SAN CLEMENTE, Calif., Nov. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Calcium is an essential mineral for building strong bones, whether you're 12, 30 or - especially - if you're pregnant. Unfortunately, with most women only getting two thirds of the daily-recommended intake, this condition leaves them, and often times their growing fetus, starved for calcium. Of the recommended 1000 mg of calcium needed daily, the March of Dimes (nacersano.org), an organization committed to moms and baby's health, reports that women on average only get about 700 mg. And when they get pregnant or start breastfeeding, women don't realize that they need to further increase their calcium intake to keep themselves and their babies healthy. That's why the March of Dimes and the California Milk Processor Board (CMPB) - the creator of GOT MILK? and TOMA LECHE - have partnered to educate pregnant women and nursing mothers about the importance of increased calcium consumption through natural sources like milk.
"The baby needs calcium from the mother to build strong bones and teeth," says Dr. Diana Ramos, a March of Dimes volunteer and an assistant professor in Ob/Gyn at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. "If women don't get enough calcium in the diet during pregnancy or while nursing, the calcium the baby needs will be extracted from the mother's bones, leaving her with possible future health problems such as osteoporosis."
While expecting or nursing women need take in at least 1000 mg of calcium daily, depending on their condition, research indicates that some pregnant women may need as much as 1500 mg. Milk is the number one source of calcium, with one eight-ounce cup yielding 300 mg. Yogurts and cheeses are other ways to add calcium to the diet.
"TOMA LECHE's goal has always been to educate families about the health benefits of drinking milk," says Steve James, executive director of the CMPB. "With our awareness campaign with nacersano.org, Latinas can hopefully make better food choices and take in more milk calcium to have strong and healthy babies."
On www.tomaleche.com/noticias, TOMA LECHE and nacersano.org have outlined tips to make sure that expecting and nursing moms maintain strong bones and healthy weight:
- Don't Rely Solely on Supplements for Calcium - Supplements often contain less than one-third of the recommended daily amount of calcium so milk is still the number one source. Avoid calcium supplements that contain bone meal or dolomite. These products may also contain lead, mercury, arsenic and other toxic substances.
- Weight Control - For expecting moms, gain a healthy weight during pregnancy. Talk with a doctor before and during pregnancy to decide on how many pounds of weight gain is healthy.
- Fruits & Vegetables - Eat well-balanced meals that include protein-rich foods, fresh fruits, whole grains and dairy. Avoid foods with too much sugar and fat to help maintain healthy weight.
- Vitamins D - Vitamin D helps the body absorb and use calcium. The body naturally produces vitamin D from sunlight, which is another good reason to go out for a walk! Food sources of vitamin D include milk fortified with vitamin D, egg yolks and dark-meat fish such as salmon.
- Exercise Regularly - Weight-bearing exercise, which can be as simple as walking, can help build strong bones. Talk to a health care provider about exercise options that are safe, especially when a mother is expecting.
For more information on the March of Dimes and to find Spanish-language information about the organization, visit www.nacersano.org. To learn about TOMA LECHE and the health benefits of milk, visit www.tomaleche.com/noticias.
About March of Dimes
The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For the latest resources and information, visit www.nacersano.org.
About the CMPB
The California Milk Processor Board was established in 1993 to make milk more competitive and increase milk consumption in California. Awareness of GOT MILK? is over 90% nationally and it is considered one of the most important and successful campaigns in history. GOT MILK? is a federally registered trademark that has been licensed by the national dairy boards since 1995. The CMPB's Spanish-language campaign began in 1994 using the tagline "Familia, Amor y Leche" (Family, Love and Milk). The TOMA LECHE (Drink Milk) campaign replaced it in 2006, following a growing trend in Hispanic food advertising that uses wit and humor to reach audiences. GOT MILK? gifts and recipes can be viewed at www.gotmilk.com and www.tomaleche.com. The CMPB is funded by all California milk processors and administered by the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
SOURCE The California Milk Processor Board