7 Things You Need More of During Pregnancy

The following post is sponsored by Viactiv. For our sponsored post policy, click here. Please talk with your doctor before taking any supplements. This post is not intended to address or diagnose any medical conditions. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. 

Overall, I really, really liked being pregnant. Sure, I could have done without the weeks of nausea, occasional bouts of heartburn and THE LONGEST PREGNANCY EVER, but, I feel so grateful to have had the experience (and hope to have it again!). And while I was pregnant, I certainly learned a lot. Like, a lot from books but also a lot from just my experience and the experiences of my friends who were also pregnant at the time or had been recently. So these seven things you need more of during pregnancy? Well, I know them firsthand — and from health professionals and friends.

Plus, isn’t it great to see a list of things you need more of and not less of during pregnancy? Let’s just say that in the weeks after having Gwen, I ate a lot of soft cheese and sushi.

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1. Sleep

I remember being SO tired during every trimester of my pregnancy, and it’s no wonder that your body needs more sleep. It takes a lot of energy to grow that baby — even your heart works harder for the extra blood flow. So be sure to rest and sleep at every opportunity. (Yay naps!)

2. Calcium

So, you don’t need to take in extra calcium when you’re pregnant, but seeing that 68 percent of women are calcium deficient, getting the recommended 1,000 milligrams of calcium during pregnancy is important. In fact, if you don’t get enough of this nutrient in your diet, your baby’s calcium needs (which the little guy or gal needs for healthy teeth, bones, muscles and heart) will be met by taking calcium from your own bones — which means that you’re putting your own bone health at risk. And you know what’s not fun? Osteoporosis.

Think your prenatal covers  your calcium needs? Most prenatal vitamins give you only 20 to 30 percent of the recommended daily amount of calcium for women who are pregnant. And in a survey of 1,000 OB/GYNs*, seven out of 10 recommend calcium supplements. Of those who do, nine out of 10 recommend Viactiv, which is our preferred way to get calcium, too.

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One Viactiv Calcium Soft Chew (500 milligrams of calcium and 500 IU of vitamin D) taken twice daily gives you 100 percent of the daily value of calcium for most women, plus vitamins D and K. These are totally delicious and are such an easy way to boost your nutrition in addition to eating healthy, so definitely talk to your healthcare provider about them! (You can read more about calcium and pregnancy here.)

3. Stress Reduction

When you’re pregnant, there are a million things to do. There are birth classes to take, breastfeeding books to read, the nursery to set up … the list goes on and on. And it’s easy to get overwhelmed at the huge life change to come and the long to-do list. Heck, even a trip to go register for baby items left me in tears not once, but twice. (And I know I’m not alone in that!) So make sure to take time for you and your baby each and every day. Have your partner do a little more around the house, hire a house cleaner, have a seasoned mom friend help you register for baby items online, go to bed early, get a massage — take care of you.

4. Calories

Yes, you get to eat more! Be sure to increase your calories by eating 300 calories more a day during the second trimester and another 500 calories during the third trimester. You still want to eat healthy foods, but your body definitely needs the extra energy.

5. Water

You also need to drink more water when you’re knocked up. The Institute of Medicine recommends that pregnant women in temperate climates drink 12 or 13 eight-ounce glasses. Doing so can do everything from help with constipation, fatigue, headaches and overheating.

6. Other Key Nutrients

Aside from your prenatal and calcium supplements, you also want to talk to your healthcare provider to make sure you’re getting enough iron, vitamin D and iodine. Here’s why:

  • Iron: Iron needs increase during pregnancy. More than 17 percent of pregnant woman are diagnosed with iron deficiency in the U.S. which increases the need for iron-rich foods and supplementation.
  • Vitamin D: The Institute of Medicine recommends 600 IU per day of vitamin D for woman, including pregnant women. Ongoing research suggests that pregnant women’s needs may be even higher for improving maternal and infant vitamin D status. Because food is not a good source of vitamin D, supplementation is often necessary.
  • Iodine: Iodine is required for normal brain development and growth; however, iodine deficiency is becoming more common. During pregnancy, iodine requirements increase. With the popularity and increased use of non-iodized salt many women are at risk for deficiency. The IOM recommends an iodine intake of 150 to 220 micrograms per day for pregnant women.

7. Self-Love

Your body is growing larger each day. You can’t tie your shoes. You pee all the time. You have weird cravings. There’s a lot to be uncomfortable about, really. Which is exactly why we also recommend that you dial up the self-love when you’re pregnant and keep your sense of humor. Plus, it’s good practice for when the baby is here — and you’re rocking yoga pants with spit-up on them (been there, done that SO MANY TIMES).

And, seriously, the Viactiv Calcium Soft Chews are delicious, so although they’re a supplement, they’re also a pretty nice way to treat yourself (and your bump!) at the end of a long day. (Obviously though: If you are pregnant, speak your healthcare provider before taking any supplements.)

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How much calcium are you getting a day? Bump up your intake and save $2 on your next purchase of Viactiv Calcium Soft Chews with this printable coupon! You can find Viactiv at major retailers nationwide, like Rite Aid, CVS, BJs Wholesale Club, Target and Walmart, as well as supermarkets nationwide. Also check them out on Facebook and on Instagram with the hashtag #BumpUpYourCalcium. (There are some really great bumps on there!) —Jenn

*OB/GYN survey data was gathered by BrandPerx on behalf of Viactiv, surveying over 1,000 participating OB/GYNs across the country during the month of July 2015.

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