Increasing calcium in your diet during pregnancy

 

Calcium is one of the most important minerals during pregnancy. Calcium helps to build strong teeth and bones, it also facilitates blood to clot normally, muscles and nerves to function properly and the heart to beat normally. Most of the calcium in the body is found inside the bones.

Different countries have different names for identifying the different sources of calcium. See some examples below:

 

 

  • Kenya
  • Nigeria

 

Ethiopia

Dairy Products

Milk, Maziwa mala, yoghurt

Milk, yoghurt

Ayib, yoghurt,milk

  •  

Sukumawiki, managu, sagheti

Efo kayan, lambu Efo, Akwuk wo nri

Gomen kitfo,kale,

spinach

  •  

Tilapia, omena

Eja, Azu, kifi

Fish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pregnancy is a critical time for a woman to consume more calcium because calcium will help the growing baby to develop. If you do not consume enough calcium to sustain the needs of your developing baby, your body will take calcium from your bones, decreasing your bone mass and putting you at risk for osteoporosis (a medical condition in which the bones become brittle and fragile from loss of tissue, typically as a result of hormonal changes, or deficiency of calcium or vitamin D)

Eating and drinking at least four servings of dairy products and calcium-rich foods a day will help ensure that you are getting calcium in your daily diet. The best sources of calcium are dairy products, green leafy vegetables and small fish eaten with bones.

If you have trouble consuming enough calcium-rich foods in your daily meal, talk to your doctor and dietician about a calcium supplement. The amount of calcium you will need from a supplement depends on how much calcium you are consuming through food sources.