How Your Body Copes With Babys Demands
The good news is that, during pregnancy, the amount of calcium our body absorbs doubles to help meet our babys needs. Meeting your daily calcium requirements will ensure you meet your babys.
The bad news: You lose this superpower after giving birth. Postpartum, its back to the status quo. You will return to only absorbing about a quarter of the calcium you eat, like other ordinary humans. Unfortunately, your babys need for calcium remains high. The average baby under 6 months of age needs 200 mg a day. And if you are breastfeeding, this comes from you.
Our babies literally steal calcium from our bones. And this only gets worse after birth.
So where does all this calcium come from? From your bones.
The average woman loses 3-5% of her bone mass during pregnancy and breastfeeding. She will lose even more if she gets too little calcium from her diet.
Although you cannot completely prevent this lossit is a normal and inevitable part of breastfeedingmaking sure you get plenty of calcium while breastfeeding can limit the amount you lose.
This sounds scary, but take heart: Women typically recover their bone mass within six months of weaning. And most studies find having children and breastfeeding doesnt raise a womans risk of osteoporosis or bone fractures later in life.
That said, getting extra calcium after weaning can help boost your bones recovery.
High Calcium Foods For Pregnancy
10 High Calcium Foods For Pregnancy
If theres one thing we cant stress enough, its how important nutrition is during preconception and pregnancy. Your pregnant body will do whatever it can to provide your developing baby with the nutrients he or she needs. If you are lacking in calcium intake during pregnancy, your body will often begin sending any calcium it can get to your baby. This leaves behind minimal for your body! Unfortunately, this can leave your bones and teeth in need of a serious calcium boost.
Calcium is an important and essential nutrient during pregnancy. Thats why it is essential to make sure youre getting the recommended amount of calcium each day, throughout your whole pregnancy! According to the National Institutes of Health, pregnant and lactating women aged 18 years and older should aim to consume at least 1,000 milligrams of calcium each day. And pregnant and lactating women aged 18 and younger should consume a bit more with the recommendation of at least 1,300 mg each day.
Calcium can benefit your growing baby in soooo many ways. Its a key mineral in the formation of your babys strong bones and teeth, normal heart rhythm development, nerve signaling, and the list goes on and on! There is also ongoing research into the important role of calcium in the proper development of a babys heart and nerves. Calcium may also improve the babys blood-clotting abilities.
When Youre Pregnant Calcium Will Help Your Developing Baby:
- Build strong bones and teeth
- Grow a healthy heart, nerves and muscles
- Develop a normal heart rhythm
- Improve blood-clotting abilities
If you dont get enough calcium during pregnancy, especially in the third trimester, your baby will draw it from your bones, which could impair your health and increase your risk for osteoporosis later in life.
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The Benefits Of Getting Enough Calcium During Pregnancy
While its clear that proper nutrition helps you have a healthy pregnancy, understand that each vitamin and mineral will improve your babys growth and development in a specific way. So how does getting enough calcium contribute to a healthy pregnancy? Here are a few of the biggest benefits:
- Calcium helps your babys bones and teeth develop. Getting enough calcium will help to strengthen your babys developing teeth and bones.
- Calcium will boost the formation of nerves and muscles. Muscles like the heart need calcium to get stronger.
- Calcium will protect your own teeth and bones. If you arent getting enough calcium, your body will take what it needs for the baby. It will leech calcium from your bones and teeth, weakening them.
As you can see, theres a lot to gain from making sure youre getting enough calcium while pregnant!
Pregnancy And Lactose Intolerance: How Do You Get Enough Calcium
For many women, the ability to digest lactose improves during pregnancy, especially later in pregnancy. As a result, even if you’re normally lactose intolerant, you might be able to drink milk and eat other dairy products without discomfort.
Calcium helps build your baby’s bones and teeth. The Institute of Medicine recommends 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day during pregnancy. Pregnant teens need 1,300 milligrams a day.
If you experience lactose intolerance during pregnancy or dislike milk or other dairy products, consider these tips:
- Choose other calcium-rich foods, such as almonds, broccoli, edamame, chickpeas, pinto beans, tofu, spinach, and calcium-fortified foods and drinks. If you drink almond milk, choose one with added calcium.
- Take a calcium supplement.
- Many people who are lactose intolerant can usually drink small portions of milk, such as a half cup, with a meal and have minimal or no symptoms.
- Try lactose-free or lactose-reduced products, including milk, cheese and yogurt.
- Yogurt and fermented products, such as cheeses, are often better tolerated than is regular milk. The lactose in yogurt is already partially digested by the active bacteria in yogurt.
Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, especially during the second half of your pregnancy. Vitamin D is typically included in your prenatal vitamin, along with calcium.
If you’re concerned about how much calcium you’re getting, talk to your health care provider.
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Boosting Calcium For Pregnant Women
Your calcium needs double during pregnancy, so that your body can build healthy baby bones and maintain mommys healthy frame.
Babys teeth and bones begin to form in the second month, and double their growth by the sixth. If the calcium in your diet is insufficient, baby will pull calcium from your bones, making them more brittle a condition called osteoporosis. You and your baby together need an average of 1,600 milligrams of daily calcium, 800 milligrams more than before you were pregnant. Be sure your calcium reserves are adequate when your baby begins to need large amounts, which is primarily during the third trimester.
Unless you must avoid dairy products, its not too difficult to ingest this amount. New studies show that pregnant women who took 1,500 to 2,000 milligrams of daily calcium supplements can reduce their chances of developing high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia by 60-70 percent. One quart of milk contains your total daily requirement for calcium for pregnant women.
The Foods to Look For
The champion food that contains high amounts of calcium for pregnant women, the food that packs the most calcium into the least calories is yogurt.
If you have a lactose intolerance, try calcium-enriched soy or rice milk or take the enzyme lactase , available in tablet form, along with your milk. If its the fat or the calories in dairy products that youre not fond of, try low-fat or non-fat dairy products, which may contain slightly higher amounts of calcium.
How Can You Boost Your Calcium Intake During Pregnancy
Before you take steps to boost your calcium levels, you must know how much calcium you need during pregnancy. Pregnancy does not increase the requirement of calcium. If you are an adult woman , you must intake 1000 mg calcium throughout your pregnancy and breastfeeding.
For minors, the quantity increases to 1300 mg per day.
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Where Can You Find Calcium
Reaching the recommended levels of calcium is easy when there is a multitude of calcium-rich foods. Dont worry about calcium deficiency if you are lactose intolerant. You can take lactose-free calcium supplements instead but always talk to your doctor first. In the meantime, eat these foods:
- Dairy products, such as milk, cheese and yoghurt
- Soy products, found in soya paneer, soya milk and soybeans
- Vegetables, such as spinach, broccoli and French beans
- Nuts, such as almonds, peanut and sunflower seeds
- Eggs and fish such as chura, pala etc
Calcium During Pregnancy What You Need To Know
Youre pregnant and your close ones keep pestering you to drink milk because you need to load on calcium. The thing is youre not really a dairy person. So, is it such a big deal if youre not getting enough of the mineral?
Well, yes, it definitely is! Did you know that calcium plays a key role in the function of almost every cell in your body and that of the tiny life growing inside of you? This article briefly reviews the roles of calcium during pregnancy and will give you tips on how to meet your needs.
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Guidelines That Every Expecting Mother Should Follow
Now, if you do need a calcium supplement, follow these 5 simple guidelines:
Firstly, make sure that you dont take more than 500 milligrams of calcium at one time as large doses wont be absorbed.
Secondly, dont take calcium supplements at the same time as your pregnancy multi-vitamin as it can impact the absorption of other nutrients such as iron.
Thirdly, calcium citrate is the preferred type of calcium supplement as it is more easily absorbed, but it is more expensive.
Number 4, if you have calcium carbonate supplements, make sure that you take them with food.
Number 5, if you are relying on calcium-fortified beverages, like an almond milk or soy milk, be careful because absorption of calcium from those types of drinks is generally less than the calcium absorbed from other plant based sources.
If you have any further questions, feel free to post in the comments box below. And, if you havent yet checked out my book on What About My Calcium, you can find it here.
Its very important for you and important for your baby, if you are going to be nursing after you have the baby. And I would love to hear from moms who are pregnant now, how are you getting your calcium? If youve been pregnant in the past, what did you do? How did you space it out over the course of the day, because you cant consume all this calcium at once. Your body can only digest a certain amount at any given time.
Best of luck staying healthy while you are enjoying your pregnancy.
You Only Need To Watch Your Calcium Intake During The 3rd Trimester
You may come across articles saying that calcium is essential only during the last trimester, the period during which Juniors skeleton is rapidly developing. Its true that 80% of foetal calcium accretion occurs during the 3rd trimester and that the calcium transfer to Junior shoots from 50mg/day during the 2nd trimester to 250mg/day during the 3rd trimester. However, to meet this high demand at the end of gestation, your body must have enough calcium in stock early during the pregnancy. Thats why you need to start getting enough calcium as from the moment you get the good news or ideally as soon as you consider trying for a baby.
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How Much Calcium Do Pregnant Women Need
One of the biggest questions that pregnant women have about calcium is how much they need to consume daily for optimal health. Calcium is usually measured in milligrams, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant and breastfeeding women over age 19 consume 1,000 milligrams of calcium every day.
When aiming to get 1,000 mg of calcium in your diet, look at the amount of calcium on nutrition labels. Add up your total to get a general idea of how much calcium youre consuming and whether you need more. Remember, your body doesnt make much calcium on its own, so you must consume enough daily.
Here Are 10 Reasons To Take Calcium Supplements During Pregnancy
1.Pregnant women need a ton of calcium.2. Prenatal vitamins arent enough.3. You need strong bones, during pregnancy more than ever.4. You Can Get Calcium From Food, Sort Of.Learn more about osteoporosis when you check out: National Osteoporosis Month: Resources for Health and Prevention5. When Youre Dairy-Free, Getting Calcium is Even More Important, and Difficult.More on that here: 15 Surprising Dairy-Free Sources of Calcium6. Calcium is good for your teeth.7.Your heart needs calcium.8. Calcium helps regulate blood pressure.9. You wont need to rely on food for calcium.If youre having trouble tolerating dairy, read this: How To Get Enough Calcium on a Dairy Free or Plant-Based Diet10. You can take calcium supplements anywhere, anytime.If youre not familiar with powdered supplements, you can read up on them here: Supplement Trends: Pills Are So Yesterdaytake advantage of our special limited time offerMore sources on whether its safe to take calcium supplements during pregnancy:Calcium in Your Pregnancy Diet10 Wonderful Benefits of Calcium
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Health Benefits Of Calcium
A pregnant woman’s need for calcium goes up in the third trimester, when the baby’s skeleton is rapidly developing. “The fetal skeleton gets what it needs, no matter what, even if it has to leech essentials from its mother’s bones,” says Murray Favus, MD, director of the bone program and professor of medicine at the University of Chicago. But nature is on Mom’s side too: “A woman’s body can sense the increased needs of the fetus and produce more vitamin D. This enables pregnant women and nursing moms to absorb more of the calcium that’s in their food,” says Ruth Frechman, registered dietitian and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, in Los Angeles.
Vegetarian And Vegan Diets
Vegetarian and vegan diets can be very healthy. But if you choose to follow one, you’ll need to understand a little about nutrition to be sure youre getting all the vitamins that your body needs. Getting the right nutrition is even more important when youre pregnant.
There are different types of vegetarian diets. How much calcium you get and how much of it you absorb depends on what you eat. If you follow a lacto-ova vegetarian diet, you can have eggs, milk, and cheese. So, on this plan, you should be able to get enough calcium each day.
It may be more challenging to meet the daily recommendation for calcium if you follow a strict vegan or plant-based diet.
On a vegan diet, you do not consume any milk or dairy products. Plus, some plants interfere with how well your body absorbs calcium. That doesnt mean you cant get enough calcium in your diet if youre a veganit just means you have to know the right foods to choose from.
Vegan sources of calcium include:
- Dark leafy greens
- Navy beans
- Sesame seeds
Commonly fortified products include:
- Tofu, firm, with calcium sulfate
- Soy milk
- Rice milk
If you are having trouble getting the calcium you need through your diet alone, you should talk to your doctor about a vegetarian or vegan calcium supplement.
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How To Get The Calcium You Need During Pregnancy
Calcium is the most abundant mineral in your body, 99% of which is found in your bones and teeth after all, its main purpose is to build and maintain strong bones and teeth. The remaining 1% of your calcium is used for blood vessel dilation and constriction, muscle contraction, nerve transmission, and hormone secretion.
During pregnancy, calcium stores in the expecting parent’s body are the main source of the nutrient for the fetus. A baby’s bones grow the most rapidly in the third trimester, and during this time an estimated 200-250 mg is transferred to the fetus per day. But heres where the calcium story gets really interesting: The Dietary Reference Intake , which is the amount you need to consume on a daily basis, is the same for pregnant people and non-pregnant people with ovaries despite the extra demand on a pregnant person’s body.
All adults with ovaries are advised by the National Institutes of Health to get 1,000 mg per day of calcium the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends the same for pregnant people and during lactation . The DRI for calcium only increases to 1,200 mg post-menopause.
Search Strategy For Identification Of Studies
1. MEDLINE and EMBASE were searched in December 2005 using the following search strategy
#1 Search calcium 84110
#2 Search pregnan* 568541
#3 Search “blood pressure” 247471
#4 Search hyperten* 241702
#5 Search #1 AND #2 AND 253
2. All databases included in The Cochrane Library were searched with a search strategy equivalent to the Medline strategy.
3. Reference lists of all the studies that went into the pool of retrieved studies, including those of other reviews, were examined to identify any further studies. We did not implement a standardized strategy to find unpublished studies.
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Which Foods Contain Calcium
The bioavailability of calcium varies from food to food and depends on other nutrients present2.
Dairy foods are a rich source of calcium with good bioavailability. Choose low sugar, unsweetened whenever possible.
If youre using dairy alternatives, such as nut milks or soya drinks, its best to choose unsweetened versions that are fortified with calcium, and other vitamins.
Other good sources of calcium during pregnancy include cereals, green, leafy vegetables and fish.
Believe it or not, skimmed milk provides just as much calcium as whole milk? Thats because calcium is found in the liquid part of milk, so its not removed when the fat content is skimmed off.
Calcium During Pregnancy: How To Get Enough
Pregnant women will have slightly different dietary and nutritional needs than non-pregnant women. Theyll need to get more protein, iron, folic acid and calcium in their diet in order to support the growing fetus. If the fetus isnt receiving sufficient nutrients, it will be more susceptible to developing birth defects or weak organs.
Calcium in particular is one of the most important nutrients that pregnant women need to monitor their intake for. Without enough calcium, both the baby and the mother will suffer. Its a mineral that is needed to maintain the health of the mothers bones and keep the muscles energized. Its also important for the baby during development.
Unfortunately, despite being one of the most important nutrients, calcium does not really get a lot of the spotlight in comparison to folic acid and vitamin D. The good news is that getting the 1,000 mg of calcium that is recommended for most women is fairly simple, whether reached through a diet high in diary products, nuts, or leafy greens, or through supplementation.
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