The Lowdown on Collagen In Pregnancy And Postpartum
Pregnancy can often be a mix of pure joy coupled with complete overwhelm and all the emotions in between. Seeking advice on what vitamins to take is often part and parcel of a GP consultation or initial OB appointment in the early stages of pregnancy, however as for supplementation, it’s often a grey zone tied up in self learning and conflicting advice.
While in the preconception stage there can be some focus on preparing the body for pregnancy, such as tweaking a diet to be more nutrient rich, often not much has to change day-to-day. However, in the early stages once a pregnancy develops, fears around and understanding what is ‘safe’ and ‘unsafe’ can be a whole new challenge, and beyond reading the back of labels or speaking with trusted mum friends, knowing what supplements to keep taking can be hard to navigate.
But if skin breakouts or morning sickness have you wanting to further enhance your pregnancy glow, learning the science and benefits of collagen supplementation could be the answer to balancing out your skin woes.
Currently, the science is limited on collagen supplements in pregnancy specifically, however what we do know is that collagen is the most abundant type of protein and a key building block for not only the skin, muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments and other connective tissue but protein overall is critical to a healthy pregnancy.
A recent study from Canada found women need at least 1.2 to 1.5grams of protein per kilogram of body weight during the early (16 weeks) stages and later (36 weeks) stages of pregnancy. What this means is, by upping your collagen intake you can effectively support more protein absorption in the body and increase the essential amino acids needed to support pregnancy.
According to Harvard University, collagen peptides or hydrolyzed collagen can be absorbed more easily and preliminary studies do suggest collagen supplements can improve skin elasticity. This is where our collagen comes in - at Habitual Beauty we use 10,000mg of bioavailable Grass Fed Bovine Collagen Peptides per daily serve. This form of collagen not only ticks the absorption box but it contains 17 essential and non-essential amino acids and is formulated with additional vitamins, minerals, omegas, digestive enzymes alongside pre, pro and postbiotics and fibre.
In a nutshell, by integrating our Advanced Skin + Gut Health Collagen Elixir into your daily drink you’ll get amino acids and a heap of supportive vitamins to boot that will safely carry you through pregnancy, postpartum and mamahood and give you enviable skin, hair and nails too.
With our founder Keira Rumble launching Habitual Beauty during her first postpartum period and now using it in her most recent pregnancy, she has personal insight into how safe and effective collagen supplementation is throughout both stages; making it a nice assurance for all soon-to-be mamas out there.
For more on using collagen ingestibles during each stage read on for our advice and tips below.
The Benefits Of Collagen During Pregnancy
Boosts skin hydration
Pregnancy is a period in which 90% of women experience significant and complex skin changes, studies show. In the first and second trimester, skin can often become irritated due to hormonal changes either becoming completely dehydrated and dry or resulting in outbreaks like acne, rosacea, eczema or dermatitis.
Collagen is found to support skin hydration and not only our own clinical studies have shown that ingesting the Advanced Skin + Gut Health Collagen Elixir can help but other studies show collagen intake can boost our skin’s overall moisture levels.
Supports joint pain
Joint pain is one of the less than fun parts of pregnancy, with a growing bub naturally increasing the amount of weight and pressure placed on the body and joints, as well as naturally affecting posture too.
While it can be normal to experience a range of joint pains from sacroiliac pain, lumber or lower back pain, knee pain and pelvic joint pain - in good news a study looking at use of regular collagen supplementation with athletes found that it can not only support joint health and joint pain but possibly reduce risk of joint deterioration in high risk groups too.
Balances gut bacteria
Be it morning sickness or the more extreme variety - hyperemesis gravidarum - regularly vomiting can often lead to not only losing vital nutrients and becoming dehydrated but also affecting gut health overall.
Just as hormones in pregnancy can alter and affect our skin health, so too can they shift our gut microbiota. In a study looking at the impacts of hormonal changes in the gut during pregnancy, research concluded that effective probiotics (with low side effects) could provide promising therapeutic outcomes.
With our collagen elixir a potent mix of bacillus coagulans (found to enhance the health of cells in the gut lining and decrease inflammation) and a 5-tier digestive enzyme blend (supporting optimal digestion and higher absorption), the Advanced Skin + Gut Health Collagen Elixir will balance microbiota and support overall gut health.
Our Dutch Chocolate and Madagascan Vanilla Collagen Elixirs are both pregnancy safe.
The Benefits Of Collagen In Postpartum
Promotes healthy hair growth
Hair loss is surprisingly more common than you may think, with 100-150 hairs a day said to be the normal amount shed. However in pregnancy, hair undergoes significant changes due to the body’s stress response and hormonal shifts. Hair can either thin, thicken or fall out depending on the stage of pregnancy.
However postpartum is often the time where hair loss peaks the most, with ‘postpartum alopecia’ said to occur anywhere between two to five months after birth. Studies show that oxidative stress can damage the health of the scalp, impacting hair formation and growth. So in effect, by decreasing stress and strengthening the scalp skin where hair follicles grow (post birth) with supplementation this in turn should favour healthy hair growth.
Brittle nails are a common side effect of pregnancy said to potentially be contributed to a lack of biotin (B-complex vitamin) in your diet. With the right supplementation you may experience healthy nails but if they end up on the brittle, soft or xx side then a collagen supplement could help.
One study looking at regular supplementation found that 80 per cent reported regular ingestion increased nail’s appearance and a notable decrease in frequency of broken nails. With our formula containing both hydrolyzed collagen and a Multi-Mineral Optimix (with Zinc, Manganese, Magnesium, Selenium) manicure ready nails will be yours in no time.
Improves tired or dull skin
Sleepless nights are a natural side effect of the fourth trimester, as both you as mum and bub as their own being, work together to settle into new routines and feeding rhythms. While the season won’t last a long time, it’s natural for skin to lose its radiance and become dull, dry or appear aged without precious beauty sleep to hydrate and revive. But in a plus for time poor mama’s, collagen supplementation is one of the easiest and most effective ways to boost skin radiance and combat tired skin.
Research shows regular collagen intake can improve skin’s overall moisture and have an anti-ageing effect. With our Advanced Skin + Gut Health Collagen Elixir, clinically proven tests have found those using 10g collagen peptides demonstrated better skin firmness, elasticity and significant improvement to skin hydration on face and body.
All Habitual Beauty Collagen Elixir flavours are breastfeeding friendly.