Calcium is a type of mineral that helps maintain the teeth and bones. For pregnant women, calcium plays a big role in the development of the fetus and general health during pregnancy. In this article, find out why you should avoid calcium deficiency during pregnancy.
Benefits of calcium for pregnant women
The benefits of calcium for pregnant women include:
- The formation of fetal organs, ranging from the nervous system, bones, muscles and teeth.
- The formation of cells that regulate the performance of the heart and blood clots in the baby’s body.
- Maintaining the fitness and health of pregnant women.
- Bone protection and blood clotting properties for pregnant women.
- Providing a building block for the baby’s IQ.
Why calcium is important for pregnant women
Calcium is directly absorbed through the placenta by the fetus for growth and development; hence pregnant women are recommended to consume a higher calcium intake.
Fetuses rely heavily on calcium for growth. Hence it is important to receive a generous calcium intake. A lack of calcium could cause bone health problems for both the baby and the mother in the future.
At just 6 months, the intercellular relationships in the fetus develop. This is when the fetus begins to require more calcium. A pregnant woman’s calcium intake affects the development of the brain and intelligence of the child at birth.
What is the ideal calcium intake for pregnant women?
The calcium needs of pregnant and lactating women are 200 mg more than ordinary people. According to the 2013 Nutrition Adequacy Rate, the dosage that pregnant women should receive is as follows:
For pregnant women aged less than 30 years, the intake should be no less than 1300 mg/day.
For pregnant women over 30 years, the intake should be no less than 1200 mg/day.
Why is it different? The younger the pregnant woman is, the more calcium needed for bone growth. Remember that during pregnancy, your calcium intake is divided between you and your baby.
How to meet your calcium needs
There are two simple ways to meet your daily calcium requirements. The first is to eat calcium-rich foods, and the second is to take calcium supplements.
Some foods that are rich in calcium:
- White bread
- Ice cream
If you can’t consume high-calcium foods in large quantities, consider taking calcium supplements instead. Consult a doctor about the appropriate daily dosage.
Consequences of calcium deficiency during pregnancy
During pregnancy, you need to ensure that your calcium intake is absorbed efficiently. Some factors that can inhibit absorption include excessive consumption of caffeine, lack of exercise, or the presence of harmful substances in the body.
Calcium deficiency during pregnancy can lead to the following health problems:
Hypertension that occurs during pregnancy is classified as chronic hypertension. This condition is indicated by blood pressure at or above 140/90 mm Hg and can cause fatigue, excessive headaches, miscarriage, and premature birth.
Preeclampsia is also known as pregnancy poisoning. This disease is a blood pressure disorder that hinders the normal functioning of organs such as the liver or kidneys.
Some of the symptoms include protein in the urine, pain in the bones, shortness of breath and high blood pressure. Preeclampsia can result in miscarriage and abnormal fetal growth due to poor blood flow to the fetus.
90% of the calcium in the human body is located in the bones and teeth. In the event of calcium deficiency, pregnant women will experience cramps, tense muscles and joints, and pain in areas such as the waist and pelvis. Pregnant women will also get back pain more easily. Strengthening your bones by increasing your calcium intake will help prevent osteoporosis in the future.
Toothache and bleeding gums
Pregnant women often experience canker sores, toothaches, and bleeding gums. To avoid these diseases, Mums should maintain the strength of their teeth and gum health by meeting their adequate calcium intake.
Mums can also use toothpaste with complete calcium protection. Please ensure that the toothpaste is free of harmful substances so that it does not interfere with calcium absorption.
If you are looking for good toothpaste, consider trying out Mama’s Choice Non-Fluoride Toothpaste specially formulated for pregnant and breastfeeding women. This natural and halal toothpaste is enriched with calcium, miswak extract, mint, allantoin and chlorophyll.
Mama's Choice Team