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Calcium in pregnancy and breastfeeding 

Calcium in pregnancy and breastfeeding
Chapter:
Calcium in pregnancy and breastfeeding
Author(s):

Sir Peter Gluckman

, Mark Hanson

, Chong Yap Seng

, and Anne Bardsley

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198722700.003.0018
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date: 13 October 2019

Most calcium in the body is present in the skeleton, where it serves a structural role and also as a reservoir for use in other tissues. During pregnancy, calcium is accumulated in the fetal skeleton, mostly during the third trimester when bone growth is at its peak. Although this increases the demand on maternal bone stores, the calcium transfer to the fetus is balanced by increased intestinal calcium absorption in the mother, mediated by compensatory changes in vitamin D synthesis and endogenous hormone levels. Bone loss is minimized if calcium intake is maintained at 1,000#amp;#x2013;1,200 mg/day during pregnancy. This intake level builds up calcium stores in early pregnancy for increased fetal transfer in the third trimester. Additional dietary calcium is usually not required if pre-pregnancy intake is adequate, although pregnant adolescents and women carrying multiple fetuses may require supplementation.

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