While in the mother’s womb, the baby needs plenty of calcium to develop its bone skeleton which it takes from the mother. Therefore, the mother needs to get adequate calcium to avoid developing calcium deficiency in her body. The need for calcium increases during the third trimester and a deficiency then can weaken her bones. This can be avoided by ensuring a few things. Here are some helpful tips to keep your bones healthy during pregnancy:
Get Sufficient Calcium
Calcium is needed by the body during pregnancy more than ever. Almost 1300 mg of calcium is needed by a pregnant body. It is needed to develop the bone skeleton and teeth of your baby. If your body is not able to provide adequate calcium then the developing fetus will erode calcium from your bones and teeth to fulfill its requirement. To prevent this, you must provide sufficient calcium to your body. Embrace foods that provide calcium to your body such as milk, cheese, yogurt, green leafy vegetables, fish like salmon and sardines, peas, green beans, tofu, kefir, soy milk and calcium-rich cereals. The body can easily absorb calcium during pregnancy and protect you against calcium deficiency.
Get Enough Vitamin D
The body requires vitamin D to absorb and utilize calcium. Therefore, just consuming calcium is not enough. Sunshine is the best source of vitamin D. If you live in a sunny place then regular exposure to the sun can help you maintain your vitamin D level. It is recommended that 15 minutes of exposure to direct sunlight can control vitamin D deficiency. Apart from sunshine, vitamin D is also available in certain foods. Try to include vitamin D rich ingredients like tuna fish, salmon, swordfish, liver, cheese, mushrooms, egg yolks, and orange juice in your diet.
Eat a Balanced Meal
Calcium and vitamin D are not the only things required for bone health. Vitamin K, vitamin C, zinc, omega3 fatty acid and magnesium also contribute to maintaining your bone health during pregnancy. Protein is needed to develop muscle mass to protect and keep the bones strong. Therefore, eat a varied and colorful diet that includes all the necessary nutrients. Your diet should include whole grains, fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, milk and milk products (if you are lactose intolerant then replace milk with soy milk), fish, eggs, meat, poultry, nuts, lentils and legumes.
Exercising during pregnancy has numerous benefits including strengthening muscles and bones. Stay active and do exercises such as swimming, brisk walking, cycling, yoga etc. You can also try running and dancing. However, always consult with your doctor before doing any rigorous form of exercise. It is better to do exercises that have no risk of falling or any other serious injury. Also, make sure to drink plenty of water during exercise to avoid dehydration and exhaustion.
Smoking can increase the chances of bone fractures, reduce bone mass, and compromise the bone formation of the baby. Maternal smoking increases the chances of congenital musculoskeletal disorders in the newborn. Therefore, avoid smoking. Also, try to avoid passive smoking as much as possible.
A healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet is the key to maintaining healthy bones during pregnancy. Adequate sunshine, exercise and a nutrient rich diet will help you and your baby get strong bones.