Important Role of Calcium in Pregnancy 2022

Calcium is a vital mineral for the body and most women are unaware of it. At every life stage of women – infancy, puberty, reproductive age, climacteric period, and elderly years, in addition to pregnancy and delivery, calcium plays an important role. Let us see the Role of Calcium in pregnancy.

What is the Role of calcium in pregnancy for the Mom to be and the fetus?


Your body needs calcium for the formation of bones, teeth, movement of muscle, blood clotting, release hormones and nerves functioning, etc. Bones & teeth are the body’s reservoir of Calcium. 

During pregnancy, you need calcium – for your health and your baby. 

For mom to be,

Calcium helps in the normal clotting of the blood.

It fortifies breast milk.

It helps to produce lesser body fat, therefore lowering the risk of obesity.

It keeps the heartbeat normal.

It helps in the proper functioning of the nervous system.

For the growing fetus,

Calcium is required for the formation of bones & teeth.

It is also important for a baby’s heart, muscles, nerves, and hormones.

Your body takes calcium from your bones & teeth to nourish your baby. If you are deficient in Calcium, it will create complications like premature birth, low birth weight, slow growth of baby, heart problems, In rare cases, increased risk of bone fractures. 

How much Calcium a pregnant woman and the fetus require?

The amount of Calcium requirement varies in different age groups.

As per the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), recommended dietary allowance (RDA 2020) of Calcium for a pregnant woman is 1000mg/day.

Note: The body is capable to absorb only 500 mg of Calcium at a given time.  Do not take 1000 mg of Calcium at a time. It is recommended to take small quantities throughout the day.

The fetus requires approximately 30 gms of calcium during gestation. In the second trimester, the fetus requires 50 mg/day of calcium and during the third trimester, it requires approximately 250 mg/day.

How can pregnant women get Calcium? 

Pregnant women can get Calcium from food, fortified food, and supplements. It is always better to get enough Calcium naturally through food because it is absorbed more easily than the calcium from supplements.

Food Sources rich in calcium

As per the WHO guidelines, daily calcium supplementation (1.5 g–2.0 g oral elemental calcium) is recommended for pregnant women, to reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia, in populations with low dietary calcium intake.

Calcium supplements come in two forms- Carbonates and citrate. Calcium carbonate is less expensive and works best if it is taken with food. Calcium citrate works well with food or on empty stomach.

Many calcium supplements contain vitamin D. Let us know what is the relation between Vitamin D and Calcium. 

Vitamin D and Calcium Relation

Your body needs vitamin D for the absorption of Calcium. Calcium and vitamin D works together to protect the bones—calcium helps build and maintain bones, while vitamin D helps your body effectively absorb calcium. 

Sunlight is the best source of Vitamin D. Your skin produces Vitamin D when exposes to the sun.

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Besides building healthy bones and teeth, Calcium performs many other important functions in our body. Calcium is important for maternal and fetal wellbeing. Adequate calcium intake during pregnancy has the potential to prevent pre-eclampsia, pre-term birth. 


Q. I am allergic to dairy products. How can I get calcium with out milk and milk products? 

A.  You can get calcium from calcium-fortified products, plant-based milk, sardines, dry fruits, and other food sources mentioned above.

Q. What happens if pregnant women are deficient in calcium?

A. For the development of the fetus, the body takes calcium from the bones of pregnant women. And it weakens the bones and there are chances of arthritis, osteoporosis, and bone fracture. Also, you found hypertensive disorder and pre-eclampsia in pregnant women.

Q. Can we take Calcium supplements with Iron Folic Acid (IFA) tablets?

A. No. Calcium and IFA tablets should not be taken together as calcium inhibits the absorption of iron.


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