BabyFit Sponsors help keep the site free!


Featured Article
Exercise Lowers Cholesterol During Pregnancy
Exercise Lowers Cholesterol During Pregnancy
A recent study conducted by the Swedish Medical Center in Seattle found that during the first trimester, the most active women had the lowest cholesterol levels.  

MessageBoard Hot Topics
Top Searches
Featured Recipe

Cool Cucumber Salad

A simple cucumber salad for the Dog Days of Summer.

Have another question?

Review our full list of questions, or send a nutrition or fitness question to our experts. Click Here

Ask the Fitness & Nutrition Experts

Ask the experts features questions submitted by members like you to our pregnancy nutrition and fitness experts.

  If I need to take a calcium supplement, which is better during pregnancy: calcium citrate or calcium carbonate?

  Getting enough calcium while you are pregnant or nursing is important. For mom, calcium is involved in muscle contractions, the clotting of blood, nerve function and the regulation of heart rhythm, while also building your baby’s bones and teeth. If you do not consume enough calcium in your diet during pregnancy, the baby will rob the calcium from your bones, which will put you at greater risk of developing osteoporosis when you are older.

The calcium recommendation for pregnant women 19-50 years old is 1,000 milligrams each day. This can be achieved by consuming 3 to 4 servings of dairy products daily. Most prenatal supplements contain only 200-300 milligrams, so your diet must be the greatest source of daily calcium. Using the BabyFit Nutrition Tracker will help you determine if your intake is sufficient. If you cannot get enough calcium from food, calcium supplements may be helpful, and you would want to speak with your health care provider about them.

There are two different forms of calcium supplements: Calcium citrate and calcium carbonate. Both are good choices for supplementation.

Calcium citrate (Citrical brand) is the BEST absorbed supplemental form of calcium. It can be taken on an empty stomach because it does not require stomach acid to break apart.

Calcium carbonate (Tums, Caltrate, Viactiv Calcium Chews, Os-Cal, and Nature Made brands) is the most common type of calcium supplement on the market. Since it usually needs extra stomach acid to break apart, it is best taken with food.

Avoid the following calcium supplements: dolomite, oyster shell, coral calcium, and bone meal, which are naturally-occurring calcium carbonate sources. These natural sources however may contain heavy metals, like lead, which are stored in bones and can cause serious health problems.

Likewise calcium phosphate, calcium lactate and calcium gluconate are not rich sources of calcium. Each tablet contains very small amounts of calcium, so these should be avoided as well.

Tanya Jolliffe, BabyFit healthy eating expert

See All Questions

Sponsors help keep BabyFit free!

Pregnancy Resources | Pregnancy Articles | Parenting Articles | Pregnancy Exercises | Pregnancy Message Boards | Baby Names | Help | Advertising / Sponsorships

© 1999-2015 SparkPeople, All Rights Reserved | Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy | About Our Ads

NOTE: Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy update on February 8, 2012
Visit SparkPeople for Free Online Diet Plan
Tell your company about SparkPeople Corporate Wellness

BabyFit, BabyPoints, BabyPages and other marks are trademarks of SparkPeople, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
BABYFIT is a registered trademark of SparkPeople, Inc. in the United States, European Union, Canada, and Australia. All rights reserved.