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Calcium Supplements Help Babies' Bones in Calcium Deficient Women

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Calcium is found primarily in milk and milk products, although broccoli and canned fish are also good sources. For women who are lactose intolerant, green leafy vegetables, tofu, canned salmon and sardines (with bones) are good sources of calcium.

A number of studies show that between 30% and 50% of women fail to consume enough calcium to meet the new RDA of 1,200 mg each day. "We often find that women calcium-deficient in their diets can't tolerate or simply don't like calcium-rich foods, especially dairy products," Ray L. Howell, MD, at East Atlanta Obstetrics and Gynecology Associates in Conyers, Ga., tells WebMD. "Even if everything else they eat is fine, their calcium levels are below where they should be."

Vital Information:

  • In pregnant women who do not consume enough calcium in their diet, taking supplements can increase the bone mineral content of their children, but for those who do get enough calcium, additional supplements do not have this effect.
  • Pregnant women should continue taking supplements as they have additional calcium needs that provide maternal and fetal benefits.
  • Low intake of calcium during pregnancy is associated with poor fetal bone mineralization and increased risk of preeclampsia.
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