Between feedings, pumping, diaper changes, loads of laundry, nap time, tummy time, and all of those tiny precious moments you’re trying to keep track of, you also have to take care of YOU, Mama! Women need milligrams (mg) of calcium a day before, during, and after pregnancy.
Prenatal vitamins only give you about 20-30% of your daily allowance. So I’m making it my mission to bump up my own calcium intake, as well as to educate other women about how important this nutrient is!
Why is Calcium important for Pregnancy?
During pregnancy, your baby needs calcium for the development of strong bones and teeth. Calcium also contributes to your baby’s healthy heart, nerves, and muscles, as well as blood-clotting abilities, and a normal heart rhythm.
Failing to get enough calcium during pregnancy can result in health consequences for you, because your baby will draw it from your bones.
Why is Calcium Important for Breastfeeding / Postpartum Moms?
According to the NIH, women can develop Osteoporosis postpartum, particularly breastfeeding moms, because of bone loss during pregnancy. This is a direct cause of mom not getting enough calcium, causing baby to pull it from moms bones (see above).
The good news is that pregnant and breastfeeding women absorb calcium better than those who aren’t. And the majority of women who experience bone loss during pregnancy or postpartum have it restored within a year of giving birth. So by bumping your calcium during the postpartum phase, you’re pretty much guaranteed to avoid any long term issues!
Bump up your calcium!
Here are a few ways to bump up your calcium intake:
- Water—yes, water! Tap, bottled, and mineral water all contain varying amounts of calcium!
- Calcium-rich foods, such as dairy products and green vegetables
- Calcium Supplements
Calcium can only be absorbed when taken with Vitamin D, so be sure any supplements you take contain both of these nutrients!
I have been bumping up my calcium while breastfeeding to ensure that I don’t encounter long-term issues, such as cavities or dental problems and permanent bone mass loss. I’m tackling it on all fronts, by eating a balanced diet, drinking tons of water, as well as taking calcium supplements.
I have loved taking these Viactiv chews as a way to bump up my calcium intake in the form of a sweet treat! They contain 650mg per day, so between at least one (sometimes, two!) of these, my postnatal vitamins, lots of water, and a diet of nutrient-rich foods, I’m getting my daily allowance. Plus a little touch of sweetness each afternoon!
How will you bump up your calcium? Leave me a comment to let me know!
This post was created as part of a paid collaboration with Viactiv. Get in on Viactiv's #bumpupyourcalcium movement on social media! Learn more about the chews by visiting Viactiv online: Instagram, Facebook, or Viactiv.com.