After delivery, the body of a new mother starts getting back to its pre-pregnancy state. At the same time she has to meet the breastfeeding needs of her baby. So, having nutritious foods and taking adequate rest is advisable for a new mother. It is advisable for her to have a diet which is rich in all the essential nutrients and vitamins. Having fresh fruits, green vegetables and foods from all groups are preferable. Dairy products that help to fulfil the increased calcium requirement after delivery are also essential. Here’s why the importance of calcium in the diet of new mothers cannot be overlooked. Increased Requirement of Calcium Most pregnant and breastfeeding women in India have low dietary calcium intake. Data from 10 Indian States shows that intake of calcium for women during pregnancy and lactation is only 400 mg whereas they need 1200 mg calcium per day. The Calcium Requirement of the Baby The baby requires 200-300 mg of calcium daily from breastmilk for the first six months. This calcium is important for helping the baby develop strong bones and teeth. The teeth and bones comprise of the 99% of body’s calcium. Postpartum Loss of Calcium is Higher Loss of calcium is four times higher during the nine months of lactation than during pregnancy. This loss in bone mineral density can be prevented with the intake of calcium. Calcium is Lost on Daily Basis As exclusive breastfeeding is a must for babies, a lot of calcium is lost from a mother’s body on daily basis. A lactating woman can lose 200-300 mg a day during breastfeeding. Adequate Calcium Intake is a Must Adequate intake of calcium by the breastfeeding mother is important for calcium-rich breastmilk and for prevention of osteoporosis which is a medical condition caused due to calcium deficiency. Loss of Bone Mass A mother’s body has to work overtime for meeting the breastfeeding requirements. As studies have shown that women often lose 3% to 5% of their bone mass during six months of breastfeeding to meet the baby’s growing need for calcium, nourishment of a mother is important for the nourishment of the baby. Taking right care of your diet and health post delivery is surely going to help you in the long run. Therefore, make sure that you consult your doctor and find out what you must do in order to ensure adequate calcium intake. Mostly, your doctor may advice you to take calcium supplements. Follow your doctor’s advice and take right care of yourself to stay healthy and raise a happy family as ‘CARE COMES FROM YOU’.