Collagen In Pregnancy: Doctor Explains Safety, Risks + Benefits

Are you pregnant and wondering if you can take collagen in pregnancy?

You are in the right place.

This post will teach you everything you need to know about consuming collagen peptide supplements during pregnancy.

Specifically, I will discuss:

  • If collagen is safe to take during pregnancy,
  • What you could gain from taking collagen in the prenatal period, and
  • When you should avoid collagen supplementation.

Let’s get started.

collagen in pregnancy cover image

Disclaimer

***READ FIRST***

Although I am a doctor, I am not your doctor. This information is for informational purposes only and should not substitute the advice from your healthcare professional. All kinds of exercise and dietary changes are potentially dangerous, and those who do not seek counsel from the appropriate health care authority assume the liability of any injury which may occur. Please read my full Disclaimer for more information. Also, this post may contain affiliate links: meaning I may receive a commission if you use them.

Ok, moving on.



Is collagen safe in pregnancy?

Unfortunately, there is minimal literature on the safety of collagen in pregnancy.

That said, collagen is a natural protein present in the human body.

In fact, it is the most abundant protein in your body.

In addition, collagen is present in many animal sources like chicken, beef, fish, and even dairy, so it is likely, that you are already consuming collagen.

However, before adding any supplement to your diet, you should speak with your OBGYN or healthcare provider.

Lastly, you should read the ingredients label. Some collagens are made or processed in the same facility as fish, shellfish, nuts, and eggs.

If you are allergic to any of those products, you might want to avoid consuming collagen supplements.

What is Collagen?

Collagen is a natural protein produced by your body. It is composed of eight essential amino acids and makes up several connective tissues such as skin, tendons, and ligaments.

There are many types of collagen present throughout your connective tissue:

  • Type I: Found in skin, tendons, bones, ligaments
  • Type II: Found in cartilage
  • Type III: Found in muscles, blood vessels, and organs
  • Type IV: Found in your skin
  • Type V: Found in your eyes and in the placenta

Is collagen good for you?

Collagen peptides have several health benefits, as evidenced by this 2019 systematic review.

In short:

  1. Collagen can improve your skin elasticity and health, preventing dry skin and stretch marks.
  2. Collagen can improve hydration, decreasing the effects of skin aging.
  3. Collagen can help promote wound healing.
  4. Collagen may increase muscle mass and bone health when combined with strength training.
  5. Collagen may help to improve joint pain.
  6. Collagen may lead to increased hair growth (and potentially reduce postpartum hair loss).
  7. Collagen may also be beneficial during pregnancy due to its high protein content.
  8. Pregnant women often lack high-quality protein in their diets. As such, collagen supplementation may help satisfy your protein needs.

What Is The best collagen to take while pregnant?

The best collagen supplement to take while pregnant is the one that you:

  • can tolerate,
  • does not cause you any side effects,
  • and is created by a reputable brand with third-party testing.

There are different types of collagen, each with pros and cons.

For example, some types of collagen are derived from fish, while others come from beef or chicken.

Furthermore, some types of collagen are hydrolyzed, meaning that they are broken down into smaller peptides for easier absorption.

woman looking at an ingredient label with words

How Should I Consume Collagen In Pregnancy?

So there are two ways you can consume collagen while pregnant.

You can consume the collagen via pill or powder.

Collagen powder is great because it is odorless and tasteless; you can add it to almost anything.

You could try adding it to your:

  • protein smoothie,
  • soup,
  • yogurt parfait,
  • cereal,
  • oatmeal, and even
  • home baked goods

Collagen pills are easy to take, and you don’t have to worry about the hassle of adding them to your food.

The only problem is that the capsules are large, and you usually need to take anywhere from 4 to 6 per day.

Whatever you choose, it is a good idea to look for a high-quality product tested for purity and potency.

Third-party testing can help ensure that the collagen does not contain contaminants, fillers, heavy metals, binders, or artificial ingredients.

Which Foods Are Rich In Collagen That Are Safe In Pregnancy?

The most common high-protein foods rich in collagen are:

  • beef
  • fish like salmon and tuna,
  • bone broth,
  • egg whites,
  • yogurt,
  • cottage cheese, and
  • beans

Ultimately, the best way to take collagen while pregnant is the method you feel most comfortable with and meets your needs.

image of fish, beef, peppers, beans and other foods

Can I Take Collagen While Breastfeeding?

Collagen supplementation is probably safe during breastfeeding. However, it is best to obtain all your nutrients from real-food sources.

I go over the best foods to eat while breastfeeding here.

Other Related Questions

Can collagen cause miscarriage?

There are no studies linking the consumption of collagen to miscarriage.

With that said, dietary supplements like collagen are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Before consuming these products, contact your medical provider to get the green light.

Can you take collagen with prenatal vitamins?

Yes, you can take collagen with your prenatal supplement.

It is probably best to take both first things in the morning with breakfast so that you don’t forget.

As a reminder, your prenatal vitamin must contain:

  • 400mcg of folate
  • 1000mg of calcium
  • 30mg of iron
  • 250mcg of iodine
  • 400IU of vitamin D

Is marine collagen safe during pregnancy?

There is some concern that marine collagen may not be safe for pregnant women because it contains mercury.

Mercury can accumulate in the body and potentially cause harm to the developing fetus.

Therefore, speaking with your OBGYN or healthcare provider before taking marine collagen is essential.

Is NeoCell collagen safe for pregnancy?

Neocell collagen is one of the many brands sold on the market and is generally safe for most people. 

But, there is little research on its safety during pregnancy; therefore, it is best to speak with your OBGYN or healthcare provider before taking this supplement.

This brand of collagen protein powder contains 10g of hydrolyzed bovine collagen for every two scoops consumed.

In addition, it does not contain soy, wheat, lactose, starch, corn, or artificial flavors.

Is Vital Proteins collagen safe while pregnant?

Vital proteins is one of the most well-known collagen brands sold at most health food stores.

They market their collagen as dairy and gluten-free without artificial ingredients.

It comes in powder form and contains 20g of bovine collagen for every two scoops consumed.

Vital proteins collagen is likely safe during pregnancy but always speak with your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement.

Final Words:

Can I take collagen during pregnancy?

Currently, no scientific data exist that collagen is harmful during pregnancy.

Collagen supplementation is likely safe to consume, especially since this nutrient is present in many common foods.

Still, it is always best to speak with your doctor first.

Now I want to hear from you.

Did you take collagen in pregnancy?

Did you notice any benefits?

Comment below and let me know.

Other Related Posts On Maintaining A Healthy Pregnancy:


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brittany-robles

Brittany N Robles, MD, MPH, CPT

Brittany Robles is a full-time OBGYN, a NASM certified personal trainer, and health & fitness, expert. She holds a Masters of Public Health degree in maternal health with a special interest in exercise and nutrition. She is also the co-author of The White Coat Trainer. Learn more about her here.



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References:

  1. Choi FD, Sung CT, Juhasz ML, Mesinkovsk NA. Oral Collagen Supplementation: A Systematic Review of Dermatological Applications. J Drugs Dermatol. 2019 Jan 1;18(1):9-16. PMID: 30681787.
  2. de Miranda RB, Weimer P, Rossi RC. Effects of hydrolyzed collagen supplementation on skin aging: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Int J Dermatol. 2021 Dec;60(12):1449-1461. doi: 10.1111/ijd.15518. Epub 2021 Mar 20. PMID: 33742704.