Osteoporosis and Pregnancy

Pregnancy-associated osteoporosis is believed to be a rare condition that is usually found in the third trimester of a woman's pregnancy or after giving birth. It usually occurs during a woman's first pregnancy, is temporary, and does not happen again. Women affected usually complain of back pain, have a loss of height, and have vertebral fractures.

As of 1996, there had been 80 cases of this condition reported. Researchers do not know if this condition occurs as a result of pregnancy or because of other health problems the woman had.

Things that may cause this condition, such as genetic factors or steroid use, are being studied. Even though there is stress on a pregnant woman's calcium supply, and calcium leaves her body more often because of frequent urination, other changes during pregnancy, like increases in estrogen and weight gain, may actually help bone density. There is much more to be learned about how a woman's bone density is affected by pregnancy.

Although bone density can be lost during breastfeeding, this loss tends to be temporary. Several studies have shown that when women have bone loss during lactation, they recover full bone density within six months after weaning.

Pregnant or nursing women need the same amount of calcium as other women of the same age.

Here are some foods to help you get the calcium you need. Check the food labels for more information.

Food
Portion
Milligrams
Percent
Plain, fat free (or low fat) yogurt
1 cup
450
45
American cheese
2 ounces
348
35
Milk (fat free or low fat)
1 cup
300
30
Orange juice with added calcium
1 cup
300
30
Broccoli, cooked or fresh
1 cup
90
10

*% Daily Value tells you how much of the recommended daily amount of that nutrient is in that portion of food.


Further Reading

Last Updated: Aug 12, 2009

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