Protein and Pregnancy

June 01, 2021


The nutritional requirements for pregnancy are different from non-pregnant women.

A woman pregnant with one baby should increase her caloric intake by 300 calories per day. If she is expecting twins, increase by 600 calories per day, and for triplets, increase by 900 calories per day.

According to Mercy’s Rachel D. Adams, M.D., a Board Certified OB/GYN with Metropolitan OB/GYN in downtown Baltimore, pregnant women should also increase protein consumption to 70 to 100 grams a day, depending on body weight.

"Appropriate protein intake decreases complications such as pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes and even preterm birth," Dr. Adams said.

The use of protein powders or high-protein beverages is not encouraged because they do not lead to improved pregnancy outcomes, Dr. Adams said. Instead, a pregnant woman should try to obtain all nutrients needed through different foods in her diet.

To view Mercy OB/GYN Dr. Rachel Adams’ interview regarding protein, diet and pregnancy, click here.

About Mercy

Founded in 1874 in Downtown Baltimore by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a 183-licensed bed, acute care, university-affiliated teaching hospital. Mercy has been recognized as a high-performing Maryland hospital (U.S. News & World Report); has achieved an overall 5-Star quality, safety, and patient experience rating (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services); is A-rated for Hospital Safety (Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade); and is certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet™ hospital. Mercy Health Services is a not-for-profit health system and the parent company of Mercy Medical Center and Mercy Personal Physicians.

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