Essential Calcium Supplement In Pregnancy | Blog

How much Calcium is essential in Pregnancy. Are the supplements suggested?

How much Calcium is essential in Pregnancy. Are the supplements suggested?

by: Dr. Neha Pathania
Senior Dietitian

In pregnancy starting from 2nd trimester it’s important to supplement RDA 1000 mg per day is required to be taken.  It’s important to supplement as required:

  • For Calcification of fetal bones and teeth.
  • It also helps in protection of Calcium Resources of Mother to meet the needs during lactation.
  • During pregnancy, 80% of the fetal skeleton is built up by Mother’s diet and the rest 20% of maternal reserves.
  • Optimum level of Calcium and vitamin D reduces muscular cramps in pregnant mother
  • Intrauterine Nutrition is important for the growth of CNS and Kidneys of the fetus.

The rich sources of calcium include Milk, Cheese, Yoghurt, Spinach, Ragi,

Please note that   ½ Liter of Milk = 600 mg of Calcium ( ½ RDA)

Importance of Vitamin D in diet:

  • Enhances the maternal calcium absorption
  • Maternal deficiency results in neonatal hypocalcemia
  • Excess results in atherosclerosis, hypercalcemia, Calcium deposits in vital organs, mental retardation.

 The rich sources of Vitamin D

  • Fortified Milk/ Dairy Products/ Cereals and Bread/ Egg yolks

Do I require more vitamins and minerals in pregnancy?

Yes, you definitely need more vitamins and minerals to supplement the growth and development of the fetus. Other vitamins & minerals required during pregnancy are:


  • RDA 38 mg
  • Increased demands can cause Anemia.
  • Required for the growth of fetus and Placenta.
  • Formation of Hb as there is 40-50% increase in maternal blood volume.
  • Liberal Diet with the supply of Lean Red Meat, Spinach, Cereals, Iron Fortified Grains, Vegetables.
  • Iron Therapy ( Pills Containing 180 mg of ferrous sulfate )


  • RDA = 400µg
  • Needed for synthesis of essential components of DNA, RNA.
  • Development of red blood cells.
  • During last trimester prevents megaloblastic anemia.
  • Reduces the incidences of neural tube defects.
  • Deficiency may lead to abortion, preterm baby, low birth weight, anencephaly (absence of brain), PIH.
  • Sources include: Green Leafy Vegetables, Dark Yellow Fruits & Vegetables, Peas, Beans, Nuts


  • Iodine: RDA = 125 mg. Deficiency can lead to abortion, congenital anomalies, cretinism in child. Sources: Iodized Salt, Sea Food
  • Zinc: Deficiency can lead to fetal mortality, fetal malformations, preterm delivery. Sources :Leafy Vegetables, Pulses
  • Manganese: Helps in the growth of babies. Sources: Beans, Cereals, Nuts


  • Thiamine helps to relieve nausea. (rice, whole cereals, wheat germ)
  • Riboflavin: Deficiency can interfere with cartilage formation leading to shortening of bones and fusion of ribs, eczema. (pulses, leafy vegetables)
  • Vitamin E reduces the number of spontaneous abortions and still births. It affects the growth and availability of oxygen to the fetus. (oils, nuts)
  • Vitamin K prevents neonatal hemorrhage. (curd, leafy vegetables, liver)

Vitamin C

  • RDA 40 mg
  • Low levels associated with premature rupture of fetal membranes and increased neonatal death rates
  • Required for healthy gums, teeth and strong bones
  • Rich in: Citrus Fruits/ Broccoli/ Tomatoes/ Fortified Fruit Juices


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