As an expectant mother, you are responsible for ensuring that you and your baby are healthy throughout your pregnancy. One of the ways to ensure this is by taking the recommended daily dose of calcium. Calcium is essential for the development of your baby’s bones, teeth, and muscles. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of calcium supplements for pregnant women, how much calcium is needed, and how to choose the right supplement.
The Importance of Calcium During Pregnancy
Calcium is a mineral that is essential for building and maintaining strong bones, teeth, and muscles. During pregnancy, your baby needs calcium to develop properly. If you do not consume enough calcium, your baby will take the calcium it needs from your bones, which can lead to osteoporosis later in life. Calcium also helps to regulate blood clotting, nerve function, and muscle function.
How Much Calcium Do Pregnant Women Need?
Pregnant women require more calcium than non-pregnant women. The recommended daily intake (RDI) of calcium for pregnant women is 1000-1300 mg per day, depending on your age and health status. Women who are over 18 years old should aim for 1000 mg per day, while women who are under 18 years old should aim for 1300 mg per day.
Food Sources of Calcium for Pregnant Women
There are many food sources of calcium that pregnant women can consume. Dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt are excellent sources of calcium. Other sources include leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds, and tofu. However, it can be difficult to consume enough calcium through diet alone, so calcium supplements are often necessary. For those who are lactose intolerant for them depending on soluble calcium supplements are more common.
Why Calcium Supplements Are Necessary for Pregnant Women
Calcium supplements are necessary for pregnant women because it can be difficult to consume enough calcium through diet alone. Additionally, some women have difficulty digesting dairy products or are lactose intolerant, which can limit their calcium intake. Calcium supplements can provide a convenient and effective way to ensure that you and your baby are getting enough calcium.
Types of Calcium Supplements for Pregnant Women
There are three main types of calcium supplements: 100% water-soluble calcium supplement powder, calcium citrate tablet and calcium carbonate as well as antacids. Calcium carbonate is the most common form of calcium supplement and is often less expensive. However, it needs to be taken with food to release calcium in it. Calcium citrate is an alternative source of supplement and relatively absorbed better than calcium carbonate tablet. 100% water-soluble and absorbable calcium is always better which does not depend on food intake and not need to swallow a big tablet.
Benefits of Taking Calcium Supplements During Pregnancy
Taking calcium supplements during pregnancy has many benefits. Calcium supplements can help to prevent pre-eclampsia, a potentially life-threatening condition that can develop during pregnancy. Calcium supplements can also reduce the risk of preterm birth and low birth weight. Additionally, calcium supplements can help to prevent osteoporosis later in life.
Risks of Calcium Deficiency During Pregnancy
Calcium deficiency during pregnancy can lead to a number of health problems. These include pre-eclampsia, preterm birth, low birth weight, and osteoporosis later in life. Additionally, calcium deficiency can lead to muscle cramps, heart palpitations, and lethargy.
How to Choose the Right Calcium Supplement for Pregnant Women
When choosing a calcium supplement, it is important to choose one that is safe and effective for pregnant women. Choose a supplement that is easily absorbed by the body, usually the calcium supplements have mixtures of calcium gluconate, calcium lactate, calcium citrate, calcium acetate and calcium malate. All these listed calcium compounds are part of human metabolism so our body is extremely familiar with these compounds and these are all water soluble whether there is any food in stomach or not. Additionally, choose a supplement that is free of harmful additives and fillers. Calcium carbonate tablets or chewables are not soluble at all in water, most of the times they pass through the body as solid waste. It is used mostly as a cheaper alternative but only can deliver at the most 7-8% of the total supplied amount research studies show.
Precautions and Side Effects of Calcium Supplements for Pregnant Women
While calcium supplements are generally safe for pregnant women, there are some precautions and side effects to be aware of. Taking too much calcium can lead to constipation, bloating, and nausea. Additionally, calcium supplements can interfere with the absorption of other minerals, such as iron and magnesium. It is important to talk to your healthcare provider before taking any new supplements during pregnancy.
Conclusion: The Benefits of Calcium Supplements for Pregnant Women and Their Babies
In conclusion, calcium supplements are essential for pregnant women and their babies. Calcium is necessary for the development of strong bones, teeth, and muscles. While there are many food sources of calcium, it can be difficult to consume enough through diet alone. Calcium supplements can provide a convenient and effective way to ensure that you and your baby are getting enough calcium. When choosing a calcium supplement, choose one that is safe and effective for pregnant women, and talk to your healthcare provider before taking any new supplements. Use soluble and digestible calcium supplement powder like Totally Calcium to protect mothers and babies.