The process of giving birth to a child is truly an extraordinary feeling. Although, there are many stages in the process of pregnancy and childbirth where a woman has to undergo a lot of physical changes. During pregnancy, the child derives essential nutrients from the mother and after birth through her breast milk. One of the most important nutrients utilized during this phase is calcium. Therefore, the importance of calcium intake after childbirth cannot be overlooked by mothers.
Below we have discussed the facts on why calcium is an important nutrient during breastfeeding.
6 Facts That You May Not Know!
1. Increased Requirement of Calcium
Most pregnant and breastfeeding women in India have low dietary calcium intake. Data from 10 Indian States shows that intake of calcium for women during pregnancy and lactation is only 400 mg whereas they need 1200 mg calcium per day.
2. The Calcium Requirement of the Baby
The baby requires 200-300 mg of calcium daily from breastmilk for the first six months. This calcium is important for helping the baby develop strong bones and teeth. The teeth and bones comprise 99% of body’s calcium.
3. Postpartum Loss of Calcium is Higher
Loss of calcium is four times higher during the nine months of lactation than during pregnancy. This loss in bone mineral density can be prevented with the intake of calcium .
4. Calcium is Lost on Daily Basis
As exclusive breastfeeding is a must for babies, a lot of calcium is lost from a mother’s body on daily basis. A lactating woman can lose 200-300 mg a day during breastfeeding.
5. Adequate Calcium Intake is a Must
Adequate intake of calcium by the breastfeeding mother is important for calcium-rich breast milk and for prevention of osteoporosis which is a medical condition caused due to calcium deficiency.
6. Loss of Bone Mass
A mother’s body has to work overtime for meeting the breastfeeding requirements. As studies have shown that women often lose 3 to 5% of their bone mass during six months of breastfeeding to meet the baby’s growing need for calcium, nourishment of a mother is important for the nourishment of the baby.
This article is for the residents of India only. This information is for general awareness only and does not constitute medical advice. Please consult your physician for further information/ advice.
Issued in public interest by GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Limited .
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