Do I Require More Calcium When Pregnant with Twins?

QUESTION

Dear Nutritionist,
Hi I was just wondering if I should be taking more calcium than I am while pregnant with twins?

I take 120mg in my blackmores pregnancy tablets and,
600mg worth of caltrate.

I don't really have much milk, but I do eat a fair amount of cheese.

What level do I need to reach when pregnant with twins and should I take more calcium supplements to get there as I do not really like dairy products or is there something else I can eat?

ANSWER

Your first step should be to see your doctor about ANY type of supplement you are taking and/or may take, even for something such as calcium. A healthy pregnant woman that is pregnant with twins should follow the general pregnancy nutrition guidelines. The guidelines recommend 1,000 mg for women 19 years and older and 1,300 mg for women under 18 years of age.

Your best bet is to try to get all you can from foods and only supplement with calcium supplements. So that means including more milk, cheese, yogurt, dark green leafy vegetables, etc... Calcium can interfere with iron absorption so it is best to take your calcium supplement at a different time then your prenatal supplement.

Again, you should speak with your doctor to ensure you are taking the amount of calcium they recommend and the calcium supplement that will be best for you.

-- Kim Tessmer, RD LD

Kimberly Tessmer

Kimberly A. Tessmer, RD LD has been a registered dietitian since 1992 and is also an Ohio licensed Dietitian. Her educational achievements include a Bachelor of Science in Technology (Dietetics) from Bowling State University in Bowling Green, OH. She currently owns and operates a consulting business called "Nutrition Focus" www.nutrifocus.net, in which she specializes and offers services in the areas of weight management, general nutrition, authoring, menu development and a variety of other services.

To date Kim has authored three books including "The Everything® Nutrition Book", "Tell Me What To Eat If I Have Celiac Disease", and "The Everything® Pregnancy Nutrition Book". In addition, Kim has written numerous articles for various health/nutrition web sites and magazines including Bally Total Fitness Magazine, Well and Healthy Women Magazine and Healthology.com, Inc as well as continuing education courses for www.care2learn.com. She is a member of the American Dietetic Association and the ADA Practice Group, Nutrition Entrepreneurs.