ACT Nutrition Support Service » Calcium needs for pregnant mums

Calcium needs for pregnant mums

ACT Nutrition Support Service » Calcium needs for pregnant mums

Calcium needs for pregnant mums

Calcium is an essential mineral needed for strong bones, teeth, nerves and muscles. The growing baby relies on the mothers’ calcium supply to build its own calcium rich tissues. Because the baby is drawing calcium from the mother’s supply, it is important that she get enough during this time.

How much calcium do I need?

Previously, pregnant women were advised to take in higher levels of calcium, however it is now known that pregnant women have enhanced calcium absorption during pregnancy (meaning they absorb more from the foods they eat), so no extra is needed.

Calcium requirements stay the same from pre-conception through to lactation at 1000mg/day.

Requirements are increased for lactation only (to 1300mg) if the mother is under 18 years of age as she is still growing herself, and therefore requires the additional calcium to meet both hers and babies’ need. Supplementation is not routinely recommended unless the person has been identified at risk of suboptimal intake (for example vegans and some vegetarians).

For women at risk of pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy) whom have low calcium intakes, calcium supplementation has been shown to reduce pre-eclampsia risk (NHMRC, 2019).

Sources
  • Milk and milk-based products (cheese, yoghurt)
  • Calcium-fortified products such as soy milk, or other fortified milks (almond, rice milk) are good sources of calcium Tofu
  • Bony fish
  • Small amounts of calcium is also found naturally in foods such as legumes, nuts, sesame seeds and dark green vegetables (e.g. broccoli).
Food Calcium content       
Milk, cow’s milk, 250ml 300 mg
Calcium fortified soy milk, 250ml                 290 mg
Cheddar cheese, 30g slice 230 mg
Yogurt, 200g tub 350 mg
Ricotta cheese, 100g
170 mg
Tofu firm, 100g 320 mg
Salmon canned, 100g 191 mg
Anchovies canned, 100g 167 mg
Almonds, 30g 80 mg
Brazil nut, 30g 45 mg
Tahini (sesame seed paste), 20g 66 mg
Baked beans, 100g 39 mg
Chickpeas, 100g 45 mg
Fig dried, 30g 60 mg
Broccoli, 100g 32 mg