The thrill of enjoying the motherhood needs to be accompanied with equal focus on taking care of yourself as much as of the baby, starting from stocking up on your calcium intake.
Calcium, found pre-dominantly in the bones of our body is passed onto the baby through breast-milk, and hence breast-feeding can drain the calcium reserves from the mother’s body.
There is also a small amount of loss of bone-mass, which may make the mother prone to problems later in life, like osteoporosis (porous bones), hip fractures around menopause and more.
Needless to say, if you are a new mom at home or a working new mom, juggling work and a new born, calcium supplements must now be your new best friends!
Why Calcium Is Important
Calcium forms the basis of the skeletal structure in the body which has a function to support and give form to the body besides being required for keeping the teeth and gums healthy.
It also plays a central role in conduction of nerve impulses, muscle contraction and relaxation, blood clotting etc. Therefore it is important for healthy development of the new born baby, as well as the mother’s.
Babies until the age of twelve month require about 300-500 mg per day, and around 800 mg per day beyond that age, while breast-feeding moms require around 1000 – 1200 mg per day for themselves.
It is important to maintain the daily requirement at this age, since most of the bone-density consolidation occurs until the age of 30 -32 years, which means that calcium deficiency during this time, may set the stage for bone related problems later in life!
Breast milk has a good enough amount of calcium and is the best source for the newborn since the absorption value is higher than any other milk or supplement.
Calcium intake for new moms can be from natural sources like cow milk, yoghurt, soy milk, tofu, fish, cheese, almonds, green and leafy vegetables like spinach, broccoli and many food options that are now-a-days calcium fortified like bread, juices, flour etc.
Most dairy products are good sources, however latter options are especially useful in case you are lactose-intolerant. However, the main issue to be considered with natural options is the quantity that has to be consumed to satisfy the daily requirements.
For example, though yoghurt is a good supplement of calcium, the quantity of yoghurt that will satisfy the daily calcium requirement, may be impractical to consume. Same may be applied to other sources or even a combination of them.
Also, the absorption quotient of many natural sources is usually not very high, and also dependent on many accompanying factors and other chemicals in the body.
Hence, additional artificial or organic calcium supplements may need to be consumed, apart from the calcium sources included in the diet. So stock up on the calcium, right away for a great life ahead!