Collagen supplements are known to help with hair growth as well as helping with skin elasticity, but with the glossy thick hair and glowing skin that pregnancy blesses you with, why are pregnant women taking collagen supplements?
There is a lot of advice about what vitamins and supplements you need to take when pregnant that will help boost you and your baby's health. But what if you want to take a supplement that isn't on the midwives' recommended list?
Collagen has a lot of health benefits, so here's everything you need to know about the supplements and whether they are safe to take when pregnant.
What is collagen?
Collagen is a protein that helps with skin, joints and muscle health, as well as being known for promoting healthy hair. Many people take collagen supplements as they start getting older as it is said to reduce wrinkles and maintain the function of the joints.
What are the health benefits of taking them?
Taking collagen supplements can be helpful during pregnancy and postpartum. Pregnant women can experience brittle hair and even hair loss, so collagen supplements can help restore hair back to health.
The postpartum benefits of taking them can also help with skin elasticity, helping to tighten the skin on the stomach.
They are also known for improving mood and reducing anxiety, which can help to reduce the chance of suffering from postnatal depression.
While there are many benefits, nurse and midwife Professor Gina Awoko Higginbottom said: "The good news for pregnant women is that the naturally occurring and increasing pregnancy hormones create many benefits. For many women they experience increased hair growth and the 'glow of pregnancy', so additional supplements are not necessarily needed."
Professor Higginbottom advises to always consult your doctor or midwife before taking any supplements.
Are they safe to take when pregnant?
It's advised that women consume an average of 70-100 grams of protein a day when pregnant, but there can be many reasons why women don't meet these guidelines such as food aversions, the source of protein, energy or time.
Doctor Clare Morrison, GP and medical advisor at Medexpress says that it isn't recommended and it's better to eat a healthy balanced diet, "Some women are keen to take collagen supplements in pregnancy and they should be safe to take, but do check the guidance for each individual product."
The best collagen supplements to buy
If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, taking any medications or under medical supervision, please consult a doctor or healthcare professional before use of these products.
Coconut Collagen Capsules
These supplements are easy to add into your daily routine, and you only need to take two a day. They can help provide you with more energy while restoring brittle hair to a stronger form. Review: "I haven’t been taking these tablets for very long at all but I can see a great difference in my skin and even left the house this week with zero make-up on for the first time in years. A great purchase and love that you can upgrade to a bigger size and save some pennies."
Beauty Box - Collagen Drink Supplement
This oral liquid supplement is infused with Vitamin C and even free from lactose, gluten and dairy. It helps to boost energy levels and promote stronger and faster-growing hair.
Review: "I have been using this product for nearly two weeks and have been amazed at the difference in such a short time. Overall my skin looks plumper and I've noticed a huge improvement in my nails the texture is smoother and the dry ridges are receding. Hair good too. I just can't speak highly enough about this product I will definitely be ordering a repeat order."
Bioglan Beauty Collagen Effervescent Tablets
A delicious berry flavoured drink that helps to top up your collagen levels. Skin can lose some of its natural elasticity and hydration, and just popping one tablet into a glass of water a day will help contribute to normal skin function, giving back your radiance.
Review: "Tastes great, best collagen formula so far. Makes my skin feel young."
Collagen Complex Powder
Collagen Complex naturally helps to increase your collagen intake as well as protecting cells. Made from 50 per cent organic ingredients, it's free from all artificial additives and will help to reclaim your glow.
Review: "A great, super product. I've been taking the powder collagen now for about 6 months, maybe more, and my skin is better than it's been for years."
Dose and Co Collagen Peptides
This unflavoured collagen powder comes unflavored and you can add it into coffee, smoothies, tea, milk and other recipes easily. Each serving offers up 10g of high-quality bovine collagen, favoured for how easily it is absorbed and digested in our bodies.
Review: "My nails were weak, brittle and flakey due to the combination of years of biting, my age and wearing acrylics in the past. After using this supplement they have grown well and are visibly stronger with hardly any flaking. My skin is brighter and feels great."
Planet Paleo Cacao Magic
This dreamy collagen cacao mix puts a new twist on hot chocolates, helping to nourish your joints, hair, skin and your soul. Just one heaped tablespoon mixed into hot water or milk is a refreshing alternative to collagen tablets or liquids.
Holland and Barrett Collagen
These collagen tablets contain vitamin C which contributes to collagen formation for the normal function of skin. Just be aware that reviewers commented the tablets were very big which some people may struggle to swallow.
Review: "Love love love these, this is my second lot of these tablets and I really do believe it has made the appearance of my skin so much better, my nails feel stronger my skin has never been as good. I'm very happy I bought these."
Wellgard Collagen Powder
This collagen powder quickly dissolves in cold water with no lumps, clumps or residue. Simply add to tea, coffee, juice, smoothies or you can even stir into yoghurt, porridge or soup. It contains more than 97 per cent protein as well as high levels of the eight essential Amino acids.
Review: "I've been using this collagen for just over 2 weeks now and it has worked wonders for my hair and nails. My nails are really strong and have grown so much. I've also noticed my hair has been a lot healthier, not seeing lots of clumps after a shower or brushing my hair and has a nice healthy shine."
Pure Gold Collagen
This popular liquid collagen drink promises to help you achieve radiant, younger-looking skin, increase hydration and elasticity, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It claims to be 20 x more potent than a collagen tablet and although we can't confirm this, it has masses of five-star reviews such as the below.
Review: "I have been using the product for over three months and I love it. Whilst Gold Collagen was out of stock I tried another similar product (which tasted disgusting) and also tablets but keep coming back to this.
My hair has improved. The vertical lines on my nails have disappeared as too the cellulite on my legs."