding?

Whey protein is considered safe for use while breastfeeding. After all, whey protein is an ingredient found in many baby formulas. In some situations, though, women may want to avoid whey protein while breastfeeding. For instance, if your baby has a severe cow's milk protein allergy, it is probably best to avoid most whey protein supplements. Replacing milk with whey protein hydrolysate products (in which the proteins have been partially broken down) might be useful for such women, as studies suggest that this can help reduce allergic reactions in the infant.
If a breastfeeding woman chooses to take a whey protein supplement, it is extremely important that she chooses a high-quality supplement from a trustworthy manufacturer. Whey protein is regulated as a food, not a medication (and is, therefore, not subject to strict rules and regulations).

Talking With Your Healthcare Provider

You should talk with your healthcare provider about whey protein and breastfeeding. Each woman's situation is different, and you and your healthcare provider understand your situation best. After considering what you want and expect, as well as your current health situation, you and your healthcare provider can make a shared decision about whey protein and breastfeeding that is right for you.
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