Congratulations! You have done your pregnancy test and spotted the two telltale pink lines. It is now time for your first visit to the gynecologist where you will be recommended to take prenatal tablets with folic acid and calcium tablets for pregnant ladies.
During pregnancy, a woman’s calcium needs increase. But how much calcium does a pregnant woman need? We have consulted with the doctors and nutritional experts at Hera to help you understand the importance of calcium for pregnant women.
Why is Calcium Important During Pregnancy?
A mother’s body will do whatever it needs to take care of its baby, including stealing calcium from her bones. To avoid this, and ensure your calcium requirement during pregnancy, is met, your doctor will recommend calcium supplements in pregnancy.
Calcium tablets in pregnancy come in three primary forms:
Prenatal tablets with calcium: These are calcium tablets for pregnant women along with various other vitamins and minerals essential in pregnancy. Vitamin D is necessary to help your body absorb the calcium. Hence, many calcium tablets for pregnant women may be fortified with Vitamin D.
Calcium carbonate which is less expensive and works best when taken with food. 
Calcium citrate works just as well with food or on an empty stomach as it is less dependent on stomach acid for absorption.
Calcium is one of the key essential nutrients that everybody needs for the healthy functioning of their body.
Amazing Calcium Facts: Did you know that the body contains about 1.2 to 2.5 pounds of calcium and that the average adult’s weight is made up of about two percent calcium?.- HERA
Besides playing a pivotal role in building teeth and bones, calcium also keeps your blood and muscles moving. It helps to send messages from your brain to the rest of your body. Calcium helps in the release of hormones that affect almost every function in the human body.
During pregnancy, the dietary requirement for different nutrients increases in your body . Calcium is essential for the growth of the baby. It also fortifies your breast milk. If you don’t get enough calcium in your diet, your body will take what your baby needs from the bones. This can cause loss of bone mass, teeth decay for the mother.
Calcium is needed for the growth of the fetus during pregnancy. It boosts muscle, heart, and nerve development and strengthens your baby’s rapidly-growing bones and teeth.
Deficiency in calcium for pregnant women can result in developmental complications for the fetus.
According to studies published in “The Journal of Nutrition,” calcium deficiency in pregnant mothers can affect children right from the fetal stage to infancy and childhood.
It can also affect the bone mineral density of the fetus and newborn
It can increase the risk of high blood pressure for the newborn
It can increase the risks of increased body fat percentage, elevated triglycerides and insulin resistance in older children
Too much calcium in your body may cause kidney stones, gas, constipation, irregular heartbeat. It will also prevent your body from absorbing zinc and iron, which you need to stay healthy. 
During pregnancy ingesting too much calcium can also cause low calcium in the baby’s body.
Symptoms of calcium deficiency in females
Osteoporosis – a condition causing brittle bones in older women .
Bone density loss – makes women vulnerable to bone fractures at an older age.
a fatal pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure that causes damage to the mother’s organs
seizures in pregnancy caused are by preeclampsia
These, in turn, can lead to maternal deaths and preterm births.
Too little calcium in the body can also cause
Did you know that 99 percent of the calcium in your body is in your bones and teeth?
At different ages, we need different amounts of calcium – young kids, teens, pregnant and lactating mothers, and menopausal women need more calcium.
When pregnant and lactating, you should try to get at least 1,000 mg of calcium every day. If you are pregnant as a teenager or younger, then you need at least 1,300 mg of calcium every day. 
Did you know that your body does not make calcium, so you have to get it from food?
Milk and Dairy Products
Milk and dairy products are one of the best sources of calcium, with a single glass of milk containing about a third of your daily calcium requirement in pregnancy.
If you hate the thought of gulping down endless glasses of milk, you can try other dairy sources such as curd-based smoothies, fruit topped with cream, cheese sandwiches, or simple paneer-based curries.
Amaranth, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Collards, Bok choy, Kale, Mustard greens, Swiss chard, are loaded with calcium. So, think green smoothies, soups, and bowls of delicious salads to load up on your daily dose of calcium requirement in pregnancy.
Calcium-fortified soy products such as soya milk and tofu are also a great source of calcium for you and your baby.
Seafood lovers, it’s time to rejoice. Fishes such as sardine and salmon are packed with calcium. A serving of 60g sardines or 100g canned pink salmon contains almost the same amount of calcium as one serving of milk or yogurt.
Almonds are not just great brain boosters they are also packed with calcium. Chia seeds, poppy seeds, and sesame are tiny nutritional powerhouses that are packed with calcium.
So, the next time hunger strikes, reach out for a handful of nuts or simply sprinkle seeds over your smoothie or soup bowl for a calcium-rich snack.
If you enjoy your daily glass of milk and other dairy products, then you’ll have no problem reaching your daily calcium goals.
But, if you aren’t a big fan of straight dairy, are lactose intolerant or a vegan, we’ve got you covered. Here are a few simple tips to boost your calcium quotient for the day
Enjoy your morning bowl of cereal with calcium-fortified oats made with calcium-fortiﬁed plant milks like almond, coconut, or soy.
Satiate your mid-morning hunger pangs by snacking on nuts, seeds, dried figs, dates, which are a rich source of calcium.
Fill your fridge with fortified fruit juices. You can also replace milkshakes with green smoothies made with leafy vegetables such as kale, bok choy, and calcium-rich fruits such as papaya, oranges, or dates for that perfect dash of sweetness.
Add a sprinkling of calcium-rich seeds to your salads, soups, and all your meals for an extra dose of calcium.
Instead of a late-night bowl of ice-cream reach out for a bowl of yogurt or dairy-free plant milk pudding.
Calcium supplements for pregnant women are a good option for expectant mothers who have a hard time meeting their calcium needs.
Word of caution: If you are allergic to any of the foods mentioned above, consult your doctor before consuming them.<br /> .- HERA
When you visit your doctor for your antenatal visit, you will be counseled about the intake of a calcium-rich diet.
Some doctors may prescribe calcium supplements from the first trimester, while some may advise you to start from 1,000 mg to 1,300 mg of calcium every day from 14 weeks up to six months  Pregnant women . If you are pregnant as a teenager or younger, then you need at least 1,300 mg of calcium every day. 
While taking your calcium tablets in pregnancy, it is not advisable to take your calcium tablets together with iron tablets as it interferes with iron absorption. Also, calcium carbonate calcium tablets in pregnancy should not be taken empty stomach since it causes gastritis.
Calcium tablets in pregnancy are considered safe with no harmful side effects. Occasionally, you may experience some uncomfortable symptoms such as bloating, gas, and constipation. For this, you can ask your doctor for a change in the dosage or brand of your calcium tablets in pregnancy.
Coffee, tea and aerated drinks with caffeine tend to reduce the calcium absorption  in the body. But there is no evidence that caffeine has any harmful effect on the bone status of those who take regular calcium supplements and get the recommended daily dose of calcium.
Pregnancy and new motherhood highlight the need for a balanced diet with a special focus on maternal calcium intake. If you find getting enough calcium challenging, talk to your doctor about adding a calcium supplement to your daily regime. Hera’s Strong Baby Enhancer gives you all the calcium you need to ensure that you and your baby stay healthier.