What do you need to know about calcium for pregnancy?
Calcium is important for your baby’s growth and development and helps protect your bones from being weakened by the extra weight you carry. But it’s not always easy to get enough of it in your diet when pregnant. So we’ve put together this list of foods high in calcium and other sources.
What Is Calcium?
Calcium is a chemical element that’s vital to your health. It helps build strong bones and teeth, keeps your muscles working, and supports the heart. It is a mineral that is found in many foods.
Benefits of Calcium for Pregnancy
It’s no secret that calcium is an important nutrient that plays a key role in your body. Getting enough calcium while pregnant is crucial, and it’s even more important if you’re breastfeeding. Here’s a list of why calcium for pregnancy is important:
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One of the benefits of calcium for pregnancy is bone strength. Pregnant women need more calcium than the average adult, to make their bones stronger (and prevent back pain) and also to prevent bone defects in their unborn babies.
Calcium is important for the development of your baby’s teeth. If you are pregnant and not getting enough calcium, it can lead to problems with the baby’s tooth development.
Helps in controlling body weight
Calcium is an important mineral for pregnancy. It helps your body maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy and after giving birth.
Calcium is a mineral that plays an important role in the growth and development of your baby. It also helps to keep your heart-stroke strong so that it can pump blood through your body.
You need to get enough calcium during pregnancy in order to prevent complications like preeclampsia (an illness that causes high blood pressure) and osteoporosis (a condition that weakens the bones).
Lesser muscle cramps and spasms
Another important benefit of calcium for pregnancy is that it helps your muscles contract and relax properly, so you’ll have less cramps and spasms during pregnancy if you get enough calcium.
Prevents preterm delivery of the baby
Calcium can prevent preterm delivery of your baby by strengthening the muscles around your cervix and making it less susceptible to stretching.
Studies have shown that women who ate more calcium during their first trimester had a lower risk of delivering prematurely than those who did not consume enough calcium.
Lowers chances of preeclampsia
Calcium helps lower the risk of preeclampsia, a serious condition affecting pregnant women. Preeclampsia can be life-threatening for you and your baby, so eating foods rich in calcium during pregnancy is important. Yet
When Should a Pregnant Woman Start Taking Calcium
So we’ve established the importance of calcium for pregnancy. But some women cannot stand the taste of milk when they’re pregnant. In this case, do we need to add calcium supplements to your list of prenatal vitamins?
It is recommended that a woman take calcium supplements during the second trimester of her pregnancy or around week 14. This is because it takes two to three weeks for your body to absorb the calcium in your diet, and you need some time to build up your calcium stores before they benefit your growing baby.
If you need to eat more calcium-rich foods (like dairy products), you can also start taking calcium supplements during this period. But check with your doctor first—they may recommend it earlier or later than week 14!
How Much Calcium Do You Need Daily
The recommended daily intake of calcium for adults is between 1,000 and 1,300 milligrams a day (mg/day). Calcium is important for building and maintaining strong bones and teeth and regulating the heart’s rhythm. It also plays an important role in muscle contraction and nerve function.
Lack of Calcium in Pregnancy Symptoms
Calcium is an essential mineral that your body needs to function properly, especially during pregnancy. It helps build strong bones and teeth and helps your muscles contract.
So what are the signs of calcium deficiency during pregnancy?
If you’re lacking calcium, you may experience any of the following:
- Cramps in your hands and feet
- Tingling in your fingers and toes
- Joint pain (especially in your knees)
- Muscle spasms and twitches
- Falling asleep suddenly or feeling very tired when you should be awake
What Are the Best Sources of Calcium When Pregnant
Pregnant women should be sure to get enough calcium in their diet because it helps build strong bones in the developing foetus and prevents the mother’s bones from becoming brittle. But what are the best sources of calcium? Here are some of our favourites:
- Milk (1 cup) has 300 mg of calcium
- Yoghurt (8 oz) has 450 mg of calcium
- Cheese (1 oz) has 200 mg of calcium
What Are Some Calcium Rich Foods During Pregnancy
Now that we’ve discussed the importance of calcium for pregnancy, it’s time to include these calcium-rich foods in your diet.
- Milk and milk products—Milk is a great source of calcium, protein, vitamins A and D, riboflavin (B2), and vitamin B12. You can drink milk or add it to your cereal or yoghurt. You can also find milk in the form of cheese and yoghurt.
- Fortified foods—Many foods are fortified with calcium, including orange juice, cereal bars, instant oatmeal packets, yoghurt cups, soy milkshakes and smoothies, soy cheese slices or sticks, and some types of bread (like whole wheat).
- Dark leafy greens—Dark leafy greens like kale have lots of vitamins A and K, along with calcium (but not as much as milk). These are also good sources of iron plus other nutrients like folic acid and magnesium, which are important for a healthy pregnancy!
- Nuts– Almonds, pistachios, cashews… pretty much all nuts are packed with tons of nutrients, including protein and fibre, as well as vitamins A and E, which help prevent skin cancer while helping maintain healthy bones too!
Can You Get All of the Calcium You Need From Diet Alone
Like most people, you probably think that calcium is only found in dairy products and leafy greens. But plenty of other foods contain lots of calcium—the problem is that they don’t contain as much as dairy products. And even if you eat plenty of leafy greens, you might not get enough calcium if your diet consists mainly of processed foods.
Many people turn to supplements to ensure they’re getting enough calcium. And while it’s true that you can’t rely solely on supplements for all of your daily needs, they do make it easier for those who struggle with maintaining a healthy diet.
It’s true: diet alone can get all your calcium needs.
But is it worth it?
The answer is, “it depends.” You won’t need to add any extra calcium if you’re eating a healthy diet with plenty of veggies and a little dairy. But if you’re not eating enough vegetables or dairy products, then it’s a good idea to drink milk or take calcium supplements.
That said, there are some pitfalls to drinking too much milk (such as heartburn) and the negatives associated with taking calcium supplements.
Calcium Supplement | Image from Pexels
Are Calcium Supplements Safe During Pregnancy
Calcium supplements are a key part of many women’s prenatal care and nutrition, as they help to build strong bones and teeth during pregnancy. Calcium is also important for the baby’s development, especially regarding the baby’s organ systems, nervous system, muscles, and blood.
However, there are some concerns about whether or not calcium supplements can be harmful during pregnancy. Calcium can be absorbed by the body more easily when ingested through food sources rather than capsules or tablets. This is because pills do not provide other nutrients that help your body absorb calcium properly.
If you’re unsure whether calcium supplements are safe during pregnancy, talk with your doctor about how much calcium you should take (if any) and what kind of supplement would be best for you individually based on your current health status.
Here at theAsianparent Singapore, it’s important for us to give information that is correct, significant, and timely. But this doesn’t serve as an alternative for medical advice or medical treatment. theAsianparent Singapore is not responsible for those that would choose to drink medicines based on information from our website. If you have any doubts, we recommend consulting your doctor for clearer information.