How Mama Bar Is Raising the Nutrition Bar for New Moms

No matter what stage of life you’re in, getting proper nutrition isn’t always easy. While grabbing a protein bar is often a convenient choice between meals, there are so many options out there. The problem is that many don’t taste good or simply aren’t nutritionally complete. While this isn’t a major issue for many, this can be a problem for prenatal and postnatal women who have someone else relying on them for their nutrition. 

Enter Mama Bar, a nutrition bar specially created for prenatal and postpartum people. While it’s delicious (I love it and truly dislike the taste of most protein bars) and filling, it can also be a great way for anyone to supplement their nutrition. Gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and GMO-free, there’s truly nothing else comparable on the market. And yes, non-moms can enjoy it too. 

The brand was co-founded in 2018 by Aarthy Longino, MBA, and Amy Kovner, a certified nutritionist and licensed mental health counselor. Longino came up with the idea when she was pregnant with her first child and couldn’t find any snack options that met the needs of pregnant or postpartum women. She brought on Kovner, who had a similar experience when she was pregnant.

I recently spoke with Kover about creating the brand, why proper nutrition is essential for moms, particularly during the prenatal and postnatal stages, and so much more.

mama bar - pregnancy nutrition bar

What’s the story behind the creation of the brand?

Aarthy initially noticed a need for a nutrition bar focused on perinatal needs when she was pregnant with her first child in 2015. She was busy, exhausted, and often on the go. She would grab whatever was portable, Snickers bars, etc., but wanted high-quality nutrition for herself and her baby. She searched for a convenient snack option that she could trust was full of the nutrition her body needed, but she didn’t find one. A few years later, when she was pregnant with her second child, Aarthy realized this product still didn’t exist. 

In the summer of 2018, I presented a talk on postpartum nutrition and met Aarthy, who was a few weeks postpartum at the time. We connected over this need for moms to have access to convenient yet nutritious snacks that are designed for their own needs — not necessarily for someone running a marathon or doing CrossFit. We teamed up to create Mama Bar to support moms. 

How did you start creating a protein bar? 

The first thing we did was establish our core principles for high-quality great tasting nutrition. We felt strongly that moms deserved the best concerning whole food ingredients and taste. We searched for and found a supplier who could meet our high standard for organic and fresh ingredients and who shared our passion for quality. Over the next two years, we worked to perfect the recipe to ensure moms would love eating the bar and be able to feel great about the nutritional profile. 

person holding mama bar

How did you choose the flavor profiles?

We wanted Mama Bar to be absolutely delicious and crave-worthy and also provide very thoughtful nutrition for moms. We immediately thought about dark chocolate/cocoa for its high iron content and wanted to include cherries for their amazing nutritional qualities including numerous vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, and serotonin and melatonin that support sleep and mental health. We use cashews to provide a wonderful source of plant-based protein as well as nutrients like folate, magnesium, and zinc. 

For our second flavor, we knew we needed to have a peanut butter and dark chocolate flavor — because who doesn’t like peanut butter and chocolate? It was instantly our most popular flavor. We’re so excited to be launching our third flavor this month. 

What does Mama Bar offer from a nutritional perspective? 

Above all else, Mama Bar provides key nutrients that are critical for pregnancy and postpartum. In addition to protein, Mama Bars are high in micronutrients such as iron, magnesium, zinc, choline, and folate. 

Additionally, many new moms experience needing to eliminate foods when breastfeeding, so we wanted all Mama Bars to be gluten-, dairy-, and soy-free to eliminate some of the common allergens. 

What are the specific nutritional needs of pregnant people, and how can Mama Bar help them meet those needs?

There are many micronutrients, including iron, folate, zinc, and choline, in which requirements increase substantially during pregnancy. We prioritize these key nutrients in our bars. Iron needs during pregnancy are 27 mg per day as opposed to 18 mg per day for non-pregnant people. Protein requirements increase during pregnancy, and many women report having a hard time getting enough protein in — which is why Mama Bar is an easy and delicious way to get a high-protein snack. 

mama bar - protein bar for moms

Are there risks to the baby if a pregnant mom doesn’t get proper nutrition?

Yes, in general, nutrient deficiencies put moms at higher risk of experiencing preeclampsia, miscarriage, preterm birth, and having a baby with low birth weight. Zinc, folate, and choline deficiencies can impair neural tube development in the early stages of pregnancy.

What are the specific needs of postpartum women, and how can Mama Bar fit into their diets? 

Most women begin motherhood in an already nutritionally depleted state. During pregnancy, maternal nutrient stores are preferentially sent to their baby by way of the placenta. Once the baby is born, maternal nutrition will continue to prioritize the baby by using maternal stores to produce breast milk. 

It is incredibly important for new moms to replete their nutritional stores after childbirth both to help their own bodies heal and also to feed their baby. Many of the same nutrients important for pregnancy are important for postpartum mothers, including iron, magnesium, zinc, vitamin C, choline, and B12.

Photos courtesy of Mama Bar

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About Amanda Lauren

Originally from New York City, Amanda Lauren currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their two dogs Milo and Lulu. Rarely seen in an actual gym, she is a group fitness enthusiast who enjoys Pilates (both East Coast and West Coast styles), spin, barre, power plates, yoga and her newest obsession, versa climbing. She will try any group fitness class at least once. When Amanda isn’t working out or trying to find the perfect pair of pink sneakers, she blogs about her adventures in fitness as well as fashion, lifestyle and beauty on