Counseling pregnant women on calcium: effects on calcium intake

Jessica P M M Willemse*, Luc J M Smits, Mandy M E Braat, Linda J E Meertens, Pim van Montfort, Martien C van Dongen, Jonas Ellerbrock, Ivo M A van Dooren, Ella J Duvekot, Iris M Zwaan, Marc E A Spaanderman, Hubertina C J Scheepers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the effect of incorporating calcium advice into early pregnancy counseling on calcium intake during pregnancy in the Netherlands.

METHODS: A multicenter prospective before-after cohort study was conducted introducing risk-based care including calculating individual pre-eclampsia risk. Part of the intervention was to incorporate calcium advice into routine counseling. We calculated individual daily calcium intake and adequacy of calcium intake (≥1,000 mg/day) at 16, 24 and 34 weeks of pregnancy. We performed a multiple logistic regression adjusting for covariates to identify any differences in the risk of inadequate calcium intake between RC and CAC.

RESULTS: In regular care (RC, 2013-2015, n=2,477) 60% had inadequate calcium intake, compared to 49% during calcium advice care (CAC, 2017-2018, n=774) (aOR 0.75, 95% CI 0.64-0.88). Specific calcium supplements were used by 2% and 29% in RC and CAC, respectively (OR 25.1, 95% CI 17.8-36.0). Determinants of an inadequate calcium intake were lower age (aOR per additional year 0.96, 95% CI: 0.94-0.98), nulliparity (aOR 1.22, 95% CI: 1.03-1.45) and non-Caucasian origin (aOR 1.83, 95% CI 1.09-3.09). In CAC, risk of inadequate intake decreased with increasing predicted pre-eclampsia risk, which was a trend reversal compared to RC.

CONCLUSIONS: Incorporating calcium advice into early pregnancy counseling was shown to lead to a decrease in the risk of inadequate calcium intake during pregnancy, but still inadequate intake in half of the women suggesting the need for further study on improving implementation. Awareness of individual increased PE risk had positive effect on calcium intake.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)346-355
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Perinatal Medicine
Issue number3
Early online date23 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2023


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