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How to Get Adequate Calcium During Pregnancy?

Getting enough calcium during pregnancy helps your baby to build strong bones, of course. What you may not know is that it also helps your baby’s heart, muscles, and nerves to develop correctly. If you’re not taking in enough calcium, you’re likely to lose some calcium from your own bones. This, of course, has implications for your health long after your pregnancy.

Most experts recommend that you take in around 1,000 mg each day during pregnancy. This is actually the same amount recommended before and after pregnancy, as well. Unfortunately, most women don’t get anywhere near this much in their daily diets.

Here are some good sources of calcium that can be found in everyday foods:

Skim-milk yogurt
Nonfat fruit yogurt
Part-skim ricotta cheese
Skim milk
Orange juice with added calcium
Mozzarella cheese
Cheddar cheese
Cottage cheese
Sesame seeds
Dry roasted almonds

Foods toward the top of the list tend to provide more calcium, with a serving of those providing nearly 400 mg of calcium each. Those at the bottom of the list are lower, providing around 100 mg of calcium. The list gives you some ideas of the kinds of foods you’ll want to consider adding to your diet.

In addition, if you’re taking a prenatal supplement, you’re probably getting about 200 mg per day from that source. The key here is to keep in mind that the body is usually only able to absorb around 500 mg of calcium at a time, which means that you need to space out your calcium intake throughout the day.

You will want to make sure that you aren’t taking in way more than the recommended amounts of calcium during pregnancy, too. Too much can create a risk of developing kidney stones, or lead to constipation. Try to keep it under 2,000 mg or so a day.


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