I’m lactose intolerant, so I avoid dairy. Should I take calcium, vitamin D, or both?
Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: If you are taking a prenatal vitamin with 300 mg calcium and 400 IU vitamin D, you’re right that you should be taking more calcium. The recommendation for all women, pregnant or not, is 1000 mg a day. So your idea to take an extra 600 mg of calcium a day is a good one.
Many women in the United States are deficient in vitamin D, so it’s great that you’re taking a supplement that offers it. Taking 800 IU vitamin D daily during pregnancy isn’t a problem at all. It will help your body absorb the calcium in the supplement you’re taking, and it’s also important for both you and your baby in many other ways that are important to your overall health. Many experts believe that the current RDA for vitamin D is far too low, and it’s likely that the RDA will soon be revised upward—possibly to as high as 2,000 IU daily or even higher. Because so many people are deficient in Vitamin D in the United States, many physicians are treating their patients with doses as high as 10,000 IU daily. So as you can see, in the grand scheme of things, 800 IU daily is not a huge dose.
—Rallie McAllister, MD, MPH, MSEH, a family physician, mom of three, and coauthor of The Mommy MD Guide to Pregnancy and Birth