Pregnancy and Bone Health

By Guest Blogger, Alyssa Maynard- CAPPA Childbirth Educator & Doula in training

Pregnancy is a time of great changes for the body. While some changes can be seen with the naked eye, there is also a lot happening deep within the body. This article specifically aims to talk about bone health, an area of pregnancy that is not always discussed.

Pregnancy is actually reported to be good for a mother’s bones. During pregnancy, women are more able to absorb calcium from what they ingest and their bodies produce more estrogen, which acts to protect bones. During the beginning stages of pregnancy, a mother’s absorption of calcium doubles and is stored in her bones. This calcium will be used in the later stages of pregnancy to form the bones of the growing fetus.

If the mother receives enough calcium during pregnancy, there should be no negative side effects to her body. However, many women are not in the habit of getting enough calcium normally, never mind during pregnancy. If the mother does not receive enough calcium, the growing fetus will draw the calcium that it needs from its mother’s bones. This can cause a loss in bone density and in extreme cases, osteoporosis.  If  a woman is of  normal childbearing age, any bone mass lost during pregnancy is usually recovered when pregnancy and breastfeeding are ceased.

Breastfeeding is also a crucial period for bone health and can also result in a decrease in bone density for women. This is because the infant still wants the calcium but the body is not producing increased levels of estrogen anymore which make the body more susceptible to calcium. Therefore, the calcium for the baby comes from the mothers bones.  However, women rapidly regain bone density when breast feeding is stopped. It is important to continue to take prenatal vitamins and have an increased calcium intake during breastfeeding for this reason.

There are many different ways to promote bone health, in both habit and diet. Women between the ages of 19 and 50 should ingest 1000 milligrams of calcium per day. Calcium can be found in dairy foods such as milk, cheese, and yogurt. Other great sources of calcium include green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, broccoli, bok choy, collard greens, and mustard greens. Foods high in protein can also be a good source of calcium, such as edamame, eggs, tofu, beans, and some fish. Some people use calcium supplements as a way to obtain the needed calcium. It should be noted that this is not the recommended way to obtain calcium. Calcium supplements should be used to make up the deficit not as a primary source of calcium.

There are other vitamins and minerals that are important to bone health. Vitamin D plays an essential role in calcium absorption during pregnancy. The most common way that people get vitamin D is by foods fortified by Vitamin D, such as milk. Vitamin D only naturally occurs in fish, liver, and egg yolk. Other minerals and vitamins crucial to bone health are protein, phosphorous and magnesium however calcium and Vitamin D remain the most crucial.

Besides diet, a great way to maintain bone health during pregnancy (and throughout life in general) is to exercise the bones. The best way to do this is by weight bearing exercises.

It is important to note that most women do not experience significant bone damage during pregnancy. If mothers keep up with their nutrient intake and remain active, the effects of pregnancy on bone health will be minimal.

About Healing Hands Chiropractic:

Healing Hands Chiropractic is a full-service family wellness center specializing in Webster certified prenatal & family chiropractic care, acupuncture, cognitive-behavioral therapy, reiki & aromatherapy, massage therapy, pregnancy & birth classes and breastfeeding support.

What is BPA? (And how can it affect my unborn child?)

By Dr. Denise Ingrando, Family Chiropractor

If you’ve shopped lately for baby products like bottles or plastic toys, you’ve probably seen the label “BPA free.” While the advertisement itself is likely enough to pique your interest and perhaps keep you from buying products containing BPA, what exactly is BPA, and why is it important to avoid?

BPA (bisphenol A) is a petrochemical and contaminant found in plastic products such as water bottles, plastic containers and plastic wrap, as well as the lining of canned goods. It has been linked to a long list of serious chronic disorders including cancer, cognitive and behavioral impairments, endocrine system disruption, reproductive and cardiovascular system abnormalities, diabetes, altered immune function, asthma and obesity. It has been found to contribute to disease by mimicking the body’s hormones and causing disruption (3,5,7).

The disturbing part is, this toxic substance can affect your children even before they have the chance to drink from a bottle! According to recent research conducted by the Environmental Working Group, this substance, along with 231 other toxic chemicals, was found in nine out of ten random samples of cord blood taken from American infants (5, 6,7). This means that fetuses are not protected from the toxins their mothers are exposed to. “This can lead to chromosomal errors in the developing fetus, which can cause spontaneous miscarriages and genetic damage. And being exposed to just 0.23 parts per billion of BPA is enough to disrupt the effect of estrogen in a baby’s developing brain” (7). In fact, not only do infants and children have underdeveloped organ systems for detoxifying and excreting chemicals, they also have immature and porous blood-brain barriers, which increases the risk for brain exposure and neuro-developmental disorders (7). Women of childbearing age and those who are pregnant should consider the sources of BPA and diligently avoid them. Although the FDA declared BPA safe in 2008, they now have “some concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children” and are becoming more aggressive in “re-evaluating the way they regulate BPA” (1,2,3).

Tips to help you steer clear of BPA include:

  • Drink from glass bottles
  • Buy fresh or frozen rather then canned food products
  • Drink plenty of water to flush toxins from your system
  • Receive regular chiropractic care

Regular chiropractic care is an important aspect in helping your body handle the wide variety of chemicals it is exposed to, as it can keep your system functioning optimally in spite of a potentially toxic load. As the nervous system is responsible for regulating endocrine (hormonal) function, as well as the function of every system in your body, chiropractic adjustments that remove nerve interference can help the body to function at 100%. Consider chiropractic care for yourself and your family today, especially if you are pregnant.

[1]Understanding FDA food packaging regulations,” White-paper by Rohm and Haas,

[2] Kissinger M. “FDA says it’s unable to regulate BPA” (January 17, 2010) Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

[3]Update on bisphenol A for use in food contact applications: January 2010” U.S. Food and Drug Administration


[5] (12/09/09)


[7] Dr. Mercola -“232 Toxic Chemicals Found In Babies” (12/31/09)