It is very important for a pregnant woman to consume enough calcium. Certain problems (such as improper development of the baby's bones) may occur if a woman does not get enough of the mineral during pregnancy. A calcium dosage can be recommended by your healthcare provider if you are not sure that you are getting the right amount.
An Overview of Calcium and Pregnancy
It is important for pregnant women to get enough calcium. Not only does adequate calcium help to strengthen a baby's bones, it also helps to prevent weakening of the mom's bones as well. Pregnant women can meet their daily calcium requirement either through calcium-rich foods or through calcium supplements.
Am I Getting Enough Calcium?
Most women have a fairly good idea about whether they consume enough calcium or not. Are you one of those women who practically lives on milk, cheese, and other dairy? Or do you struggle to choke down even a small glass of milk? Either way, you probably know whether you are likely to be deficient of not.
The recommended Adequate Intake (AI) of calcium for pregnant women is 1000 mg per day (or 1300 mg per day, for women 18 years or younger). This is exactly the same amount recommended for men or non-pregnant women of the same age. Many women easily get enough calcium through a healthy and well-rounded diet. However, many women will need to take calcium supplements, especially if they do not consume much dairy.
Keep in mind that prenatal vitamins do not contain much calcium. Calcium is a bulky mineral, and adding a large dose of calcium to a prenatal vitamin would make the tablets too large to swallow.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Jellin JM, editor. Pharmacist's Letter/Prescriber's Letter Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Web site. Available at: http://naturaldatabase.com/. Accessed October 21 2008.
National Institutes of Health. Office of Dietary Supplements. Dietary supplement fact sheet: calcium (9/23/2005). NIH Web site. Available at: http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/calcium.asp. Accessed October 13, 2008.
Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D, and Fluoride. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1999. Available at: http://books.nap.edu/books/0309063507/html/index.html. Accessed October 21, 2008.
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