During pregnancy, both, the mother and the baby require ample amount of nutrients to keep themselves healthy and strong. The bay growing the mother’s womb needs plenty of calcium to develop its skeleton. This demand is highest in the last trimester. Thus pregnant women need to intake good amount of calcium to keep their babies well nourished. Any bone mass lost during pregnancy is typically restored within several months after the baby’s delivery or after several months of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding also results in the loss of bone calcium as the growing baby requires calcium to grow its skeleton.
A balanced diet with adequate calcium, regular exercise, and a healthy lifestyle are good for mothers and their babies. The National Academy of Sciences recommends that women who are pregnant or breastfeeding consume 1,000 mg (milligrams) of calcium each day. For pregnant teens, the recommended intake is even higher, 1,300 mg of calcium a day. A good source of calcium may include a number of sources that can help you retain and maintain calcium in your body. Some of the good sources of calcium includes –
- foods fortified with calcium, such as orange juice, cereals, and breads
- tofu, almonds, and corn tortillas
- canned sardines and salmon with bones
- dark green, leafy vegetables, such as broccoli, collard greens, and bok choy
- low-fat dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, cheese, and ice cream. Like food providing good sources of calcium for the body is necessary for pregnant women, it is also good and advisable to keep doing regular exercises. Regular exercise, especially weight-bearing exercise that forces you to work against gravity, helps build and maintain strong bones. Walking, climbing stairs, dancing and weight training are good options. being active during pregnancy can:
- help reduce backaches, constipation, bloating, and swelling
- help prevent or treat gestational diabetes (a type of diabetes that starts during pregnancy)
- increase energy
- improve mood
- improve posture
- promote muscle tone, strength, and endurance
- help you sleep better
- help you get back in shape after your baby is born.