Calcium and Pregnancy

Can I Take Too Much Calcium During Pregnancy?

Many women turn to chewable calcium carbonate tablets (like Tums®) to relieve the heartburn and reflux that is common during pregnancy. This is a great idea, as it is a safe way to relieve the indigestion and also provides extra calcium. However, it is important to understand that with calcium, it is possible to get too much of a good thing. Be sure to limit your total dose of calcium (from all sources) to 2500 mg of elemental calcium per day. Taking more could cause problems.
 
Keep in mind that every 1000 mg of calcium carbonate contains only 400 mg of actual calcium. Products intended for use as an antacid list the calcium content in terms of both calcium carbonate and elemental calcium. A careful inspection of the label of such products will help you understand exactly how much you can safely take.
 

Final Thoughts

It is a good idea for many pregnant women to take calcium (in addition to their prenatal vitamin). It is important for both the proper development of fetal bones as well as for keeping the mother's bones strong. If you are not sure whether you need to take calcium, your healthcare provider can help you evaluate your diet and recommend an appropriate calcium dosage (if you do need to take calcium).
 
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