When you become a new mother, you have to start looking after your own health as your little one gets his/her nourishment directly from you. During your 9 months of pregnancy as well as the 9 months following pregnancy, when you will have to breastfeed your baby, you have to ensure that you eat right so that your baby gets all the nutrition they need from you.
After the delivery, your body will start to return to its pre-pregnancy state. The loss of calcium during the delivery would need to be made up for. If there is a low calcium content in the body, then it will be extracted from your bones and even your teeth. Calcium is also a part of the breast milk and your baby needs that extra bit of calcium in order to grow and develop their bones.
Whether you are lactating or not, you need to consume 1000 - 1200 mg of calcium on a daily basis. If you have a calcium deficiency then you would have to consider taking supplements as you will need to consume more than 1000 mg of calcium. Also, you may have to wean your baby off the breast milk earlier since the low calcium can have an impact on your body.
Here are a couple of pointers you need to know about the importance of calcium for new mothers:
1. Postpartum loss of calcium
What you may not know is that you can lose up to 4 times more calcium when you are breastfeeding than you did when you were pregnant. To prevent the loss of bone density, you need to consume enough calcium to compensate for the calcium getting used up for producing breast milk and restoring your body.
2. Your baby’s calcium needs
Babies need calcium for the proper growth and development of the bones and teeth. In fact, during the first six months of their life, they would need 200 - 300 mg of calcium per day which they will obtain through breast milk.
3. Your body needs the calcium
You need to consume the extra calcium because you are going to be breastfeeding your baby for quite some time now. The calcium will be used to produce calcium-rich breast milk. You will also need the extra calcium to avoid osteoporosis which is a common problem amongst Indian women.
4. Loss of calcium on a daily basis
As mentioned earlier, your baby needs 200 - 300 mg of calcium every day which s/he obtains from your breast milk. This means that your body will easily lose 200 - 300 mg of calcium on a daily basis. So the 1200 mg of calcium that you consume will be used to replenish the stores of calcium in your body and to help in recovering from the delivery. If you are having joint pains or back pains, you should consult your doctor about it.
5. Oral health
During pregnancy as well as while you are lactating, maintaining oral health is very important. If you don’t consume enough calcium, you will get a number of oral disorders. Also, your calcium intake may affect your child’s oral health in the future. If you don’t consume enough calcium, your child may get tooth decay.
This is the reason why you should consider taking calcium supplements during pregnancy. You may also consider taking calcium supplements while breastfeeding so that your baby gets enough calcium too.