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“Indeed, stock is everything in cooking. Without it, nothing can be done.” -Auguste Escoffier

I love looking back to traditional cultures to see what was consistent about fertility/pregnancy/postpartum nutrition among these cultures all across the world. One of those consistencies is women eating collagen rich cuts of meat and utilizing the bones to make collagen rich bone broth.

Now with our modern science, we can see why so much emphasis was put on collagen and gelatin rich foods around pregnancy.

Collagen is the main protein in the body; it represents 30% of all human protein content. It’s found in skin, bone, muscle, ligaments, tendons, and joints. It acts as the “scaffolding” that holds everything together. And during pregnancy you’re creating an entire new human that needs a lot of “scaffolding”! Don’t forget about the changes that are happening to your collagen rich tissues like skin, breast tissue, and uterus during pregnancy either.

Glycine is a particular amino acid that is found in collagen. This amino acid becomes essential during pregnancy meaning your needs are so high you have to consume glycine through food to meet your needs.

Glycine is particularly important because it helps balance our intake of muscle meat which contains high amounts of methionine. Methionine is not bad. It’s actually an important amino acid to consume, but you also need enough glycine to have a healthy balance. 

If you want to learn more about collagen and pregnancy, read on here .

“Good broth will resurrect the dead” -South American proverb

Bone broth for pregnancy: an easy source of collagen, or more accurately, gelatin.

Because collagen is found primarily in skin, bones, ligaments, tendons, and joints, we need to consume those things to increase our intake. Making bone broth especially with joint bones which contain lots of connective tissue is one way to get lots of those important amino acids found in collagen. 

When collagen is simmered, it forms gelatin. This process partially breaks down collagen but the nutrition composition is nearly identical to collagen. Gelatin solidifies (think Jello-O) when cooled unlike collagen. 

Bone broth can be bought or made at home and it’s a fantastic way to increase your glycine intake! Proline is another important amino acid found in bone broth. 

I shared a post recently about how I make bone broth but the most important part is making sure you’re utilizing gelatin rich bones. That includes using hooves, feet, or oxtail in your broth to boost the glycine content. For beef broth it is best to also use marrow and knuckle bones. For chicken broth, use the entire chicken carcass boney parts and even better if you add some chicken feet. This is what will lead to the broth ‘gelatinizing’ in the fridge and how you know you’re getting a bunch of glycine!

The glycine content of bone broth will vary greatly depending on how it’s made and the types of bones used.

Bone broth also contains some minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, potassium, and some trace minerals but the level of these minerals are minimal so you shouldn’t rely on bone broth to meet your needs for these nutrients. Though the mineral content is low, they are readily absorbable by the body. 

Bone broth is a great way to utilize the whole animal and get more out of the cuts of meat you’re already buying. Bone-in cuts tend to be less expensive. Even better if you purchase a meat share directly from a farm because the bones come with it! If you don’t utilize those bones, they just get thrown away.

Local farms or butchers are a great place to ask for bones for soup making and cooking. 

How to make bone broth

Homemade bone broth is best. It’s much less expensive and you can be sure you’re avoiding those less-than-ideal added ingredients like “hydrolyzed yeast protein” which is common in broth products. 

You can make it on the stove top, instant pot, or slow cooker. It’s very easy, you just have to let it sit for a long time.

Fish bone broth only needs to simmer for a couple of hours but poultry is best simmered for 12+ hours and beef broth for 24+ hours. 

You want to have some kind of acid in your stock to help draw out the minerals in the bones. Vinegar is often used but traditional cultures would also use wine. Add vegetable scraps like carrot peels, celery tops, and onion peels or whole vegetables that are a little past their prime for extra nutrition and flavor.

I like to keep a bag in my freezer that I put my vegetable scraps in, then when I’m ready, I’ll use to make both. 

I do a similar thing with bones. As I have bones from a roast I made or leftover chicken parts I’ll store them in a bag in my freezer until I have enough to make a pot of broth. 

I like to roast my bones before using them for broth because it deepens the flavor. The popular food additive, MSG, tries to imitate the flavor of browned proteins. 

Bone Broth Tips

If your broth gelatinizes while cooled, you know it has the amazing gelatin that we’re after. 

You can remove the fat once it’s cooled and solidified or keep the fat for extra flavor and nutrients. If you choose to remove the fat, I encourage you to store the fat in a separate container in the fridge and utilize it for cooking. 

Broth will keep in the fridge for a few days or can be frozen for longer storage. You can also choose the pressure can broth to make it shelf stable. 

Here is a wonderful resource on broth making.

If you do choose to buy it instead of making it yourself, I’m a huge fan of Fond. They use high quality ingredients and it comes in glass jars to reduce your endocrine disruptor exposure.

If you’re buying bone broth, it’s ideal to get organic, pasture-raised. Ideally a product that doesn’t come in a can or a plastic container because those contain BPA or BPA substitutes which act as an endocrine disruptor. 

jars of bone broth

Bone Broth for Pregnancy

A nourishing ingredient you'll want to keep around in your kitchen that's especially helpful for fertility, pregnancy, and postpartum.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 day


Chicken Bone Broth

  • 2-3 pounds chicken parts (necks, backs, breastbone, wings) or carcass
  • 2 peeled chicken feet (optional)
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 onion roughly chopped (remove peels for a lighter colored broth)
  • 2 medium carrots cleaned and roughly chopped
  • 2 celery stalks (leaves included) cleaned and roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf (optional)
  • 1 bunch parsley (optional)

Beef Bone Broth

  • 3-4 pounds beef rib, neck, marrow, knuckle, and/or joint bones
  • 1 calves foot cut into pisces (optional)
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 onion roughly chopped
  • 2 medium carrots cleaned and roughly chopped
  • 2 celery stalks (leaves included) cleaned and roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf (optional)
  • 1 bunch parsley (optional)


  • Roast bones on a rimmed baking sheet in 400F oven for 15-20 minutes. If bones are already cooked, skip the roasting step.
  • Transfer bones and juices into a pot (the vessel you use will depend on your cooking method).

Stove Top *requires the most babysitting

  • Add the rest of the ingredients except parsley to the pot then cover with filtered water.
  • Bring the pot to a boil and skim off the scum that comes to the top.
  • Reduce heat and cover at a light simmer for 6-8 hours.
  • Check frequently for temperature. You don’t want the broth boiling. Add additional water as needed to keep the pot full.

Slow Cooker *easiest

  • Add the rest of the ingredients into slow cooker except parsley and cover with filtered water.
  • Set slow cooker on low and allow to simmer, covered, for 12-24 hours.
  • Add parsley in 15 min before finishing the broth.

Instant Pot *quickest

  • Add all ingredients except the parsley into the pot and fill with water until you reach the max fill line.
  • Select soup/broth and set time for 2 hours.
  • When cooking is complete, wait 30 minutes for instant pot to naturally depressurize.

All methods

  • Strain broth using a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl and discard solids.*
  • Cool at room temp for 1-2 hours then transfer to storage containers of your choice and refrigerate.**
  • Once the broth is cold, the fat will have risen to the top and solidified. You can choose to leave the fat in the broth or scrap it off to be saved for another use.
  • Use the bone broth as you would any other broth. It makes a great base for soups and sauces, sip it as a nice warm drink, or use it instead of water to make rice.


*If the bones aren’t falling apart, you can reuse them a second time to make another batch of broth. The second batch will likely be less gelatinous, however.
**I prefer using glass mason jars but be sure to fill no more than ¾ of the way full and use wide mouth jars if you will be freezing the broth. Always allow the broth to cool completely in the fridge before freezing and initially freeze the jars on their side to prevent the jars from breaking. Reusable silicone bags are great for freezing as well.
You broth may gelatinize once cooled, that's a good sign! It will become thin liquid again when heated. 
Keyword bone broth, broth, collagen, gelatin