It is vitally important that pregnant women take postpartum calcium supplements, particularly if they plan to breastfeed. Because the baby's primary source of calcium at that point is breast milk. Insufficient calcium in breast milk can have a significant impact on the child's future growth and the mother's overall health. This article will assist new mothers in understanding the benefits of postpartum calcium supplementation and how to appropriately get enough of the mineral through food and supplements.
Role of calcium in the body
Calcium ions are found in bones up to 99% of the time and in soft tissues and blood just 1%. The development and maintenance of the body's biological processes depend heavily on calcium. Let’s discuss the major function of Calcium in the body;
Calcium is the main structural component of the skeleton to help support the body.
Calcium deficiency, especially in young children, leads to weak bones, dwarfism, growth retardation, rickets, irregular teeth.
Whereas in case of women they are prone to osteoporosis in the premenopausal period Immune system.
Calcium ions play an important role in muscle contraction. Without calcium, the elasticity of the muscles is poor, the muscles are easily fatigued.
It’s not only about bones and muscles but calcium plays a vital role in the development of the immune system.
In early detection of pathogens.
Calcium ions play an important role in nerve conduction.
Without calcium, nerve transmission activity is inhibited.
Calcium participates in the clotting process. Calcium helps increase cells ability to stick to blood cells.
Calcium also has a protective effect on the respiratory tract that helps push dust and foreign objects out of the respiratory tract.
Necessity of calcium supplement after baby delivery?
Even after giving birth, women who received adequate calcium during their pregnancy still need to take supplements. Women's postpartum calcium levels are even greater than they were during pregnancy.
The baby's only supply of calcium after delivery is the mother's milk. When a woman doesn't eat enough, her child doesn't get the necessary amount of calcium, which will seriously impair the child's growth in the future. However, mothers also have a higher chance of developing osteoporosis in the future.
Postpartum calcium needs
The National Institute of Nutrition states that the body needs phosphorus (P) and calcium (Ca) in proportion; at any age, the ideal Ca/P ratio is at least >0.8. Accordingly, the amount of calcium needed for pregnant women is 1200 mg/day and lactating women is 1300 mg/day.
How to supplement with calcium after giving birth?
The straight way is to supplement calcium with daily foods and supplements. However it becomes difficult to get daily requirements of calcium along with vitamin D alone from food, hence supplements are advised to new mothers.
Foods with calcium content that postpartum women should add to their daily menu are;
Some calcium-rich drugs and supplements can be selected when food sources do not provide enough calcium needed like Tuskca Calcium with vitamin D3. It is always advisable to consult your doctor for any addition.
Postpartum mothers remember to take vitamin D in addition to calcium from food or medication. since the intestines are where calcium is primarily absorbed, and vitamin D aids in increasing this process. Sunlight is a limitless energy source that supports the skin's synthesis of vitamin D. Thus, getting enough sun exposure at the proper time is another efficient method of supplementing with calcium. 800 IU of vitamin D per day are required for women who are pregnant or nursing.
Only calcium and vitamin D supplements are not enough alongside calcium absorption is the crucial matter. Otherwise it may lead to problems like calcification, fibrosis of blood vessels, arteries, stones in some organs. Therefore, when supplementing with calcium and vitamin D, go for calcium citrate as it is faster in absorption and has no risk of stones or any other associated problem. Also it is necessary to supplement with vitamins, minerals, and co-factors because the body needs a lot of substances to function in a supportive way, providing calcium in the best way, without fear of excess or deficiency.
For postpartum women, calcium supplementation is essential for both the mother's and the child's health and development.