Pregnancy is a time of great change for the body. Many women experience a shift in their bone health due to hormonal changes and weight gain during pregnancy. Women who are pregnant need to be aware of these changes to take steps to maintain their bone health as well as possible.
This article will discuss how pregnancy affects your bone health, what you can do about it and some things you should know if you are expecting!
Pregnancy and Its Effects on Bone Health
Pregnancies can have a significant effect on bone health. Pregnant women experience increased weight-bearing and hormonal changes that can cause major shifts in their bone health. The following are some of the ways pregnancy affects your bones:
Hormones such as estrogen, progesterone and human growth hormone will increase during pregnancy, which is important for maintaining healthy bones because they help regulate calcium levels. However, these hormones may be depleted more quickly due to increased stress or other factors like being overweight or underweight before becoming pregnant. This depletion could lead to osteoporosis later on in life if not managed through dieting and exercise.
Better Calcium Absorption
During pregnancy, there is an increase in the absorption of calcium from food. However, the increased demand for minerals makes it difficult to consume enough calories. Important nutrients like calcium and magnesium may not be properly absorbed, leading to deficiencies that will eventually affect bone health.
The required levels of vitamins D, A, C and B12 are typically higher during pregnancy as well. Still, many women do not reach their daily recommended intake due to decreased appetite or nausea, making them anemic or deficient in these essential nutrients, which can also cause significant changes in your bones.
What Can You Do About Bone Health While Pregnant?
Take prenatal vitamins. Talk to your doctor about any vitamin or mineral deficiencies you may have and how they can be corrected. Consume the recommended amount of calcium per day in order to maintain healthy bones, which is easily obtained by consuming a cup of milk or yogurt each day.
Getting enough calcium when you are expecting can be as simple as including low-fat dairy products in your diet. Try leafy dark green vegetables like broccoli and Brussels sprouts, tofu and fortified cereals and fresh orange juice.
It’s also good to ask your doctor about vitamin supplements to take to ensure you get enough calcium for you and your baby.
Exercise is important for both your physical and mental wellbeing. Many women find it difficult to exercise while pregnant, but there are some exercises that you can do safely, such as walking or swimming with a flotation belt.
The benefits of exercise for bone health include the added production of hormones to help your bones remain strong. Exercise will help improve your mood and increase energy. You can also improve your posture and sleep.
Exercise is also wonderful for getting your body back in shape after your baby is born. You will want to consult your doctor before starting an exercise plan, however.
You need nutrients from food not only for you but also for your developing baby! Eat foods rich in calcium, such as cheese or soy milk, with vitamin D (if needed) and vitamin K. In addition, drink fluids to stay hydrated at least six times per day.
Pregnancy doesn’t always come with glowing skin, so women need to focus on what their bodies look like and pay attention to the effect that pregnancy has had on the rest of the body. While many things change during pregnancy, such as weight and moods, one thing that often goes unnoticed is an increase in minerals absorbed from food, leading to an increased risk for bone loss if precautions are not taken.
Related Content: The Benefits of Delayed Cord Clamping
In the past, the common practice was to pass Dad the surgical scissors and have him perform a quick snip just before the newborn babe was whisked away to be cleaned, measured and dosed with vitamin K. Any delay in cord cutting was viewed as unnecessary in promoting general health for the baby or mother. However, recent research suggests that a delay of even three minutes can have a significant positive impact on infants.