Calcium and Vitamin D in Pregnancy
During pregnancy, Vitamin D and calcium are responsible for various aspects of your baby’s development. It’s important to get enough of them in your diet for your own well being too. Find out which foods are good sources of these essential nutrients and read why supplementing your diet with vitamin D may be advisable during the winter.
Both calcium and vitamin D during pregnancy are needed for the healthy growth of your baby’s teeth and bones. Calcium is also necessary for a healthy heart, nerves and muscles and it aids the development of the heart rhythm and the process of blood clotting. It’s recommended that you get 700mg of calcium each day.
Vitamin D is believed to reduce your risk of certain types of cancers, diabetes and multiple sclerosis and helps your body to fight infections. A lack of vitamin D can result in rickets – soft bones which are prone to fractures or deformity – and without vitamin D your body cannot manage calcium levels, which makes them both equally important during pregnancy.
To ensure you get a sufficient amount of vitamin D, it’s advised that you take a supplement of 0.01mg (10 micrograms) each day. Your prenatal multivitamin may already provide this.
Sources of Calcium
Calcium is found mostly in dairy products such as cows’ milk, yogurt and cheese. However, many brands of soya and rice milk now have added calcium, too.
Foods Rich in Vitamin D
Most of our vitamin D comes from exposure to sunlight – the rays cause cells in the skin to produce vitamin D . Taking a supplement each day and including plenty of vitamin D-rich foods in your diet will ensure you get enough vitamin D even in the winter months. Good sources include:
- Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines (a maximum of two portions per week)
- Vitamin D-fortified foods such as margarine and breakfast cereals
- Red meat and egg yolk – these provide some vitamin D – but ensure they are cooked thoroughly
If you have any concerns about your pregnancy diet, why not give our Careline team a call on 800 6458 6262 (UAE)/ +971 4 420 9489 (Other countries) between the hours of 9am and 6pm Saturday to Thursday.