Maintaining an overall balance between mental, physical and social health is of utmost importance during pregnancy. Pregnant women go through a lot of physical as well as emotional change during pregnancy and after delivery.
There are a lot of difficulties that pregnant women might have to face, one of which includes osteoporosis. It is quite a task to take care of all aspects such as diet, exercise and check-ups.
Amidst all this, we bring you a guide to ensure general bone health during pregnancy.
Calcium is one of your biggest allies when it comes to bone health. It is necessary during pregnancy and also after the birth of your baby since it helps the bones to grow in density. This mineral also plays a key role in making your bones strong. Foods that are high in calcium include milk, cheese, tofu, soy and green leafy vegetables.
2. Vitamin D
Vitamin D facilitates the strengthening of your bones and will, therefore, help make your baby’s bones stronger. You should ensure at least fifteen to twenty minutes of exposure to sunlight every day. Along with sunlight, there are some food supplements from which your body can draw Vitamin D. They are tuna, salmon, orange juice, egg yolks, soy and cereals.
It is a common misconception that women should abandon all forms of physical labours during pregnancy. But it is quite the contrary. Some form of exercise coupled with yoga keeps the mother healthy and fit. Exercising keeps your bones strong and muscles flexible. On the other hand, yoga can help you relax and rejuvenate you both physically and mentally.
4. Do not drink
Drinking affects major organs and harms your liver the most. It poses an indirect problem to your body. Alcohol interferes with vitamin D and stops it from benefiting your body, thus leading to weak bones.
5. Quit smoking
Smoking cuts down or lessens oxygen supply to your body. It prevents the absorption of calcium in your body, thus decreasing bone mass.
6. Go easy on caffeine
Caffeine does have some health benefits, but only when consumed under a certain limit. Too much of it may interfere with the bone’s ability to absorb calcium. One study showed that drinking more than two cups of coffee per day accelerated bone loss in subjects who also didn’t consume enough calcium. So, enjoy your cup of coffee, but don’t drink too much of it.
7. Pump up potassium
Potassium does not necessarily help in bone formation or strengthening. Instead, it helps nerves and muscles to communicate and cells to remove waste. Potassium also neutralises acids that may remove calcium from the body, hence increasing bone density. Regardless of how vitamin K might help, fill up on it with foods like kale, broccoli, Swiss chard and spinach.
8. Know your family’s medical history
While having a baby, or during the course of pregnancy, you will realise the importance of knowing the medical history of your family. Some conditions or disorders (which may or may not be related to bones) are hereditary and usually recur in many generations. In such cases, it is advisable to seek medical help and consult your doctor in order to prevent any complications.