Taking care of bones is important throughout life, including before, during, and after pregnancy and breastfeeding. A balanced diet with adequate calcium, regular exercise, and a healthy lifestyle are good for mothers and their babies. Calcium is an abundant mineral present in bones and is main attributing to its strength and density. Although calcium is important throughout lifetime, but body’s demand for calcium increases during pregnancy and breastfeeding because her baby needs it for the growth and development of skelton and is an important component of various metabolic pathways in body.
The National Academy of Sciences recommends that all women who are pregnant or breastfeeding must consume 1,000 mg (milligrams) of calcium each day. For pregnant teens, the recommended intake is even higher: 1,300 mg of calcium a day. The good dietary sources of calcium are
Low-fat dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, cheese and green leafy vegetables, such as broccoli, collard greens, and bok choy.
In addition, your doctor may probably prescribe a vitamin and mineral supplement to take during pregnancy and breastfeeding to ensure that you get enough of this important mineral.
Exercise: Further all women should do 150 minutes exercise per week. Muscles and bones respond to exercise by becoming stronger,tensile and elastic. Regular exercise, especially weight-bearing and resistance activities, are important. Examples of weight-bearing exercise include walking, climbing stairs, and dancing. Resistance exercises – such as lifting weights – can also make bones stronger. Exercising during pregnancy can benefit your health in other ways, too. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, being active during pregnancy can:
Help reduce backaches, constipation, bloating, and swelling.
Help prevent or treat gestational diabetes (a type of diabetes that starts during pregnancy).
Promote muscle tone, strength, and endurance.
Help you sleep better.
Help you get back in shape after your baby is born.
Before you begin or resume an exercise program, talk to your doctor about your plans.
Dr Suhail Naik
Lecturer Pediatrics GB Pant Children Hospital