Why is calcium important during pregnancy?
Created by Huda Shaikh Updated on Nov 03, 2017
When you are pregnant calcium is another mineral which is of utmost importance not just for your growing fetus but for you as well. Calcium since decades has been known to be good for healthy teeth and bones but let us now see how it helps the mother and the growing fetus.
The foetus will take its calcium requirements from your diet thus leaving you deficient in calcium, hence, when you conceive your doctor advices you to up your calcium intake.
How Much Calcium Does The Fetus Require?
- During gestation the fetus requires approximately 30gms of calcium
- During the second trimester the fetus requires 50mg/day of calcium
- During the 3rd trimester it requires 250mg of calcium per day
Let us now see how calcium benefits the pregnant mum and the growing fetus.
What Are The Benefits Of Calcium For The Fetus?
- Is crucial for muscle formation
- Is important for strong dental growth
- Helps in development of the nervous system
- Aids in development of a strong heart
What Are The Benefits Of Calcium For To Be Mommy?
- Helps in normal clotting of blood
- Fortifies the breast milk
- Leads of production of fewer fats, thereby reducing the risk of obesity
- Aids in proper nervous system functioning
- Keeps the heart beat normal
How Much Of Calcium A To Be Mommy Requires?
So here is how much of calcium a to be mommy requires.
- 14-18years- 1300mg i.e,1.3gms per day
- 19years and above, including pregnant women-1000mg
You need to note that the body is capable of absorbing only 500mg of calcium at a given time. Hence it is best to consume only 500mg at a given time, so if your daily requirement falls under 1000mg then you can have the same in small quantities and not all at once.
What Would Happen If You Do Not Consume Enough Calcium During Pregnancy?
These are some of the repercussions of not taking enough calcium during pregnancy.
- If you do not consume enough calcium then your baby would absorb calcium from your bones, which in turn would reduce your bone density.
- This kind of absorption would in turn predispose you to osteoporosis, Osteoporosis leads to bone thinning and ultimately weak and thin bones.
- Not consuming calcium can lead to hypertension and premature delivery
- It can also lead to hypocalcaemia in preterm and low birth weight babies
- There can be an interruption in the secretion of hormones and the process of blood clotting
The best way to get enough calcium would be possible only via a diet which is rich in calcium.
What Are The Foods Rich In Calcium?
While the major sources of calcium come from dairy there are few other non-dairy based sources of calcium which are a must-have in the diet if you are pregnant.
- White beans
- Dried figs
- Black eyed peas
- Greek yogurt
- Almond milk
- Cottage cheese(paneer)
- Low-fat cheese
- Chia seeds
- Fishes like sardine and salmon
- Sesame seeds
Calcium Supplements During Pregnancy
Supplements if taken can give you 150mg of calcium if you are not getting enough from the diet. Also it is important to note that Calcium can be absorbed in the body only if there is enough Vitamin D in the body. Hence Vitamin D is of utmost importance if you need calcium in the body.
Supplemental calcium comes in two forms calcium carbonate and calcium citrate. Calcium carbonate can give you maximum amount of calcium, but it takes extra stomach acid in order to get dissolved, hence best taken with a meal. Calcium citrate is easily dissolved and absorbed by the body, hence can be consumed in between meals. However before you go ahead and take any supplement make sure you talk to your gynecologist for best advice.
We hope that by now you know why calcium is important for an expecting mommy and the growing foetus and also hope that you will increase your calcium intake.
Did you like the blog on why calcium is important during pregnancy? Share your views and feedback in the comments section below.
| Nov 05, 2017
No intake or less intake of calcium can affect one's bone density and lead to osteoporosis thereby weak bones.. thanks for sharing this informative blog , especially useful for pregnant women.
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