The role of calcium in development
Cheese and other dairy products such as milk and low-fat yogurt are a great source of calcium, which is an essential nutrient during pregnancy. It plays a key role in developing your baby’s teeth and bones, and also supports other important functions.
Much more than healthy teeth and bones
Calcium is actually used by every single cell in the body. It’s present in tissues and body fluids, and has various roles that include helping muscles and nerves to function, aiding digestion, and helping blood to clot.
Building healthy bones for life
During pregnancy your baby’s bones take on more calcium than at any other stage of their life. But because the body doesn’t naturally produce calcium, the only source is through your diet. As well as supplying your unborn baby with the calcium they need, getting an adequate intake can have a positive effect on your own bone health and even reduce the risk of conditions such as osteoporosis.
Because of our moderate dairy intake, most people in the UK get enough calcium without making a special effort. Calcium-rich foods include yogurt, milk and cheese. Try to choose healthy options where possible, such as natural yogurt, low-salt and low-fat varieties of milk and cheese. If you’re vegan, ask your midwife or healthcare professional for advice on which non-dairy options – like kale, almonds or dried pineapple – you need.
Weekly expert nutritional advice
If you found this page useful, our weekly emails can give you even more advice. We’re here to help you understand the role nutrition plays in your baby’s development, and our early life nutritional expertise will help you make the right choices for your baby’s future.
Questions about feeding and nutrition?
Our nutritionists and feeding advisors are always on hand to talk about feeding your baby. So if you have a question, just get in touch.