The day you see those two little lines or the words “pregnant” pop up on a pregnancy test , you will begin to start planning your pregnancy journey. One of the things you might begin researching are pregnancy supplements. All moms-to-be want to be able to provide the best for their developing child, even while they are in the womb. Pregnancy supplements like prenatal vitamins are key to helping baby (and mom) get all the nutrients they need for a healthy pregnancy.
There are several pregnancy supplements that you might want to consider adding to your daily routine. One of the most important supplements moms-to-be should consider adding to their daily intake is calcium. Most prenatal vitamins only contain 20-30% of the recommended daily value of calcium for a pregnant woman. This means women need to find a way to get 70-80% more calcium into their diet, and that’s probably more milk, cheese, and yogurt than our bodies can handle.
Why Calcium is Important in Pregnancy
The daily recommended amount of calcium for women who are pregnant is 1,000 milligrams per day. Most women get about 800 milligrams of calcium per day in a regular, healthy diet, with those who have autoimmune diseases or who are lactose intolerant getting even less. Calcium is an important mineral and nutrient during pregnancy because it helps build strong teeth, bones, muscles, and nerves during development. It also helps a baby build a healthy heart.
Since your body will do whatever it can to help develop the baby grow inside of you, including “stealing” nutrients from your own body, it is important that pregnant women add daily vitamin and mineral supplements to their diet so they can help support the growing baby and their changing body. In addition, daily calcium is important to maintain throughout pregnancy and beyond, especially if you are breastfeeding. A calcium supplement is just one way to do that.
4 Reasons You Might Want to Consider a Calcium Supplement during Pregnancy
Since most prenatal vitamins don’t offer nearly the amount of recommended daily calcium intake for pregnant women, it is important to consider taking a calcium supplement during pregnancy. In fact, in a 2017 BrandPerx survey, 8 out of 10 OB/GYNs recommend that women take a calcium supplement during pregnancy. Besides helping to develop your baby’s heart, teeth, bones, muscles, and nerves, as well as keeping you healthy and strong throughout pregnancy, there are a few other reasons why you might want to consider a calcium supplement during pregnancy.
1It Helps to Increase Your Bone Health
Pregnancy is a wonderful time to increase your own bone health with a calcium supplement. Due to your changing body, it is easier for you to absorb calcium. In addition, increased estrogen also helps increase your bone strength and that added weight from the baby helps grow your muscles.
2It Can Help During Postpartum
A calcium supplement during pregnancy should continue to be taken after pregnancy, too. A calcium supplement helps to fortify your breastmilk with additional calcium that would otherwise be taken from your own bones. It can also help postpartum moms with weight loss after pregnancy and with fewer PMS symptoms.
3It Can Help to Increase Your Developing Baby’s Bone Mineral Content
Research has found that moms that took calcium supplements during pregnancy gave birth to baby’s with a 15% increase in bone mineral content.
4It Can Help Decrease Your Risk for Preeclampsia
A study found that women who took around 1,500 milligrams of calcium per day had a lower risk of preeclampsia.
The Best Way to Get Your Daily Calcium: Calcium Supplements During Pregnancy
There are several different ways to get your daily dose of calcium during pregnancy. Prenatal vitamins only offer 20% to 30% of the recommended amount of calcium for a pregnant woman, so you have to find other ways to get your daily intake. There are several foods that are high in calcium such as:
- Milk, cheese, yogurt
- Canned salmon
- Beans and lentils
However, sometimes a drastic increase in these foods can cause an upset stomach and in the case of increased dairy intake, constipation (which you might already be experiencing thanks to pregnancy hormones). A calcium supplement during pregnancy like the one from Viactiv® is an easy way to get your daily recommended amount of calcium without having to worry about whether you have consumed enough calcium in your diet.
Viactiv® has 30% more calcium (and half the sugars and calories) than most gummy calcium supplements, so you will know you are getting the minerals you need without all the extra “stuff”. In fact, one soft chew has 650 milligrams of calcium, so if taken twice daily it provides 100% of the daily recommended amount of calcium, as well as vitamins D and K. The milk chocolate and caramel flavors make them delicious to take, too. Each gummy is individually wrapped so you can take it with you to work or when you’re on the go- especially if morning sickness makes it hard for you to keep things down during certain times of the day.
When surveyed, 1,000 OB/GYN practices stated that 9 out of 10 of their doctors would recommend Viactiv® as a calcium supplement during pregnancy. Viactiv® protects mom’s bones and helps develop baby’s bones, teeth, heart, muscles, and nerves both during and after pregnancy while breastfeeding. It also allows mom to ensure she is getting all of the essential nutrients that she needs without having to worry whether she is getting enough in her daily diet. Viactiv® Soft Chews are available at major retailers and food stores including Target, Walmart, Rite Aid, and CVS.
Getting your daily recommended about of calcium from your diet during pregnancy can be hard to do, especially if you have a sensitive stomach. Calcium is an important nutrient during and after pregnancy, so it is imperative that moms-to-be consider a calcium supplement during pregnancy so she can help grow strong bones, teeth, heart, and muscles for her developing baby but also so she can protect her own bone health.
WANT TO READ MORE?
As you prepare for pregnancy and motherhood, check out this article on How to Make Your Own Postpartum Padsicles.
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