Many skincare enthusiasts and beauty experts love using collagen in their self-care routines: from topical application of collagen-loaded essences and creams to ingestible collagen supplements. This is due to the reparative effect of collagen in our skin and other body organs. But, is collagen safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women?
In this article, we will discuss the role of collagen in the body and the effects of collagen in pregnancy and breastfeeding.
The Role of Collagen in the Body
Among the most abundant fibrous proteins, collagen executes a myriad of mechanical functions like constituting the major part of tendons and ligaments in our body. It is present in our skin, cartilage, arteries, and many others. Research studies reveal that our collagen has over 50 kinds of collagen and collagen-like proteins. All of them have specific roles in our system but their primary role is allowing the cells to form organs, making them strong and resilient.
A report shows that about 54% of more than 16-year-old women in the UK agreed that a good diet had an impact on the skin while vitamin and supplement users were also increasingly interested in beauty products. On the other hand, 22% of consumers in the US had obtained a beauty supplement for hair, skin, or nails. This proves the power of collagen in enhancing our beauty.
Moreover, many research studies have shown that collagen has antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, and antitumor effects in our bodies. It can also improve mood and reduce anxiety.
Effects of Collagen in Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
According to Practical Guide to High-Risk Pregnancy and Delivery, collagen is produced in substantial amounts in the fibroblast layer of the amnion or the outer membrane of the placenta early in pregnancy but its synthesis decreases progressively after 20 weeks. This is because of the increased fibroblastic production of hyaluronic acid as the water content of the cervix increases.
Several nutritional scientists explained that collagen is crucial during pregnancy because of the shortage of glycine. When collagen and elastin increase in the expanding uterus and stretching skin, pregnancy makes a higher demand for glycine. In turn, glycine may become a restricting factor for protein synthesis in the fetus’s development. That’s why it is important to have a sufficient amount of glycine.
So, how can pregnant women get adequate amounts of glycine?
Pregnant women need to consume collagen-rich foods like bone broth, organ meat, chicken feet, etc. If you are vegan, you can take collagen from plant-based foods such as soy products (tempeh, tofu, and soy protein), black beans, kidney beans, legumes, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, cashew nuts, and many more.
Yes, collagen protein is a superior source of glycine along with other amino acids! But what about breastfeeding women? Collagen can also be consumed throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding because many pregnant and breastfeeding women have a glycine insufficiency.
Health Benefits of Taking Collagen Supplements During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
In this section, we provide you some information about the health benefits of consuming collagen supplements during your pregnancy or breastfeeding:
- Helps your skin retain its elasticity which prevents stretch marks.
- Encourages body recovery after childbirth.
- Maintain your glow especially in your hair, skin, and nails.
- Strengthens your joints, alleviates aches and pains, and protects your joints from injury.
- Strengthens and repairs bones under pressure especially during labor.
- Boosts your energy levels and metabolism.
- Heals your gut and digestion.
- Supports the liver in detoxification.
Selecting Collagen Supplements
Hydrolyzed collagen in tablets or powder, collagen tablets, or collagen powder are some of the common forms of collagen supplements out there. Take note that supplementing collagen has side effects including high calcium levels and hypersensitivity reactions. Ask your OB-GYN about taking collagen supplements. Some collagen supplements are derived from marine life. So, you need to be extra careful if you have a shellfish allergy or you can also try bovine collagen while you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
At BlueBeeOne, we have our Sakura Collagen Supplement Skin Vitamin which contains fish collagen, soft-shelled turtle extract, swallow’s nest extract, and shark fin extract along with glycine, L-theanine, and L-tryptophan, vital components for increased collagen production.
Taking collagen is safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women! When it comes to the overall health of your unborn child or your newborn one, taking supplements like collagen is a great way to support the nutritional needs of your little one, especially to improve his or her growth and development. Plus, it can help your pregnant or breastfeeding body to recover after childbirth while strengthening your skin, hair, nails, bones, joints, and many other organs. Still, it is important to consult this matter with your doctor.