Calcium is Essential to a Healthy Breastfeeding Experience…Here’s Why

Part of becoming a mother is the new reality where we begin to put the needs of someone else, usually a tiny and demanding little person, before the needs of ourselves. We all know that being home with a newborn involves little sleep, lots of breastfeeding, few showers, and frequently eating with one hand. Also, if this is not your first baby, you’re chasing other small children around all while trying to maintain your sanity while caring for your newest bundle of joy. The good news is things do get easier! But in the meantime, as moms we have to ensure that we maintain our own health and wellness to the best of our abilities.

Just as we emerge from the hormonal chaos that is pregnancy, we immediately leap into the emotional rollercoaster of breastfeeding. Although this experience can be one of the most rewarding and worthwhile experiences of early motherhood, it still takes a toll on our minds, emotions, and body.  

As women our bodies are amazing and allow us to accomplish incredible feats. On the flip side, our bodies can frequently become over-stressed, over-taxed, and highly exhausted during times of breastfeeding. We can become tired, lethargic, and moody all because our bodies are not receiving the proper nutrition and sleep they require. As moms we need to be available for our babies when breastfeeding, and remember that our little ones nutrition is coming directly from our own bodies.

Calcium, vitamin D and vitamin K are part of the essential nutrients to maintaining our strength while nourishing our children during breastfeeding. Calcium, best known for building healthy and strong bones, also ensures optimal nervous system performance, blood clotting, hormone balance, and muscle maintenance. In order for your body to absorb calcium, vitamins D and K must also be present to help calcium absorption and assist in the formation of bone proteins. Calcium rich foods, which are complex in nature include:

  • Dairy Products, such as Milk and Cheese
  • Kale, or dark leafy greens
  • Sardines or Salmon, including the bones
  • Broccoli
  • Watercress
  • Bok Choy
  • Okra
  • Almonds

Some new mothers will experience that many of those healthy foods on this list such as greens, dairy and nuts may cause upset stomach or worse in our babies thus restricting our diet while breastfeeding. While healthy, natural foods are a great way to receive essential vitamins and minerals, most of us we need some sort of supplementation to assist.  

Prenatal vitamins are a great way to continue obtaining what we need during breastfeeding, but they do not always contain the full recommended daily dosage of certain nutrients like calcium and vitamin D which are essential during both pregnancy and breastfeeding. Most prenatal vitamins only include 20-30% of the recommended daily value of calcium which can have negative long-term effects on women’s health. The National Academy of Sciences recommends that women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should consume 1,000 milligrams of calcium every day. Taking an additional calcium supplement while pregnant and breastfeeding can help make a difference in both baby’s development and mother’s overall bone mass and strength for later in life.  

Remembering to take your vitamins can sometimes be a chore, especially if you do not like swallowing huge pills or capsules, finding a dietary supplement you like can make this task so much simpler! Viactiv’s Calcium Soft Chews are ideal for all women, including pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. Two Viactiv chews daily allows most women to meet their calcium requirements including whilepregnant and breastfeeding, plus vitamin D and vitamin K to aid in absorption.  Viactiv’s delicious chews also have 1/2 the sugar and calories compared to the leading gummy vitamins and supplements.

When considering the amazing scientific fact that your baby’s skeleton, especially during the last 3 months of pregnancy, is developed and strengthened using the calcium from its mother we should all be cognizant of our body’s need for calcium. If a mother’s calcium intake is insufficient, the baby will draw what it needs from the mother’s bones during both pregnancy and breastfeeding increasing the risk for osteoporosis later in life.

Breastfeeding after delivery continues to affect a mother’s overall bone health.. Studies have shown that women lose 3-5% of their bone mass during breastfeeding because baby’s increased need for calcium is being drawn from the stored “reserves” in the mother’s bones. Women also lose bone mass during breastfeeding because, similar to menopause, their bodies are producing less estrogen which normally protects our bones.  

Combat bone loss and the risk of future osteoporosis with a healthy diet, exercise and calcium supplements like Viactiv! Viactiv’s individually wrapped calcium chews are available nationwide in two great flavors – caramel and milk chocolate. You can easily toss a handful in your purse or diaper bag ensuring you won’t forget this essential nutrient in your early motherhood “fog.” Connect with Viactiv on Facebook and Instagram for even more great tips on women’s health. Viactiv Calcium Soft Chews are available nationwide at supermarkets, drugstores and major retailers, including CVS, Rite Aid, Target and Walmart. Click here for more where to buy information.


While the bone mass lost during pregnancy and breastfeeding is usually recovered within 6 months of weaning, a pro-active approach in women of child-bearing age is still the best option. With osteoporosis and loss of bone mass being a significant health concern for all women during menopause, we need to ensure we are doing our best during our youth to set ourselves up for a healthier future. Motherhood is a lifelong commitment to both your baby and yourself. Children never outgrow the need for their moms so plan for the long-haul, look to the future, and do your best now to ensure your body’s optimal performance for breastfeeding and beyond.

First-time moms do not always know from the start how long their breastfeeding journey will last, but before you decide to quit, check out The Surprising Benefits of Extended Breastfeeding.

Sources: National Institutes of Health, Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center

Photo Credits: Kristin dePaula, Kristen Douglas, Heather Scott Anti

Viactiv Calcium Soft Chews are available in milk chocolate or caramel flavors at major retailers including CVS, Rite Aid, Target, and Walmart, as well as supermarkets nationwide.

This is a product-provided, sponsored conversation on behalf of Viactiv that contains affiliate links. I received Viactiv Calcium Soft Chews for my own personal use. This post is not intended to address or diagnose any medical conditions. All opinions, text and experiences are my own. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing or planning on becoming pregnant, speak with your healthcare provider if you have any specific health questions or prior to taking any dietary supplements.

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Kristin Depaula

Kristin is a native Floridian who loves warm weather and sunshine but owns too many scarves and boots. She lives at the World’s Most Famous Beach with her husband, 3 boys and enough animals both warm and cold blooded to make up a zoo. She is a practicing attorney who spends her days working with at-risk and delinquent youth and her nights being a Montessori Mama to her independent, strong willed little humans. On the weekends you can find her at soccer games, chasing her boys at the Beach or cooking for her husband who suffers from Crohn’s disease but is healing with a healthy diet. In her free time, Kristin loves reading and laying by the pool.

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