Excellent post on calcium!

Click here for the full post, which is just chock-full of information. While you’re at the blog, check out all of the latest posts, because she’s written several recently about things like iron and prenatal vitamins, with a lot of good information. Very much food for thought.

In this post, in particular, she talks about the importance of calcium, and the necessity of getting it through your diet (since most prenatal vitamins [PNVs] have only a small amount). I took extra calcium during pregnancy because it helped me eliminate those horrid nightly leg cramps. My sister-in-law told me that tip — she took two or three pills of calcium every night, to keep hers at bay. Anyway, if you love dairy, you’ll probably get enough calcium just by getting your “daily fix” of milk or cheese; but if you, like me, sometimes have trouble with milk, then she also has other sources listed with calcium in it.

My particular problem with dairy is not so bad as to earn the full label of “lactose intolerance,” because I can handle moderate amounts of dairy without incident. I know some people who are so bad that even very small amounts of lactose will send them into abdominal upset (unless they take Lactaid). I, on the other hand, apparently have a threshold for lactose tolerance, and if I cross it by eating too much dairy, then I suffer. One problem for me, though, is that when I’m pregnant, I crave chocolate milk (at least, if I see it in the grocery store as I pass by). One glance at that lovely brown bottle, and I’m completely consumed with getting that liquid into my body. One time when I was pregnant with my older son, I caved into the craving, bought a quart, and drank it all on the half-mile walk home from the grocery store. And ended up with lactose intolerance that day. But I can have cheese, ice cream, yogurt, and milk — just in moderate amounts. And apparently, there is a cumulative quality to it, too, because if I eat (for example) pizza several days in a row, then I’m okay for the first couple of days, but after much longer than that, I’ll have problems.

Final note — I remember reading several years ago that there was an “old wives’ tale” that for every baby a woman had, she would lose a tooth, and that this was fairly accurate a century or two ago, because the woman’s body would draw off her own calcium (in her bones and teeth) to fill up the inadequate supply of dietary calcium in order to give it to the baby and his or her developing bones (as well as probably to make breastmilk after the baby was born). Today, inadequate calcium may be implicated in the high rates of osteoporosis in the older generations of women, although we don’t see quite the level of tooth loss nowadays.

2 Responses

  1. I have been questioning if dairy is really such a great source of calcium. Ironic, that countries that consume the most dairy and the most supplements have the most problems with osteoporosis. Plus dairy is so high in fat. I’m relying on the veggie sources for Calcium.

  2. Actually, I read recently that the old wives’ tale about the tooth is from Germany, and it is really because of poorer hygiene they think. They didn’t think it was calcium, but the fact that teeth brushing just gets pushed down the priority list a bit.🙂

    Also, lactose intolerance *is* cumulative-you only have so much lactase (the enzyme that breaks it down) in your body at once. Babies have tons of lactase-only 1/30000 babies is actually intolerant (all those dr’s that say babies are lactose intolerant when they’re having trouble breastfeeding are usually wrong!) As we age, we have less and less lactase-milk is meant for babies! But, oh, I love it so.

    Also, milk and ice cream are usually more problematic for those with dairy troubles than harder stuff like cheese and yogurt. If a baby is having mild gas and tummy upset when breastfeeding, the mother eliminating just milk sometimes does the trick. That’s usually the protein casein, though, as I understand it. People with an actual milk *allergy* are allergic to that.

    Anyway, I’ve been following your blog for the past week or so now, and I’ve been enjoying your thoughts🙂 Sorry for the long post. These are just things I’ve learned since getting pregnant and having my baby (who’s now 4 mo). I❤ LLL😛

    Sarah

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