Are You Getting Enough Calcium During Pregnancy?

Should You Take Supplements?

Though the general guideline is 1,000 milligrams a day (the equivalent of three 8-ounce glasses of milk), women who are pregnant or nursing require more -- 1,200 to 1,400 milligrams a day.

If you're concerned about your calcium intake, ask your doctor about supplements. Just don't go overboard. "Too much calcium may interfere with your body's ability to absorb other minerals, cause constipation, or increase your risk of kidney stones," Dr. Favus says.

On the positive side, it's been shown that moms-to-be who took calcium supplements in the second and third trimester gave birth to babies who had a 15 percent increase in bone mineral content over children whose mothers took a placebo. In another study, pregnant women who got about 1,500 milligrams of calcium daily had a lower risk of preeclampsia (a leading cause of premature birth).

Originally published in the October 2006 issue of American Baby magazine.

All content on this Web site, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this site and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

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