Breastfeeding moms or pregnant women need more nutrients to stay healthy. Most healthcare practitioners recommend taking calcium supplements because it is a key nutrient that your body needs during pregnancy and also while breastfeeding.
During pregnancy, your calcium levels can drop which may result in a loss of bone mass and toothache. As the fetus’ bones continue to grow, the calcium levels in your body decreases. Your body takes nutrients from you and your diet to ensure that baby gets complete nutrition. So, if your diet is lacking in calcium, the calcium from your body will be utilized for your baby.
Signs & symptoms of calcium deficiency in the mother after childbirth:
Do you know where the most calcium is stored in your body? Around 99% calcium is reserved in the bones and teeth. So, whenever your calcium levels drop, you will be more prone to toothache and decaying teeth and bones. Besides this, you will also be at a higher risk of suffering from periodontal illness.
2. Muscle cramps:
Women often think they are drinking a sufficient amount water and have an adequate level of hemoglobin but forget to notice their calcium levels while suffering from recurring muscle cramps. Muscle cramps after childbirth can happen due to lack of calcium. Muscle cramps could be followed by muscle aches in the thighs and calf muscles.
Also Read: 11 Best Ways To Get Rid Of Post Pregnancy Swelling
3. Premenstrual cramps:
Mothers who are suffering from calcium deficiency have very painful premenstrual cramps and a lot of pain during bleeding. Calcium deficiency is also linked to irregular menstruation and excessive bleeding.
Women who suffer from calcium deficiency generally feel weakness in their bones and muscles. Along with these, low calcium levels cause insomnia that increase stress and fatigue. Mommies are also likely to suffer from lack of breast milk, poor concentration, and extreme tiredness from lack of calcium.
How much calcium does a woman need during pregnancy?
When a woman gets pregnant, her need for calcium also increases. So, it is advised by doctors to take at least 1,000mg of calcium every day and keep this level constant even after pregnancy. A high amount of calcium is needed to produce breast milk as well.
Treatment for calcium deficiency:
Some of the popular treatments a woman should do to maintain the level of calcium after childbirth because prevention is better than cure!
1. Healthy Diet:
Make sure at least one of your daily meals contain calcium-rich food because it is crucial for preventing calcium deficiency. You should intake foods like milk, cheese, yogurt, beans, figs, broccoli, spinach, tofu, dandelion leaves, seaweeds such as kelp, sardines etc. Dairy products are highest in calcium-rich foods.
Also Read: Diet Plan After C-Section - What to eat & What to avoid
2. Exercise Regularly:
Exercising also helps in increasing your calcium and maintaining a body weight that is healthy for you. Start with taking a daily walk and slowly build your stamina by doing yoga and other gentle forms of exercise.
3. Take Calcium supplements:
Doctors continue prescribing calcium supplements post delivery because your body still needs a high dose of calcium. This supplement is vital in increasing the level of calcium but needs more stomach acid to dissolve it. Hence, it is suggested that calcium supplements be taken along with a heavy meal.
4. Have Foods Rich In Vitamin D:
Vitamin D is a generic name that includes vitamins like D1, D2, and D3, which are very important for absorption of calcium, the growth of cells, bones and teeth. You can add milk, liver, eggs, and fish to your diet to ensure that you are getting sufficient amount of Vitamin D. Our body can naturally produce Vitamin D if we spend enough time in the sun. So, mommies do try to take time out for a morning walk and soak up some sunlight.
5. Eat Magnesium-Rich Foods:
Just like Vitamin D, Magnesium is also a nutrient required for calcium absorption. Our body metabolises both these nutrients closely. If you don’t intake enough magnesium in your diet, it could lead to a calcium deficiency.
Our body is not good at storing magnesium, so it is important to include good magnesium-rich foods in your diet. The best sources of magnesium are green leafy veggies like spinach, mustard greens and broccoli. Whole grains, seeds and nuts like pumpkin seeds, almonds and cashews are all great sources of magnesium.
Also Read: 11 Ways To Prevent Urinary Tract Infection
6. Quit Soft Drinks:
Soft drinks and caffeinated soda interferes with calcium absorption in our body.
An excess of these soft drinks can lead to an increase in phosphate levels in our blood. This can leach calcium from our bones causing calcium excretion through urine.
7. Avoid Excess Caffeine
Many moms like to start their day with a strong cup of tea or coffee. If you are suffering from calcium deficiency, it is time to give up this habit.
Just like soft drinks, caffeine too leaches calcium from bones. If you can’t give up your coffee habit, restrict it to 2 cups of coffee per day. Try to replace your cup of coffee with green tea or any other herbal or Tulsi tea.
Want to share your mommy experience with other moms through words or images? Become a part of the Moms United community. Click here and we will get in touch with you