Bone health is important for all women, especially during pregnancy. During pregnancy, foetal development can cause an increase in the body’s requirements for vitamins and minerals. Vitamin D is needed to facilitate the absorption of calcium into the body and support the bone mineralisation in the developing baby. This is particularly the case in the last trimester, a time of rapid growth. If the mother doesn’t get enough calcium from dietary sources to fulfil this need, the baby will draw from calcium stored in the mother’s bones. Fortunately, a woman usually regains any lost bone density after giving birth. This occurs as pregnant women absorb calcium from their diet and supplements more efficiently than normal. Having children does not increase your risk of developing osteoporosis in the future.
It’s still important that pregnant women consume a healthy diet during pregnancy in order to ensure optimal health of both mother and baby. Recommendations for calcium intake during pregnancy are the same as for women who are not pregnant, 1000mg per day. Expecting Mums don’t require higher amounts as you would think because of the increased amount of calcium absorbed during pregnancy. Enough calcium can usually be obtained from three to five servings of dairy per day. One serving is equal to a glass of milk (250ml), a tub of yoghurt (200g) or slices of cheese (40g) 1.
1Osteoporosis Australia, 2017, Calcium, https://www.osteoporosis.org.au/calcium