Pregnancy Nutrition – Getting Enough Calcium

When you are pregnant, you need a well-balanced diet that includes a wide variety of nutrition including vitamins and minerals. You cannot possibly compromise on your pregnancy nutrition because what you eat will automatically determine how well your baby is developing. Calcium tends to be a very important part of your pregnancy nutrition because calcium will help your unborn child to develop strong bones and teeth, blood-clotting abilities, a healthy heart and healthy nerves and muscles. In case you have a calcium deficient diet during your pregnancy, it is possible that the child may grow weak or that he or she will draw calcium requirements from your body, which is bound to make you weaker, something that may lead to complications in the later part of your pregnancy.

Normally women do not focus enough on getting calcium in their pregnancy nutrition because adult women (over the age of 18) need at least 1000 milligrams of calcium a day before pregnancy, during their pregnancy and even after it when they are nursing the baby.

Some of the top sources of calcium include milk and dairy products like skim milk yogurt, fruit yogurt etc. Other sources include canned fish and cereal, soy, juice, bread and rice beverages; however, these need to be calcium fortified. So when you are out shopping for calcium rich foods, make sure that you check the labels for calcium fortified foods. You should also check how much calcium you would be getting from all of these sources to make sure that you reach your target of 1000 milligrams.

For instance, three ounces of sardines would have about 324 milligrams of calcium in it while one-ounce mozzarella cheese would have 222 milligrams of it. Other specific sources of calcium for your pregnancy nutrition include skim-milk yogurt, part-skim ricotta cheese, skim milk, orange juice, Gruyere cheese, calcium sulfate containing tofu, cheddar cheese, cooked spinach, cottage cheese, collards, turnip greens, tortillas, sesame seeds and roasted almonds.

Calcium supplements are also an important part of pregnancy nutrition especially if you know that you are not getting enough of it from your diet or if your doctor has advised you to take it. However, a prenatal vitamin will only provide you with a maximum of 200 milligrams of calcium so you might have it with another calcium supplement or with natural calcium sources mentioned above. Calcium supplements have one problem; your body can absorb a maximum of 500 milligrams of it at any one point in time so you will be forced to take these supplements more than once a day.

One of the easily absorbed calcium supplements for pregnancy nutrition is calcium citrate but calcium carbonate is another option, which is not that easily absorbed but it is rich in calcium. It is a good idea to take this with a meal for better absorption. However, be careful, in your pregnancy nutrition diet, it is important not to over consume calcium from any source mainly because too much calcium can create the risk of kidney stones and reduce the absorption of other minerals.

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