Being pregnant changes everything for a woman, especially when you find yourself pregnant with your first baby. If you’re reading this, you’re probably nodding, thinking something like “No, sh*t, Sherlock,” right? It’s insane trying to figure it all out. There are so many things to do, or do differently, and eat, or not eat, and … well, you get my drift. There are so many questions and worries along the way and making sure you get the right vitamins and supplements, in addition to what you might be getting with that prenatal vitamin, is most definitely on the list. One thing you might be doing is considering calcium supplements during pregnancy and whether you need them—here are ten reasons to take calcium supplements during pregnancy, and the down low on why calcium is so important during this time.
Reasons to Take Calcium Supplements During Pregnancy: What You Need to Know
When you’re pregnant, your body supplies your growing baby with anywhere from 50 to 330 mg of calcium daily, which supports the development of his or her bones, nervous system, muscles, and heart. If you don’t get enough calcium during pregnancy, your body will naturally protect the baby by taking calcium from your bones—leaving you without what you need to stay strong and healthy, never mind the risk of osteoporosis down the line. Basically, you need extra calcium during pregnancy. If you’re worried your diet isn’t giving you enough, and you don’t foresee being able to consume more calcium-rich foods anytime soon, you can always rely on calcium supplements to meet your needs. Calcium supplements during pregnancy are not only safe, but also recommended.
Here are 10 Reasons to Take Calcium Supplements During Pregnancy
1.Pregnant women need a ton of calcium.
If you’re between the ages of 19 and 50, you need at least 1,000 mg of calcium per day to stay healthy. Pregnant (or nursing) women need even more calcium in their daily diets —1,200 to 1,400 mg. While the easiest source of calcium comes from dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt), if you’re not getting at least 1,200 mg from diet, you need to augment that with a calcium supplement.
2. Prenatal vitamins aren’t enough.
I know, you’re thinking “Hey, I take that prenatal vitamin that my doctor prescribed, I’m good.” Not so fast. The standard prenatal vitamin has about 300 mg of calcium in it. If you consume few or no dairy products, you absolutely, positively need a calcium supplement.
3. You need strong bones, during pregnancy more than ever.
Calcium is important for all of us, as it helps keep bones strong, bodies functioning, and helps prevent bone loss over time. When you’re pregnant, calcium is doubly important. Think about it: Youre growing a baby! And that baby is relying on your calcium intake to help develop his or her bones. No pressure, but make sure you get enough calcium, for both of your sakes.
4. You Can Get Calcium From Food, Sort Of.
I always prefer getting vitamins and nutrients from food whenever possible, but calcium is a tricky one. If you like and eat dairy, it’s not so bad. Milk, yogurt, and cheese are all great sources of calcium. Here’s a handy chart that shows some of the best and easiest sources of calcium—and how difficult easy it is to get it from milk or dairy products, or calcium-fortified products.
Learn more about osteoporosis when you check out: National Osteoporosis Month: Resources for Health and Prevention
5. When You’re Dairy-Free, Getting Calcium is Even More Important, and Difficult.
As I mentioned, it is possible to get the calcium you need from food, especially if you eat dairy. But if you’re either not a fan of dairy, lactose intolerant, or living a vegan lifestyle, getting the calcium you need from diet can be difficult, especially if you’re aiming from 1,200 to 1,400 mg of calcium daily. If you don’t get calcium from dairy or fortified foods, here are the top sources of calcium (and you’ll see why I said it’s tricky to rely on food intake for calcium). This list might contain many things that you like, but getting 1,200 to 1,400 mg of calcium from some of these sources might take some effort:
Canned Salmon (with the bones)
Seaweed, Bok choy
Kale, whole fennel, collard greens
Artichokes, turnip greens, broccoli
Dates, black currents, oranges
Figs, dried apricots, blackberries
Tempeh, Great Northern beans, soy beans, Adzuki beans, Navy beans
Sesame seeds, tahini, almonds/almond butter
That’s where taking a calcium supplement during pregnancy can come in handy. You’ve got enough to worry about on a daily basis. The worry of trying to hit a calcium goal can easily be negated by just taking a daily supplement.
More on that here: 15 Surprising Dairy-Free Sources of Calcium
6. Calcium is good for your teeth.
Your teeth are bones, too, which means calcium affects them the same way it does your skeleton. So if you want to keep your beautiful, healthy smile—and give your baby the same once he or she is a teething infant—you need calcium supplements during pregnancy.
7.Your heart needs calcium.
Calcium impacts your heart, and can reduce your risk of suffering from cardiovascular problems. Considering how hard your heart works during pregnancy, it’s a no-brainer that making sure you get the calcium you need during pregnancy is important.
8. Calcium helps regulate blood pressure.
Some women are at risk of hypertension during pregnancy and taking calcium during pregnancy can reduce that risk. This is good news, since blood pressure problems can wreak havoc on both you and your little one.
9. You won’t need to rely on food for calcium.
Pregnancy is unpredictable (understatement of the year, says this mother of four!). You might feel like eating everything in sight one day, and the next, you could well have have no appetite. And of course, morning sickness can make you avoid food as much as possible, which means you’re not getting enough calcium. With my last pregnancy, I lived on peanut butter sandwiches and Lean Cuisine’s Fettuccine Alfredo, and I’m pretty sure the paltry amount of cheese in that dish was a far cry from meeting my daily calcium needs—especially since I was carrying twins! That’s why it’s important to take calcium supplements during pregnancy.
If you’re having trouble tolerating dairy, read this: How To Get Enough Calcium on a Dairy Free or Plant-Based Diet
10. You can take calcium supplements anywhere, anytime.
As I mentioned, pregnancy is a busy time, whether this is your first or second or third child. One more thing to do, think about, remember, take, etc., is a hassle. FitFormula’s Calcium + D comes in convenient sleeves that you can stow in your purse, in the car, or in a pocket, taking them on the go and when it’s convenient for you.
If you’re not familiar with powdered supplements, you can read up on them here: Supplement Trends: Pills Are So Yesterday
Of course, it’s best to consult with your doctor before adding any supplements to your daily routine while pregnant, including calcium, to make sure you get the right dose. Once you get the go ahead, it’s time to try out FitFormula’s Calcium + Vitamin D powder. Order your first box and take advantage of our special limited time offer
of buy as many boxes at regular price and get equal number of boxes free!
More sources on whether it’s safe to take calcium supplements during pregnancy:
Calcium in Your Pregnancy Diet
10 Wonderful Benefits of Calcium