Dairy through Life
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Although a pregnant woman’s calcium needs do not increase (they remain at 700mg), it is essential that enough calcium is taken throughout this period as it will help with the hardening of the unborn baby’s bones.
Under the government’s Healthy Start scheme pregnant women under 18 or on low incomes can receive vouchers to exchange for free milk (and fruit and vegetables).
During pregnancy certain cheeses should be avoided. These are cheeses with blue veins (e.g. Stilton, Danish Blue) and mould–ripened soft cheeses (e.g. Brie, Camembert). It is important to note, however, that milk and yogurt pose no risk during pregnancy, and are a good way of helping to meet calcium requirements. There is also no risk from hard cheeses (e.g. Cheddar), cottage cheese, cream cheese or processed cheese during pregnancy.
During breastfeeding a woman’s calcium requirements increase by 500mg. This is because a certain amount of calcium will be lost in the breast milk she produces.