Calcium Supplements for Pregnant Women

For moms who used more calcium supplements during their pregnancy, in particular, during the second trimester, that at 6 months of age, their babies had significantly lower blood pressure than children who are born to moms who used less calcium supplements during the second trimester.

Specifically, for children born to moms who used calcium supplements, the equivalent of about two tablets of calcium supplements a day, their blood pressure was several points lower than those of other children. This becomes important because a number of studies have suggested that blood pressures in children, as early as 6 months of age, often track who is likely to have higher blood pressure as an adult. So by looking at children’s blood pressures at 6 months of age, it gives us an opportunity to identify children who may be at elevated risk for higher blood pressures. As a result of that, over the past several years, children in this age range have blood pressures measured when they go to their pediatrician routinely. The ability to identify factors that may help decide whether a child’s blood pressure is going to be higher through their life or lower becomes a very important finding.

High blood pressure for adults is one of the leading causes of illness, of death, and of healthcare expense. One of the things that becomes so important is to be able to determine when a child or an adult first has high blood pressure because the longer somebody sits with high blood pressure, the more likely he is to have more permanent-lasting effects and damage to his body from the higher blood pressure. So being able to identify that for some individuals the origin or the onset of their high blood pressure begins with what happens in fetal life, gives us the opportunity to focus in at how we can develop ways to prevent high blood pressure from developing in the first place as opposed to having to treat it in older patients.There seems to potentially be the ability to adjust that up or down by some simple interventions such as how much calcium a mom is taking during those very important formative periods in fetal development.

Globally, there have been studies that have suggested during pregnancy, many women have insufficient calcium intake. That is problematic for them in many other ways, including the amount of calcium in their bones and how their hormone systems are functioning, how their kidneys are working, and a variety of other areas. The importance of calcium for moms’ health during her pregnancy is now not only important for the mom, but may also ultimately turn out to be important for her baby’s long-term health.

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