Bone health is a top concern through all stages of pregnancy. Women who observe proper diet and exercise before conception and after childbirth can help reduce the risk of deficiencies that lead to bone loss and related conditions.
The healthy habits you form while trying to conceive can help sustain you over the next nine months. When you do become pregnant, your baby will need nutrients to develop healthily; therefore, the better you care for yourself beforehand can ensure neither of you lack what you need. Taking pre-natal vitamins and eating calcium-rich foods is a good way to prepare.
While calcium intake is important throughout pregnancy, the last trimester is especially crucial. What your child doesn’t get from the foods you consume in order to develop bones and teeth, they will absorb from your own bones. To prevent bone loss during this time, you’ll need a minimum of 1300 milligrams of calcium daily. Ideal foods to add to your diet include:
- Kale, spinach and similar leafy greens
- Yogurt and cheese
Weather permitting, you should spend some time outdoors for your daily dose of Vitamin D. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium.
Once the baby is born, calcium intake is just as important as when you were pregnant, especially if you are breastfeeding. Breastfeeding can result in loss of bone mass if you don’t get enough calcium in your diet to help with recovery. The estrogen produced during pregnancy decreases around this time as well, so it’s important to speak with your OB-GYN about supplements if needed.
It’s also important to exercise regularly after childbirth in order to lubricate your joints and keep your bones strong.
If you have questions on bone and joint health at all stages of life, the physicians and therapists at Bon Secours Virginia Orthopaedic & Spine Specialists are here to provide information on our procedures and programs. Contact us today.