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Calcium and vitamin D

 

Calcium is essential for your baby's skeleton and your own. It should be consumed together with vitamin D, which allows it to be absorbed by the bones. You will meet your calcium needs quite naturally if you consume a varied, balanced diet rich in dairy products.

Monday, November 6th, 2017

What are calcium and vitamin D good for?

Calcium plays a major role in the construction of your baby's bones, skeleton and teeth. Your baby's needs will particularly increase during the course of the 3rd trimester, when the bones are mineralised.  Getting a sufficient supply of calcium is also important for preserving your bone capital: your baby's needs will take priority and will "exhaust" your reserves if you do not consume enough. Studies have also shown that calcium may even reduce the risk of suffering from the baby blues.

Vitamin D is important for fixing this calcium and constitutes the fulcrum of a balance between your bones and the development of the skeleton and teeth of your baby.

On my plate

Your calcium needs are estimated to be about 1 000 mg/day. This means, for example, that every day you should have at least 3 servings of dairy products (e.g. milk, cheese, yogurt)
To a lesser extent, other foods may also be sources of calcium:

  • green vegetables (spinach, broccoli, etc.), fruit and cereal
  • sardines in oil, anchovies, almonds and dried figs.

 

As far as vitamin D is concerned, this is included in your food in small quantities, with the best sources being fatty fish such as salmon or eggs. Vitamin D is first and foremost produced by your skin in reaction to exposure to sunlight.

Our practical suggestions

  • Vary your sources of calcium: dairy products are, of course, one source, but so are the other foods mentioned above, which can be used to supplement your intake.
  • Opt for semi-skimmed milkand hard cheeses.
  • To increase yourintake, sprinkle parmesan over your pasta, as this cheese is richest in calcium 120 mg in a single tablespoon! Also think of adding milk when preparing food at home, i.e. mashed potatoes, pureed vegetables, quiches, etc.
  • If you do not consume any dairy products (either as a matter of choice or because you are allergic to them), your doctor may prescribe a food supplement for you.

Go for a walk whenever there is sunshine: this is an excellent way of getting more vitamin D. You should make sure, however, that you protect yourself with suntan lotion and a hat and that you don't go out in the sun between 12h00 and 16h00.

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