When parents get to know of a conformed pregnancy, it is indeed great news for them and their families, because this assures the birth of a little one and brings home a little bundle of joy. In fact, pregnancy is such a phase for new and would-be parents, when it is very important for parents, particularly for new mothers to get all the essential nutritional components required during the time of pregnancy, that too in proper quantities. When a woman is pregnant, it is quite essential for her to seek medical and prenatal health guidance from an experienced healthcare professional. When it comes to the matter of pregnancy and health care, many medical practitioners, pediatricians, and diet experts have often advised the new mother to take in food components that are rich in essential health nutrients such as protein, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and so on that are not only required for maintaining a proper growth and brain development of the growing baby but also to keep the would-be mother in good health. One such essential element that a woman needs to be present in the food components that she takes in her daily diet while she is expecting her baby, is calcium. Calcium is a mineral that is considered one of the most vital of all the micronutrients that a woman’s body needs during her pregnancy. So, when a woman is pregnant with her child, then the medical professionals and dieticians would give provide her with suggestions to consume food components that are rich in calcium content. There are enough reasons that can be listed to let you know why a pregnant mother needs to consume foods that contain enough amounts of calcium, but before that, it is also essential for you to know why calcium is necessary for pregnancy. If you are a new mother or a woman who is newly expecting a baby for the very first time, then this one is probably the most important for you because this article will help you to have a detailed idea about the need for calcium-containing foods in the daily diet of a pregnant woman.
Calcium And Pregnancy: Here Are All The Details
We all know that calcium is vital for bone growth and keeping your bone joints strong and healthy. It is a mineral that is essential not only for those women who are pregnant but also for all others, mostly for young kids who are currently undergoing growth and development. Calcium is a vital mineral component that helps in bone growth, and the development of muscles, and helps to provide strength and energy to the bone and muscle joints so that they do not become weak and fragile. When a baby is gradually growing and developing inside the womb of its mother, it is reasonably necessary to provide enough calcium for proper bone and muscle development of the developing baby and to even ensure that the mother remains healthy and does not lack any nutritional component in her body. When you are pregnant with your baby, it is quite necessary to keep your blood and muscles moving. Calcium helps to perform this function in your body. Apart from that, it is also essential to have enough calcium in your body so that the nerves in your body can send messages from the brain to the other parts of the body.
Another important reason why you need to have food components that are rich in calcium is that the human body is unable to produce enough amount of calcium which is essential for the body to perform all the essential functions properly. If it looks like you are not getting enough amount of calcium from your food or if the body cannot use enough amount of calcium effectively from the food components that you are having in your diet, then you can always consider having different types of health supplements that are rich in calcium, but this should always be done with proper advice from your concerned health care expert.
Necessity Of Having Calcium In Your Pregnancy Diet
As it has already become clear that calcium is essential for your pregnancy diet, you should also know in detail why calcium is so necessary for a woman while she is pregnant. During pregnancy, calcium-rich food substances are required for both the mother and the growing baby. There are reasons that will help you understand its importance. Here are some of the reasons for the importance of calcium for the purpose of the baby and the mother:
Importance for the mother
When a woman is pregnant with a baby, a majority of the nutrients that she is consuming are contributed to her baby. The same goes for calcium minerals as well. So, the calcium content in the body of a new mother might get drained away if all of those nutrients get deposited into the body of the growing baby. In such a condition, having a diet that is rich in calcium-containing food components would be highly beneficial for the new mother, so that the calcium that she is probably lacking will be replenished. The bones and muscle joints of the new mother will become strong, which in due course will her to carry the baby efficiently and in the proper position as well. Apart from that, when a woman is pregnant with her baby, there might occur certain risks of bone damage caused by disorders like osteoporosis, arthritis, and so on. Having a calcium-rich diet while pregnant will also help a new mother not only treat such conditions but also to prevent the risk of occurrence of such bone-related disorders during pregnancy at a significant rate.
Importance for the baby
When a baby is growing inside the womb of its mother, it is very important for it to get enough amount of calcium for the proper development of bones, joints, and other parts of the body as well, such as teeth, nerves, heart, and cardiac muscles, and certain hormonal substances as well. In fact, it has been found in recent studies and experimental works that almost 99% of the total calcium of the body is present in the bones and teeth. Apart from that, it is also true that calcium plays a major role in the functioning of the cardiac system, the circulatory system, and the maintaining of proper connection of the nerves of the brain as well. So, when your baby is growing inside you, make sure to have enough amount of calcium to keep yourself and your baby healthy.
How Much Calcium Does A Pregnant Woman Need?
When a woman is pregnant, it is important that she gets at least a minimum of 1000 mg- 1300 mg of calcium each day until her baby is born. For a pregnant woman who is older than 20 years, 1000 mg of calcium each day is required for the good health of both the mother and the baby. This amount of calcium intake will increase to 1300 mg per day if the woman who is pregnant is 18 years old or younger. Other than that, an increased amount of calcium is necessary for those who have the following conditions while being pregnant:
- Have recently started menopause, in case of older women
- Menstrual cycles get disrupted as a result of disorders like anorexia or high levels of exercise
- Those who have lactose intolerance
- Those who follow a vegan diet
Food Components That Are Rich In Calcium Content:
Now that you know that calcium is a key component of your pregnancy diet, you also need to know which food components are rich in calcium. The list of foods that consist of high amounts of calcium are the best to be included in a pregnancy diet, according to some experimental studies and some trusted sources is listed here as follows:
- Milk (you can choose fat-free milk if you want) or soy milk, and dairy products such as curd, yogurt, cream, cheese, paneer, ghee, tofu, and so on
- Plenty of green leafy vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, kale, watercress, turnip, and so on
- Nuts and seeds such as sesame, almonds, walnuts, chia
- Healthy fishes such as salmon and sardines
- Cereals and fruit juices for breakfast
- Legume seeds, cornmeal, corn tortilla
What Will Happen If You Do Not Consume Enough Calcium?
This is quite a pertinent question that might occur in your mind. The following are the outcomes that one might face while pregnancy if there is a lack of calcium:
- Increase in blood pressure levels during pregnancy
- The growth and development of the baby might slow down
- Risks of preterm birth of the baby
- Poor appetite
- Risks of muscle and leg cramps
- Low birth weight of the baby
- Cardiac problems of the baby
- Fragile muscles when the baby is born
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