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Pregnancy Articles

Calcium: The Bone Builder

Key Nutrients for the Mom-to-Be

Calcium is the nutrient that is needed to build your baby's bones and teeth during pregnancy. Throughout your pregnancy, if you do not consume enough calcium, it will be leeched from your bones. It is also important to feed your body calcium to keep your bones and teeth strong, and your body is also storing calcium to use in milk production later. Calcium is also involved in muscle contractions, the clotting of blood, nerve function and the regulation of heart rhythm. These are all very important functions during pregnancy. Therefore, the calcium recommendation for pregnant women is 1,000 milligrams each day.

This can be achieved by consuming 3 to 4 servings of dairy products a day. Do not assume you are meeting your calcium needs by taking your prenatal supplement. Most prenatal supplements only have 170-300 milligrams. (Breastfeeding moms need 1,200 milligrams, while bottlefeeding moms need 1,000.) If you are wondering how to give your bones a boost, check out these food sources high in calcium.
Food sources

Milligrams

Fruit yogurt, 8 ounces 345
Canned sardines with bones, 3 ounces 325
Milk, 1 cup 300
Calcium fortified juice, 1 cup 300
Cheese pizza, 1/4 of a 12 inch 220
Black-eyed peas 1 cup, cooked 211
Cheese, 1 ounce 200
Canned salmon with bones, 3 ounces 180
Blackstrap molasses 1 T 172
Baked beans, 1 cup 154
Pudding, 1/2 cup 150
Tofu, calcium set, 1 cup 130
Taco with cheese, 1 small 109
Frozen yogurt, 1/2 cup 106
Kale, 1 cup 94
Collard greens, cooked, 1/2 cup 90
Ice cream, 1/2 cup 88
Cottage cheese, 1/2 cup 77
Chinese cabbage 1 cup 74
Pancakes made with milk, 2 - 4 inch round 72
Almonds 1 ounce 70
Orange, 1 medium 52
Broccoli, cooked, 1/2 cup 47

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