Learn about calcium supplementation during pregnancy

chinacdc.cn | Updated: 2023-04-13
Why do pregnant women experience calf cramps, joint pain and pelvic pain? These symptoms may be due to calcium deficiency during pregnancy. In this article, let's talk about what to eat during pregnancy to boost calcium levels.
Calcium is the main component of human teeth and bones, and can reduce the excitability of nerves and muscles, facilitate myocardial contraction, and maintain heart rhythm. 
Calcium in a pregnant woman's body is not only stored in her own bones, but also needs to meet the fetal demand for bone and tooth development. If she lacks calcium in her body, she may suffer from leg cramps, joint pain and pelvic pain during pregnancy.

What should pregnant women pay attention to when taking calcium supplements?
The basic principle of calcium supplementation for pregnant women is to eat more calcium-rich foods.
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Chinese Residents: Dietary Guidelines for Pregnant Women and Nursing Mothers, the daily intake of milk in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy should be 300-500ml, where every 100ml of milk contains approximately 100mg of calcium.
In addition to milk and dairy products, other foods with high calcium content include soybeans and bean products, seafood, sesame, black fungus, nuts, and dark green vegetables.
The calcium content in shrimp shells is high (50mg/5g), and can be a good choice for pregnant women as well.
The calcium content in sesame paste is quite high with 1,170mg per 100g, which can be used as a dip for steamed buns or as a sauce with noodles. But it should be noted that sesame paste is also high in fat and energy, and should not be consumed in large amounts. 
Pregnant women can also expose themselves more to the sun while taking supplements, as outdoor activities promote the synthesis of vitamin D, which allows them to better absorb calcium.