Wondering if you can take collagen while breastfeeding? Here’s everything you need to know, plus other helpful nursing tips for the first-time mom!
If you’re a first time mom and breastfeeding, you’ll likely have plenty of questions about what’s safe to put in your body.
After months of watching your diet while pregnant, you can relax a little bit and start eating things like sushi or having a glass of wine.
However, there are still some things to watch out for.
A breastfeeding woman passes important nutrients to her baby through her breast milk. But, it’s also possible to expose a baby to harmful substances.
So what about collagen?
Here’s everything you need to know about taking collagen while breastfeeding, plus other helpful breastfeeding tips for new moms!
Can you take collagen while breastfeeding?
Yes, it is safe to take collagen while breastfeeding and it’s also safe for pregnant women.
Additionally, collagen intake can actually benefit women before, during, and after pregnancy.
But, even though it’s safe, you should still consult with your doctor. They can provide recommendations and instructions based on your unique medical history and needs.
They’ll also make sure it won’t interact with any other medications or supplements you might be taking. It’s easy to exceed the daily limits for certain vitamins and minerals if you don’t pay attention to the labels.
RELATED: Can I Use Vicks While Breastfeeding?
What is collagen?
Collagen is an essential protein the human body uses to build bones, tendons, skin, blood vessels, and connective tissues. In fact, it’s the most abundant protein in the body.
Our bodies produce collagen protein using essential amino acids, Vitamin C, and copper. And we also get collagen through some of the foods we eat like fish, meat, bone broth, and egg yolks.
However, collagen production slows as we age, which may lead to sagging skin and other breakdowns in the body.
Luckily, collagen supplementation can help maintain the body’s bone health and skin health.
What are the benefits of collagen for breastfeeding women?
Breastfeeding or not, women who take collagen after birth may see improvements in several postpartum body changes like:
- Improved skin elasticity
- A shortened healing process for c-section scars and stretch marks
- Decreased joint pain
- Reduced postpartum hair loss
- Protection from decreased bone density
- Improved digestive system health
- And it may help tighten your stomach
Breast Milk Production
Collagen can also help with breast milk production. Women who exclusively breastfeed require a daily intake of between 1.7 to 1.9 grams of protein per kg of body weight daily. And a normal diet may not provide all of the protein needed.
A good daily collagen supplement can make up for protein gaps and ensure breast milk is properly nutritious.
And make sure you drink plenty of water! This is another essential element for adequate breast milk production.
Postpartum sleep is hard to come by, but collagen may help. Glycine, an amino acid, found in collagen can promote a better quality of sleep. And it may also improve neurological functioning.
Two things new moms definitely need!
The Best Collagen Supplements
There are a few different forms of collagen you can take while breastfeeding including powders, capsules, and chewables.
And the best products are free of or low in fillers, binders, and artificial sweeteners.
There are also multiple types of collagen to choose from.
Types of Collagen
While there are 28 total known types of collagen only 5 are used to make supplements.
These are types I, II, III, V, and X. And they come in various forms that are useful to the body:
- Hydrolyzed collagen (collagen peptides, collagen powder, collagen hydrolysate, and hydrolyzed gelatin). These are the easiest to absorb by the digestive system.
- Gelatin (the basic form of collagen).
- Undenatured Type Type II Collagen (UC-II) (the least broken down and hardest to absorb).
- Bovine collagen = Types I, III & X: Used for skin elasticity and hydration
- Marine collagen (from fish skin) = Types 1 & II: Believed to improve skin and cartilage health.
- Chicken Collagen = Types II & X: Helps with joint, cartilage, and ligament health and inflammatory response.
- Eggshell Membrane Collagen = Types I & V: Helps with joint, cartilage, and ligament health and inflammatory response.
If you don’t want to take a collagen supplement while breastfeeding, you can also adjust your diet to include more healthy bovine, fish, and chicken protein.
Certain vegetables may also increase the body’s natural production of collagen.
Here is a list of foods to try:
- Citrus fruits
- Red and yellow vegetables like bell peppers
- White tea
- Leafy greens
- Chinese knotweed
Popular Collagen Products and Brands
Here’s a list of the top 5 collagen products in 2022:
- Live Conscious Collagen Peptides
- Essential Elements Collagen Peptides
- Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides
- Hair La Vie Foundation Beauty Elixer
- SkinnyFit Super Youth Collagen Powder
Side Effects of Collagen While Breastfeeding
Side effects for collagen are mild if they occur at all. And the most common side effects include bloating, heartburn, and a feeling of fullness.
Some people may also experience constipation or reduced appetite. But, this is rare.
And those with a sensitivity to glutamic acid may have mild headaches or trouble falling asleep if it’s taken close to bedtime.
NOTE: If you have food allergies, make sure those items aren’t listed on the label.
RELATED: Can you take probiotics while breastfeeding?
More Breastfeeding Tips for New Moms
Now that we’ve covered collagen and breastfeeding, here are some other helpful tips for new moms!
There are so many important things to know about breastfeeding that you may feel overwhelmed. Like how to get a good latch, the best positions to use, how long it takes to refill breastmilk, and so on.
Thankfully, you can find lots of great information from resources like these 40 breastfeeding tips or your hospital’s lactation consultant.
- A good nipple cream like Lansinoh Lanolin
- Disposable nursing pads or reusable nursing pads
- A silicone breast pump
- An electric pump like the speCtra or Elvie pump
- Nursing tanks and tops
- Underwire-free nursing bras
- Breastmilk storage bags and bottles
- A good nursing pillow
- Nipple shields
- A Nursing cover that hooks around the neck
You should also keep taking your prenatal vitamins! These are important for women’s health throughout their childbearing years even when you’re not pregnant.
Yes. It’s safe to take marine collagen while breastfeeding. However, there isn’t much research on marine collagen and its potential benefits.
Both collagen and biotin are safe to take while breastfeeding. However, you should pay attention to all of the ingredients included in the product. Make sure they fit within the daily limits for your overall diet.
Yes. Collagen and prenatal vitamins can be taken at the same time. However, you should make sure you don’t exceed the daily limits of each of the vitamins and minerals on the labels.
Studies show that you can safely take 2.5 to 15 grams of collagen per day. Make sure you check the nutrition label on the supplemental collagen you decide to take to make sure the amount you’re taking is in a healthy range.
The Bottom Line
Here’s the bottom line on collagen while breastfeeding:
- It’s safe for breastfeeding women to take collagen supplements in their various forms. This includes powders, capsules, and chewables.
- There are multiple types and sources of collagen. But hydrolyzed collagen (collagen peptides, collagen powder, collagen hydrolysate, and hydrolyzed gelatin) is the best way for the body to absorb collagen.
- Try to find a supplement with the least amount of fillers, binders, and artificial sweeteners.
It’s always a good idea to run a new supplement or medication by your doctor before use. And make sure you pay attention to all of the ingredients listed on any products you.
Failing to do so, may cause you to exceed the daily limits for certain vitamins and minerals.
If this post was helpful, be sure to check out these additional resources for the first time mom:
- 15 Must-Know Newborn Baby Hacks
- Can you donate plasma while breastfeeding?
- Newborn Sleep Tips For New Moms
- The Ultimate List of Mom Hacks
Did I answer all your questions about taking collagen while breastfeeding? Let me know if I missed anything in the comments!