Women who are pregnant and breastfeeding require additional amounts of certain nutrients. Most health care practitioners recommend taking prenatal vitamins or multivitamins during pregnancy and while breastfeeding to meet your nutritional needs and those of your baby. Calcium is a key nutrient during pregnancy and while you’re breastfeeding.
During pregnancy, your calcium levels can become depleted, and you may even lose bone mass, according to the “Journal of Perinatal Education.” Your developing child’s bones continue to grow throughout your pregnancy. Your baby receives nutrients through you and your diet. If your diet is lacking in calcium, your baby will take all the calcium from you that he can get to help him grow. The same is true while you breastfeed.
Calcium loss can cause an array of conditions. If your body is deprived of calcium for long periods of time, you can lose bone mass, leaving your bones weak and brittle. Calcium helps keep them strong. Weak bones can make you more susceptible to developing fractures and breaks. Your teeth can become weak and break more easily while you’re eating. Broken teeth can decay and even cut the inside of your mouth. Tooth decay leads to other complications such as gingivitis, which can lead to heart disease. If you are not getting enough calcium, your infant may not receive enough calcium for her bones to develop and grow properly.