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Pregnancy Topics..

You are here : home > Pregnancy > Weight Gain, Diet & Exercise > Importance of Calcium Intake during Pregnancy

Importance of Calcium Intake during Pregnancy

Adequate intake of calcium is important during pregnancy as extra calcium is need for your baby’s growth and development. Read on to know more about the significance of calcium intake during pregnancy.

Calcium is a nutrient that women need a lot for a healthy life as deficiency of calcium leads to many problems not only related to bones but many other health issues. For a pregnant woman, it is more important as even the growing foetus needs calcium for the building of bones and other healthy factors, so it draws calcium from the mother’s body.

What Is the Recommended Intake of Calcium?

If you are above 18, you must intake 1000-1200 mg of calcium per day before pregnancy, during pregnancy, and even after pregnancy. If you are below 18, then the range should be 1200-1500 mg per day. However, you must consume calcium supplements as per your gynaecologist’s prescription only.

Why Is Calcium So Important For Pregnant Women?

  • It develops blood-clotting abilities.
  • It controls the normal rhythm of heart beats.
  • Calcium also helps muscles and nerves function properly.
  • Calcium builds strong teeth and bones.

When you are pregnant, your developing baby also needs calcium for the same reasons. So this time, calcium intake becomes very important. Also, during the final 20 weeks of pregnancy, your body grows the ability to absorb more calcium due to the estrogen created during pregnancy. You can defend your bones the most in this period.

What if Enough Calcium Is Not Consumed During Pregnancy?

During pregnancy, the developing foetus will draw calcium from your body. If you do not consume enough calcium to sustain the child’s need, then your body will take calcium from your bones, decreasing your bone mass and you will face an increased risk of osteoporosis in your future. This will lead to weak, brittle, and thin bones that can easily be broken.

Consuming sufficient calcium also prevents preeclampsia, eclampsia, and HELLP syndrome. Preeclampsia may increase your blood pressure along with overabundance of protein in your urine and less blood-flow to the foetus causing a low birth weight or premature birth. So, calcium has a very important role to play during pregnancy. Eclampsia is a major problem that follows preeclampsia.

Which Food Can Provide Calcium?

Try to eat 3-4 servings of calcium-enriched food in a day to inject enough calcium in your body for you and your developing baby.

  • The best sources of calcium are dairy products like milk, yogurt, pudding, cheese, and cream soups
  • Calcium is also found in green vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and other greens, also in dried peas and beans
  • Calcium is also present in orange, grapefruit, or enriched natural fruit juices
  • Calcium is present in seafood as well, like shrimps, sardines, salmon, etc.
  • Check the labels of the food whether they are calcium-fortified. You would get plenty of calcium-enriched breads, cereals, and grains
  • Intake sufficient amount of Vitamin D also like eggs, fish, and fortified milk as Vitamin D helps absorb calcium

Is There a Need for Taking Supplement?

The prenatal vitamins your doctor has recommended will provide you 150-200 mg of calcium. But keeping in mind that your body can absorb 500 mg of calcium at a time, you can consult your doctor and get a calcium supplement that you really need apart from your regular dietary intake.


What Can Happen During Calcium Overdose?

Always keep in mind that your body can absorb 500 mg of calcium at a time. So if you overdose it, you may face constipation, low iron absorption and kidney stones. It is best to discuss with your doctor about your regular diet and calcium supplements if you really need.

Taking in the right amount of calcium will not only save your growing baby, but will also provide a shield to your health in future saving you from bone-related problems and many other problems associated with the deficiency of calcium.

How much calcium is needed by a pregnant woman? Is it necessary to take calcium supplements during pregnancy?  What problems are caused if adequate amount of calcium is not consumed during pregnancy? Discuss here.

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Madhavi.4 years ago
Calcium supplement are very important during pregnancy. If calcium supplements are not taken, bone problems may be caused later on in life.
Vanita.4 years ago
Even my doctor did not give me calcium supplements in first trimester. I started calcium supplements in my 2nd trimester. I am eight months pregnant now. I hope that it does not make any difference.
Anagha.4 years ago
I am 2 months pregnant and my gynecologist has not yet prescribed any calcium supplement. I am currently taking folic acid and iron supplements.
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