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I’m lactose intolerant; how can I get enough calcium for my baby?
Q: I’m lactose intolerant and, therefore, don’t drink milk or eat any dairy products unless they are lactose-free. Now that I’m pregnant, what can I do to ensure that I get enough calcium for my growing baby? Are vitamin supplements sufficient, or are there certain foods I should be eating as well?
Mandy Grand Junction
A: Lactose intolerance is becoming quite common. Besides the obvious use of Lactaid (lactose-free milk), I suggest eating foods fortified with calcium (calcium-fortified orange juice, or broccoli), prenatal vitamins with calcium supplementation (typically 200 milligrams) and a calcium supplement to reach the daily requirement of 1,000 milligrams.

Remember, too much calcium is not healthy, so keep your daily consumption under 2,000 milligrams to prevent kidney stones.

Typically, I suggest Tums or Rolaids as the calcium supplement. Not only do they have a sufficient amount of calcium, but they also give a secondary benefit of heartburn relief. Other supplements such as Citracal, Oscal and Caltrate are acceptable.

Craig L. Bissinger M.D.