Pregnancy is a time when your calcium intake is of particular importance and because of their protein and calcium rich nature, milk and other dairy products become particularly important at this time.
In some women it can happen that lactose intolerance may actually happen during pregnancy but this is rare.
However women who are anyway lactose intolerant, or those women who develop an aversion to milk or other dairy products during their pregnancy , may have difficulty in meeting their and the baby’s daily calcium requirement.
This requirement is particularly important during the last trimester because that is when the baby’s bones are developing and that is when it is likely that your own calcium stores of the body will get drained or depleted by your growing baby resulting in conditions such as weaker teeth and bones later in life.
Try Yoghurt: It is the lactose in the milk that is indigestible when one is intolerant and yoghurt, due to its fermentation process has less of the lactose than does an equal amount of milk.
A significant amount of the lactose is converted into lactic acid, which may be more digestible.
You can also try substituting regular milk with other kinds of milk such as the kind with its lactose content removed or significantly lowered or the kind of milk that has an enzyme called lactase added to it, which aids in digestion. Soy milk that has been calcium fortified is another option.
Increase intake of calcium rich foods: Vegetables such as spinach (cooked), collard greens, turnip greens, broccoli, cabbage, green beans, kale, mustard greens, okra, are also sources of calcium and can be included to a larger degree in your diet.
You can up intake of fruits such as oranges, figs, strawberries, raisins or substitute your regular fruit juice with juice that has been calcium fortified.
Supplement: A supplement of calcium can also be added to your diet after consultation with your physician. It is important to get an easily soluble brand.
If a tablet does not dissolve in a portion of vinegar after 10 minutes, then it is better to try a different brand of supplement. It is also important to make sure that you choose a lead free brand.
Weight bearing exercise will help you strengthen bones and in consultation with your physician you can decide what are the best kind of exercises for you to do during your pregnancy.
Vitamin D: Calcium is absorbed into the body only in the presence of Vitamin D so make sure that you get enough.