Calcium is very important during pregnancy. It helps build baby’s teeth and bones. So what do you do if you’re lactose intolerant? Lactose intolerant people lack an enzyme that digests a sugar called lactose. Lactose is found in dairy products, so when someone with this problem eats diary, it can make them feel sick. While drinking cow’s milk may make you feel bad, there are ways to get enough calcium in your diet. If you feel like you aren’t getting enough calcium for baby, your body will pull calcium from your bones to make sure baby has enough to grow healthy and strong. This can have long term effects for mom but baby will receive all the calcium they need to grow.
Signs of Lactose Intolerance:
- Abdominal pain
- Gas (after ingesting dairy products)
Ways to Obtain Calcium without Drinking Milk:
The recommended amount of calcium for a pregnant woman is about 1,200 mg per day. Some may find it hard to reach this amount without drinking milk but there is calcium in other foods. Some calcium rich foods include almonds, broccoli, edamame, chickpeas, pinto beans, tofu, and spinach. Be sure to look at the ingredient labels on packaged foods because some are fortified with calcium, such as orange juice. Lactose-free or lactose-reduced products, including milk, cheese, and yogurts are also great options to obtain calcium.
Also, some pregnant women find it necessary to take a calcium supplement. Some calcium supplements may cause constipation, so it’s best to find one that works well with your body. There are three popular types of calcium: Calcium citrate, calcium carbonate, and calcium phosphate. Calcium citrate contains the least amount of calcium but is most easily absorbed. Calcium Carbonate contains the most calcium but may cause constipation. Calcium phosphate doesn’t cause constipation, is easily absorbed, but is more expensive than calcium carbonate.