Pregnancy, oh pregnancy. From sleep to nutrition, vitamins to hormones, pregnancy changes our needs in so many ways. That is why I am sharing three things you should consider increasing during pregnancy.
Pregnancy and the word exhaustion can go hand and hand and rightfully so. Growing a human takes quite a bit of energy and sleep is one way to ensure your body is getting the rest it needs. The average adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep a day, but according to the Sleep Foundation, the average pregnant woman may need more—particularly during the 1st and 3rd trimesters. Why is this? Partially due to a decrease in the quality of sleep that comes with many of the pregnancy hormones. Between discomforts, the middle of the night trips to the bathroom, and all of the baby thoughts bouncing around in your mind, it can be hard to have a solid night of sleep.
How can you add a bit more sleep to your day? Naps. Whether it is a short power nap or an afternoon deep sleep, allow your body to rest when it is tired. If naps are not an option, try moving your usual bedtime—even if it is just 30 minutes earlier, it can make a difference. Try to limit your water intake right before bed if frequent trips to the bathroom are waking you up. There will be plenty of sleepless nights ahead when your little one arrives, so do not feeling guilty about making time for a little extra sleep during your pregnancy. Take advantage!
At my first appointment with our midwife, she asked me a question I had never heard from my OB/GYN---Do you drink a lot of milk and eat a lot of dairy? I quickly responded with a solid "no." To be honest, unless it is ice cream or the occasional cheese or yogurt, we usually have very little dairy in our home. She quickly recommended I start taking a calcium supplement---something I had never even thought to do during with my pregnancy with Brody.
When I came home that day, I started researching the importance of calcium in pregnancy. It turns out 68% of women are calcium deficient. The recommendation during pregnancy is 1000 mg of calcium a day. To give you a little perspective, one cup of 2% milk has fewer than 300 mg of calcium---so it would take nearly 3.5 cups of milk to meet the recommended calcium intake during pregnancy.
Why is calcium so important in pregnancy? As baby is growing, calcium is a contributor to building a healthy heart, teeth, bones, muscles and even nerves. The important thing with calcium is to recognize that if you are not getting enough calcium in your diet to support the needs of the baby, calcium is pulled from your own bodies' stash, which can put your bone health at risk as you age.
So how have I been increasing my calcium? Besides justifying the occasional milkshake, I've been taking Viactiv Calcium Soft Chews alongside my prenatal vitamin. Each chew has 500 mg of calcium and tastes great. The caramel flavor is my favorite. Many prenatal vitamins only contain 20-30% of the calcium you need so it's important to consider adding a calcium supplement like Viactiv.
The Viactiv Calcium Soft Chews surprisingly have half the sugar and calories compared to the leading gummy calcium supplement and also contain vitamins D & K. You can pick up Viactiv Calcium Soft Chews at the grocery store, drugstore, and retailers like Target and Walmart.
It is no surprise that pregnancy requires most women to up their calorie intake. But do you know exactly how many extra calories the average woman is supposed to add to her diet during pregnancy? According to the American Pregnancy Association, your body needs approximately 300 extra calories a day during the second and third trimester. The common phrase of "eating for two" is certainly not the most accurate descriptor and can lead to overeating and increased weight gain.
So how can you increase your calories within reason during pregnancy? I've found one of the simplest ways for me to manage my calorie intake is by eating the regular meals and portions sizes I would eat pre-pregnancy and adding in 1-2 snacks during the day. I find myself getting hungrier quicker when I am expecting, so the snacks get me through those phases (particularly the afternoons!). Having granola bars, an apple & peanut butter, or cheese and crackers have become some of my favorite snacks.
Which Viactiv Calcium Soft Chew flavor would you like to try?
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.
Learn more about Viactiv and pregnancy here.
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.