Do You Need Extra Calcium During Pregnancy?

Be careful not to skip out on calcium all together, though. According to the March of Dimes, the average woman only gets 700 milligrams of calcium every day. This is below what she needs normally, so you will want to focus your efforts on eating calcium-rich foods, like dairy products. Pregnant women tend to absorb calcium better from food and supplements, compared to non-pregnant women. This is especially true in the second and third trimester, when your baby’s skeleton is hardening. The National Institutes of Health reports that if you don’t have enough calcium during pregnancy, your unborn baby will draw the calcium it needs for ossification from your bones. This can diminish your calcium supply, and possibly lead to osteoporosis.

What you need to take away from all this is that extra calcium during pregnancy isn’t necessary, unless you’re at risk for preeclampsia and gestational hypertension. But you do need to get enough calcium in your diet to help your baby grow strong bones.

Pregnancy Diet

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Palacios C, Pena-Rosas JP. Calcium supplementation during pregnancy for preventing hypertensive disorders and related problems : RHL commentary (last revised: 1 February 2010). The WHO Reproductive Health Library; Geneva: World Health Organization.

Buppasiri P, Lumbiganon P, Thinkhamrop J, Ngamjarus C, Laopaiboon M. Calcium supplementation (other than for preventing or treating hypertension) for improving pregnancy and infant outcomes. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011, Issue 10. Art. No.: CD007079. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD007079.pub2.

“Calcium and Pregnancy.” Reviewed January 2007 by the March of Dimes.

“Pregnancy, Breastfeeding, and Bone Health.” Reviewed January 2011 by the National Institute of Health Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center.

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