Our body needs different types of vitamins and nutrients to function well. These vitamins and minerals help us to grow, boost our immune system, repair our dead cells and tissues, give us the energy to perform daily tasks, etc. Calcium is one main component of our body, especially for our teeth and bones. It facilitates the healthy functioning of our nerves and hormonal, muscular, and cardiovascular systems.
However, most men and women need more calcium from their food. They must get enough calcium, especially during their pregnancy and nursing phases. It can help babies or children develop strong foundations for their entire life while keeping pregnant women healthy. So, continue reading to know more about calcium for pregnant women.
Why Should You Consider Calcium For Your Body?
Calcium vitamin is one of the most abundant minerals in our body. You already know its significance in teeth and bones, but it also drives various essential systems in the human body:
- Cellar Signaling And Nervous Transmission: Calcium helps develop nerve cells in the body. It supports our brain to stay flexible and strong and adapt to changes from cellular to other systematic levels. This entire process is called neuroplasticity.
- Muscle Function Regulation: Calcium enables the contraction and relaxation of muscles in the body. This helps regulate muscle cells to facilitate the formation of blood vessels that help control blood pressure and blood supply in different tissues across the body.
- Blood-clotting Activation: Calcium is also responsible for blood clotting in the body. Commonly, you will bleed when you are bruised or injured. In such cases, calcium activates some blood-clotting factors, stopping the bleeding when an injury occurs.
- Hormones Secretion: Our hormones are responsible for most of the things we do and feel. Some of the important hormones in our body are leptin and insulin, which require calcium to release. Leptin helps regulate balance, while insulin controls sugar levels in the body.
Only about 1% of the calcium circulates in the blood and carries out all these functions. The rest of the calcium in the body is stored or absorbed by the bones. Calcitriol and parathyroid hormone (a form of vitamin D3) strongly regulate the amount of calcium in blood circulation. When the calcium in our diet isn’t adequate to sustain proper calcium levels in tissues and blood, the body can extract calcium from bones to fuel other metabolic functions. This isn’t healthy as it can weaken your bones. Hence, it becomes necessary for you to consume enough food highly rich in calcium.
Why Is Calcium Necessary For Pregnant Women?
Calcium is important for every individual to ensure great functionality of the body. It is so important for pregnant women as they carry a baby inside them, which needs extra care and nourishment to develop strong bones and muscles. There are primarily two reasons behind getting a proper amount of calcium is important during pregnancy: Keeping the mother healthy and helping the baby develop normally.
- Calcium For Healthy Pregnancy: Pregnancy is a high-stress period for the body as it goes through a lot. Healthy moms are often seen to develop unexpected complications during this time, such as eclampsia and preeclampsia. They are one of the most serious and common complications a mother faces during pregnancy, in which they develop high blood pressure and liver or kidney problems. Although calcium can ease the regulation of blood pressure regulation with its effect on the functions of vascular muscles, certain scientists still think calcium might play a huge role in maintaining health.
Getting an adequate quantity of calcium during pregnancy also nurtures the bones and teeth of the woman. During pregnancy, their intestines increase their absorption rate of calcium to support the child’s bone development. So, getting a sufficient amount of calcium can help the body recover from the loss of mineral content that usually happens during lactation.
- Calcium For Bone Development Of The Baby: Calcium with vitamins is essential for babies’ growth and development of bones and teeth. They absorb all the essential nutrients received in the uterus for building an entire skeletal system. The baby’s need for enough calcium increases more in their trimester. In the last 6 weeks of pregnancy, 300-350 mg/day of calcium is transferred from the mother to the baby.
Moreover, just as calcium is necessary to facilitate many processes in the adult’s body, it’s also necessary for developing the baby’s muscles, nerves, hormones, and cardiovascular system. So, if a woman is not fed enough calcium, the stored calcium in their bones and teeth can be diverted to the baby, which is unhealthy for women.
Does Calcium Actually Support Fertility?
As you have read how calcium is essential for maintaining the health of a pregnant woman and helps in the bone development of their body, it also supports fertility. Although there are very few claims about this, on a more molecular level, calcium is known for the biochemical reactions in the early stages of embryo development.
One study found that calcium can help facilitate the imperative events associated with fertilization and development of the embryo. It also said that calcium deficiency in men had been linked with sperm motility, which suggests that consumption of sufficient amounts of calcium may be key to normal reproduction.
Sources Of Calcium
Pregnant and lactating mothers tend to require more than the regular quantity of calcium in vitamins. They can get it from food products like yogurt, cheese, tofu, salmon, almonds, leafy green vegetables, young green soybeans, oranges, blackberries, etc. All these foods are highly rich in calcium and can help pregnant mothers stay healthy without diverting calcium from their bones to the babies. These foods can also prove to be beneficial for babies as they can help in the growth and development of the child’s bones and muscles.
Calcium is important for both men and women when they are trying to reproduce or conceive. However, it is even more important for pregnant women and babies to get enough calcium from their food. This will ensure the baby’s normal development while maintaining the mother’s health.