Eating well during pregnancy can be challenging, for many reasons. You may be confused by conflicting information about what to eat, you may feel nauseous or have a protein aversion that limits what sounds good, or maybe you’re just too tired to cook.
The good news is that prenatal nutrition doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Needed is on a mission to empower women to be optimally nourished at every stage of the journey to motherhood. They offer nutrition products to complement a mama’s diet to promote optimal health, especially on days when it’s tough to get anything to stay down.
Let’s walk through a day in the life of a pregnant mama using optimally dosed supplements to help meet her nutrition needs.
First thing in the Morning Prenatal Nutrition:
The moment you wake up your body is craving hydration. You’ve just spent an extended period of time in a fasted state without consuming food or fluids, so it’s the perfect time to intentionally replete your body with what it needs to thrive.
And when you’re pregnant you need more than just water. Electrolytes like sodium, magnesium, and potassium maintain fluid balance, aid in blood flow and regulate blood pressure, and support bone health. As fluid needs increase in pregnancy and breastfeeding, so do electrolyte needs.
Mix 16 fl oz of filtered water with a packet of Needed’s Hydration Support. This delicious powder contains an optimal balance of refreshing electrolytes and trace minerals, and unlike most other electrolyte supplements available, it does not contain any sugar and is lightly sweetened and flavored with only real fruit.
We get it, whether you’re short on time, navigating getting yourself and your toddler ready for school or just not a big breakfast eater, it can be hard to sit down for a balanced breakfast. Smoothies are a fantastic way to pack in nutrient-dense foods like berries, nuts/seeds, and leafy greens in a convenient and easily digestible way.
Make sure to pair your smoothie with adequate protein and fat. Research shows that protein needs are 39% higher in early pregnancy and 73% higher in late pregnancy than previously thought. Aiming for closer to 80 grams in protein in early pregnancy and 100 grams in late pregnancy may be more optimal, yet 40-67% of pregnant women fall below this level. Needed’s Prenatal Collagen Protein is a clean, quick, and convenient way to meet your needs for this critical macronutrient. Better yet, your smoothie can double as your prenatal vitamin! Needed’s Prenatal Powder is a slightly sweet vanilla-flavored powder even nauseous mamas love. Simply blend the Prenatal Multi Powder in your morning smoothie and you’ve just started your day with 24 optimally dosed vitamins and minerals you and your baby need to thrive!
1 cup nut/seed milk of choice (we love the Three Trees, Joi, MALK, and Malibu Mylk brands if you can find them. Or, look for a nut/seed milk with no added fillers and gums)
1 scoop Needed Collagen powder
2 scoops of Needed Prenatal Multi
Optional: ¼ cup frozen cauliflower (for added creaminess and to get those veggies in!)
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Add more milk or water to thin out to your desired consistency. Using frozen ingredients will result in a thicker smoothie.
Mid-day Prenatal Nutrition
At lunch, take an Omega-3 supplement and a Pre/Probiotic to support what’s missing from your diet. You can certainly increase your levels of omega-3 through foods like low-mercury fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, herring, anchovies, sardines); however, research finds that up to 95% of moms do not meet their omega-3 needs despite very clear, clinically-proven benefits before before, during, and after pregnacy. Most moms aren’t eating fatty fish 3-4 times a week, so Needed’s Omega-3+ is an easy-to-take capsule that includes both EPA+DHA, Choline, Lutein, and Zeaxanthin to support baby’s optimal brain, nervous system, and eye development, mama’s mood and more.
And for microbiome support, foods like sauerkraut and kombucha just aren’t enough to support the specific microbiome needs of mamas. Mamas need specific strains that are designed to support the vaginal and gut microbiome. Needed’s Prenatal Pre/Probiotic was designed by a team of perinatal and microbiome experts to boost maternal and infant immune functions; balance mood; optimize digestion; and support healthy blood sugar and blood pressure.
Evening Prenatal Nutrition
While it can be convenient to take a prenatal vitamin that includes iron, there are some downsides to that convenience. First, you may not need additional iron and too much iron in your body has negative effects on your gut microbiome and it can generate oxidative stress. Additionally, most iron found in prenatal vitamins offer a less expensive version that tends to be tough on the gut.
In addition, iron can interact negatively with other nutrients and block absorption of certain nutrients like magnesium and zinc. By dosing iron separately from your prenatal, you can promote optimal absorption of important minerals and reduce the risk of taking too much supplemental iron.
Talk to your health practitioner about testing your iron status before, during, and after pregnancy, and supplement only if you are falling short. This chart can help you tailor your dosage to your needs. Needed’s Prenatal Iron is bound to glycine for better absorption and digestive comfort. Each small capsule contains 13.5mg or iron, so you can easily tailor your daily dosage to meet your needs.
Let It Be Easy
We are huge fans of Needed’s Complete Plan, which delivers unparalleled nourishment for every phase — whether you’re thinking, trying, pregnant, postpartum, or deeper into your mom years! Needed has simplified the routine down to the core 4 products you need (Prenatal, Omega-3, pregnancy-specific Pre/Probiotic, and ethically and sustainably-sourced Collagen), bundled together in such an easy and flexible monthly plan.
Needed’s Complete Plan truly meets all of your micronutrient, microbiome, and protein needs. Save 20% off your first order of Needed’s Complete Plan or any of their other perinatal nutrition products at thisisneeded.com with code BIRTHHOUR.
*This post is sponsored by Needed. The Birth Hour only promotes products that we have personally tried and would recommend to our audience.
The Birth Hour team has been huge fans of Kindred Bravely for several years and have loved watching the brand grow and their clothing lines get better and better. Today, we are highlighting a few of our favorite items that we consider MUST HAVES to get you through pregnancy all the way to postpartum and breastfeeding!
If you are a listener of The Birth Hour then you’ve certainly heard our host, Bryn, talk about her love of the Simply Sublime line from Kindred Bravely. We love the original Simply Sublime bra, racerback bra, sports bra, and pumping bra BUT the tank top takes the cake for us when it comes to a clothing item you will live in during pregnancy and while nursing. It is so stretchy yet slightly compressive helping you feel comfortably hugged but never restricted when your body is changing by the day. The nursing clips are easy to use and the genius of the Simply Sublime built-in bra makes it flattering (no uni-boob here!) and functional for wearing around town but also comfortable to sleep in. Last but not least, the Simply Sublime® Maternity & Nursing Tank comes in Busty sizing making it the only tank we’ve tried that has an option that is truly designed for larger cup sizes. The Simply Sublime Nursing Bra comes in sizes for 30b-46i!
You may not immediately think of maternity and postpartum underwear being a necessity when it comes to your changing body (surely regular underwear will do the job right?). Well, while you may be able to make it work with your regular underwear, you will be SO MUCH more comfortable in Kindred Bravely’s Grow with Me Maternity & Postpartum Briefs. They are buttery soft and very stretchy so they will work throughout your pregnancy and postpartum phases. Although, we do recommend switching to the High-Waisted Postpartum Recovery Panties for a little more support after baby arrives.
If you’ve been pregnant before, you may have had that one maternity item that you just didn’t want to let go of even months after baby had arrived. Well, we are here to tell you that the Louisa Maternity & Postpartum Support Leggings will become that item for you! The most magically comfortable and soft leggings that offer the perfect amount of compression and have pockets (a must in our opinion!). We truly do not understand how Kindred Bravely has managed to create a legging that stretches over a 40-week belly, yet still holds its shape to provide support for a postpartum belly in the most flattering way right after baby makes their appearance. These leggings come in several colors and you will want them all once you try them! We recommend starting with the classic black and they will become a staple in your wardrobe. They also have capri, crop, and non-pocketed options—check them all out here.
Once you feel this bamboo fabric from Kindred Bravely you will want the entire collection. This is why we couldn’t choose just one item! Everyone will have the styles they prefer more whether it’s a nightgown, shorts set, tank top, joggers, or t-shirt. This fabric is buttery soft but also breathable (we all know that being hot and sweaty is a struggle while pregnant or postpartum!). Everything from this line is stretchy and almost all of the options can be worn not only as sleepwear but to run errands as well!
If you plan to do any pumping at all then this pumping and nursing bra will be your new BFF. It feels exactly like the Simply Sublime Nursing Bra when you wear it, it just has the added benefit of functioning as a pumping bra when you need it. AND IT COMES IN BUSTY SIZING!! Birth Hour host, Bryn, could never find a pumping bra that fit her larger chest with her first two babies and discovering Kindred Bravely’s Sublime® Hands-Free Pumping &Nursing Bra was a game changer for baby #3. This might not be as fun to shop for as comfy loungewear or cute leggings but it’s a functional item that you will be glad you have when the time comes!
You can see more of Bryn’s favorite items from Kindred Bravely on her Instagram highlights here. And be sure to use the coupon code BIRTHHOUR for 20% off your purchase at kindredbravely.com.
Many expecting parents are worried about the logistics of feeding their baby. Will there be enough milk? Is it going to hurt? How will I know if baby is getting enough milk? The questions and concerns are never-ending, especially for first timers. It’s not very often that those planning to nurse are thinking about what to do if they have TOO MUCH milk! But, believe it or not, this is a very real issue for many lactating moms and I was one of them.
When my baby arrived I experienced the initial slow flow days of colostrum and then when my milk came in, boy did it come! Many moms deal with engorgement which is painful but relatively short-lived. My oversupply of milk didn’t slow down after a week or even a month. I was soaking entire towels on one side while my baby nursed on the other. Aside from being a laundry nightmare, soaking hand towels wasn’t very practical for going out in public.
Surprisingly, in all of my research while pregnant, I never came across information on what to do if you have too much milk or were a heaver leaker. I wish someone had told me about this when I was preparing to nurse a newborn so I wouldn’t have been so lost in those first weeks. Instead of baking and freezing “milk maker” cookies (to boost supply) while pregnant, I would have been researching must-haves for dealing with oversupply.
The product that was such a game changer for me was the Milkies Milk Saver by Fairhaven Health. The Milk Saver allows you to save breast milk that is pouring out of the non-nursing side while your baby eats. Using a breast pump is not a good idea when you have oversupply (even though it might feel good when you’re engorged) because it just stimulates your breasts to make more milk so these are also a great way to start a freezer stash for future occasions when you want baby to take a bottle. Without ever pumping, I managed to store around 6 ounces of milk each day just using the Milk Saver. The best part about this product was that it allowed me to feed my baby without soaking through numerous breast pads and my clothes in the process.
I loved the Milkies Milk Saver so much that I brought it every where with me and then with my most recent baby I discovered their Milk-Saver On-the-go travel milk saver which was much easier to manage in situations like being in a restaurant or nursing in the car etc.
I’ve since been introduced to all of the Milkies line from Fairhaven health and also highly recommend their Milk Saver trays for storing 1 ounce frozen sticks of milk that make preparing the perfect amount of milk in a bottle so much easier. They also make milk storage bags, an organizer for your freezer and other products that support lactation like balm, pads, teas and supplements! Milkies is generously offering 15% off all Milkies products with the code BirthHour15 at www.fairhavenhealth.com.
Fairhaven Health is a sponsor of The Birth Hour. As always, all opinions and recommendations are our own.
Comprehensive & Evidence-Based Childbirth Course from The Birth Hour
I’m so excited to announce The Birth Hour’s signature online childbirth course. Know Your Options is THE most comprehensive online childbirth course in existence! In this course, we will take you from the final weeks of pregnancy through postpartum and newborn care covering all of the evidence-based information for all types of birth, no matter what you are planning!
If you are worried about navigating today’s birth system have maybe had a bad birth experience where your power was taken away from you in the past, we want to help!
But, despite doing your research, you’re still feeling overwhelmed and unprepared and that’s OK. We have totally been there too. There is still time to prepare and we are confident that we can help you achieve an empowering birth. This is our expertise and passion!
IMAGINE WHAT YOUR BIRTH WOULD LOOK LIKE IF…
You didn’t have to choose between an unmedicated birth and a hospital birth.
You’re informed in every single decision you and your partner make.
You feel empowered to speak up when it comes to how you labor and birth your baby.
Because THAT is exactly what this course will do: It gives you options so you can choose where and how to give birth based on all of the most up-to-date evidence based information available coupled with learning to trust your instincts and make decisions based on what is right for YOU.
What exactly do we cover? 12 Incredible Evidence-Based Modules + Bi-Weekly Zoom Calls
Module 1: Pre-Labor
Intro to decision-making & advocacy in birth.
What is evidence-based care, intro into increasing your odds of getting family centered care.
Last Weeks of Pregnancy.
Cervical exams: what they are, what they do/don’t tell us, when they are useful and when they are not.
How to tell the difference between labor and false alarms.
Module 2: Planned Cesarean
Gentle or Family Centered Cesarean. What is it?
Questions to ask your doctor to make sure you’re on the same page (includes free download).
Video of Gentle Cesarean.
Module 3: Early Labor
Overview of labor, divided into stages and phases. Normal variations of length of each stage.
Early Labor Coping Strategies.
Spontaneous labor: When to call your provider
Module 4: Induction
Why might your labor be induced?
How is labor induced?
What are some risks of induction, and how can you improve your odds of your induction ending in a vaginal birth?
Risks of induction/cascade of intervention.
Module 5: Active Labor
How can you cope with active labor?
When should you leave for your birth location (or ask the midwife to come)?
What should you pack, whom should you invite to be there, and how will you make your wishes known in labor?
Typical interventions upon arrival at birth location.
Module 6: Transition
How will you cope with the most intense phase of labor?
What pain medication options do you have?
Why might you need a cesarean during labor, and how can you reduce your risk of needing one?
Module 7: Pushing
How can you reduce your risk of tearing?
What breathing techniques and positioning are helpful in pushing?
What happens if your baby needs help getting out?
How can you best advocate for your preferences during labor?
Module 8: Baby’s First Day
What interventions might be offered to your baby in the first hours of life?
Immediate newborn procedures.
Hep B & Circumcision.
What is going on with the birthing person before and after the birth of the placenta?
How can you get off to the best start with nursing?
Module 9: Postpartum Recovery
What are the signs that a parent may be experiencing mood & anxiety disorders?
What are the essentials to have on hand for recovery after birth?
How can you plan ahead and make those first few weeks after birth easier on yourself?
Giving yourself time to heal and knowing when to call for help.
Module 10: Establishing Nursing
How to establish a robust milk supply.
Positioning and latching theory.
What tips and tricks can you try to make nursing as comfortable as possible?
What signs can you look for to know when things are going well or when you need to call for help?
Module 11: Bottle Feeding
What if nursing doesn’t work, or you don’t want to do it at all?
Choosing a formula and Safe formula preparation.
What is the best way to bottle feed?
How do you choose which bottles to use?
How and how much to feed.
What is paced bottle feeding?
Module 12: Newborn Care Basics
Why might your baby cry, and how can you calm them?
How do you decide where your baby will sleep?
How do you get your baby to sleep?!?
Newborn hygiene: diapering, bathing, dressing, nail trimming, snot sucking, etc.
PLUS Bigger-than-a-Bonus: Beyond the Latch: pumping, bottle feeding, going back to paid work + keeping your baby fed
Then, we’ve got you covered when you’re going back to work with an additional six module Beyond the Latch Course that you will get completely free as part of enrollment in the Know Your Options Childbirth Course!
This is an additional 6 Module Course designed to take the guesswork, worry, and stress out of maintaining your nursing relationship with your baby when you return to paid work.
We will help you:
Identify specific strategies for pumping, storing, thawing, and feeding human milk.
Troubleshoot ways to boost milk production.
Guide you in making plans with your employer, your baby’s caregiver, and your family.
Get organized with sample schedules and checklists.
Lifetime Access + MORE Bonuses!
Oh, and you get lifetime access to everything! I’ve actually already had a few mamas who are still in the trying to conceive phase sign up because they wanted to be sure to get in on the course while they can!
You’ll also get a thirty page Course Planner and Note-Taking Guide that you can print out to keep you and your partner on track throughout the course. All of the key takeaways from each lesson are included with space to jot down any questions you have along the way and make note of any essential info you want to remember down the road!
More than a dozen bonus downloads to help save you time along the way and get organized before going into labor—with everything from a hospital bag checklist to printouts for your fridge of who/when to call when in labor! After baby arrives, you’ll have even more invaluable bonuses as you prepare to soak up the 4th trimester with your new baby.
You may know that thanks to the Affordable Care Act of 2010, breast pumps are covered by most health insurance companies for free. But, you may also know that dealing with your insurance company for anything at all can sometimes be more work than it’s worth. That’s why The Birth Hour is proud to partner with Aeroflow Breastpumps to help you navigate this process.
3 Steps to Get a Breast Pump Through Insurance
Aeroflow Breastpumps has helped thousands of new and expecting moms find the perfect pump for her lifestyle. They offer all major pump brands including Medela, Spectra, Motif, Lansinoh, Ameda and more. And the best part, they take care of everything – including getting all required paperwork, dealing with your insurance company, and explaining your options in order to get your free pump shipped straight to your door.
Step 1 – Fill out a quick form with your info
Head over to Aeroflow Breastpumps website and fill out their completely FREE and easy, Qualify through Insurance form. On this form you’ll be asked for your name, email, due date, and insurance information.
Step 2 – Get Verified
Aeroflow does all of the legwork for you by determining your level of coverage through your insurance carrier and verifying your due date with your care provider. You will be assigned a breast pump specialist and they can assist you through email, text, or by phone—whatever is easiest for you.
Step 3 – Choose your Breastpump
You will be sent a link where you can view all of the breastpump options available to you for FREE. Aeroflow carries all of the major pump brands including Medela, Spectra, Motif, Lansinoh, Ameda and more. You can narrow down your choices based on brand or certain features you’re looking for (double electric, manual hospital-grade, hands free, battery operated, etc). Your breast pump specialist can help by recommending the best breast pump for your lifestyle and breastfeeding goals as well!
And, Aeroflow has free shipping on all pumps!
Getting a Breast Pump Through Insurance – FAQs
Getting a breast pump for free through insurance may seem too good to be true and if you still have some questions, here are some of the most frequently asked questions we see.
When will I get my breastpump?
It depends on your insurance company. Some plans require that you wait until 36 weeks to receive your pump while others allow it to be shipped right away. Aeroflow will find out this information and can let you know!
Do I need a note from my doctor?
Nope! Aeroflow will contact your care provider to verify your pregnancy and due date. They take care of everything!
Will I have to deal with contacting my insurance provider?
Nope! Aeroflow takes care of everything and you will never have to speak to your insurance company. If for some reason your insurance company isn’t serviced by Aeroflow they will give you instructions on who can help you.
What about breast pump accessories and resupply products?
When you go through Aeroflow, they will recommend supplies and accessories that will benefit your pumping experience and they will also determine whether select supplies and accessories are available for free under your insurance plan. My favorite part is that Aeroflow will contact you at regular intervals after baby arrives to send you free replacement parts!
Is it possible to upgrade my breast pump beyond what I qualify for through my insurance?
Yes! After your insurance information is verified, Aeroflow will send you a link that is personalized based on your coverage. It will show you which pumps your qualify for free and which ones you can upgrade to for an additional fee.
I’ve heard that some insurance companies also cover the cost of maternity compression garments. How does that work?
Yes, you may also qualify for free maternity compression garments like compression socks, maternity support band, and a postpartum recovery garment. Aeroflow will check your insurance information automatically to let you know! PLUS breast pump resupply products ranging from new bottles, tubing, and flanges to duck valves and pump membranes.
This is a topic many parents forget to prepare for and then are in full on panic mode when their 3-month-old refuses a bottle and the breastfeeding mama can’t even get one night out with friends or struggles with returning to work. So we’ve created a free video for you all about this topic! You’ll definitely want your partner to watch this one too because often they are the one giving a bottle while you grab a quick shower! Click here to watch!