Why Calcium is Crucial During Pregnancy

Getting extra calcium during pregnancy boosts your unborn's health and your own.

Getting extra calcium during pregnancy boosts your baby's health as well as your own. In a new study published in Obstetrics & Gynecology, infants of moms who took 2,000 milligrams of calcium supplements per day during their second and third trimesters were born with 15 percent greater bone density than newborns whose mothers took placebos. Scientists aren't sure what long-term effects this gain will have on a child's growth and development, but they suspect that the greater calcium stores may protect against adult osteoporosis and high blood pressure. Prenatal vitamins typically contain only 300 milligrams of calcium, so if you're expecting, be sure to include such calcium-rich foods as nonfat milk, yogurt, and broccoli in your diet, or ask your doctor about taking an additional supplement.

Copyright © 2001. Reprinted with permission from the Spring 2001 issue of Expecting magazine.

    All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. 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.