According to my mom, there is a saying in the old country that most women lose one tooth per baby. Babies are nursed in the country side and formula is rarely used. It is too expensive or there is limited access. Since I gave birth to now, I’ve developed 4 cavities. And yes, I believe breast feeding is the culprit. You lose some of your bone density with each child. I’m not alone in this assumption, as research conducted by the American Association for Bone and Joint Surgeons (ANJS) has found similar instances in other women who have children.
Amazing breast milk and bone density
Breast milk is amazing and indiscriminate of the mother’s health. The breast milk of a malnourished mother will provide just as much minerals and vitamins as a well nourished mother. The only difference may be the fat content might be higher for a well nourished mother. If breast milk is providing all this good stuff, what happens to the mother if she is malnourished or undernourished? Since a woman’s body is made for reproduction, your treasonous body will compromise the mother’s body to feed the baby. Hence, the cavities for women not getting enough calcium in their diet.
If you are in your 20s, you can still increase your long-term bone density because the rate of bone density loss is slower than the rate you can increase your bone density. However, for someone in their 30s like me, my rate of bone density loss is equal to or greater than the rate I am building up my bone density.
Why women more prone to develop osteoporosis?
My bones are much more vulnerable to developing osteoporosis than my husband’s even without the issue of carrying and nourishing our baby. Women stop building bone density between 30-35 years old. I am at a stage where my body is building and losing bone density at the same rate (without the baby factor). Now add in yo-yo dieting without exercise and you have both fat loss and muscle loss each time you go on a diet. You naturally start to lose about 4% of your muscle mass per decade. Menopause accelerates the muscle mass loss to 10% per decade. Studies have shown that women who participate in a regular strength training exercise routine are less likely to develop osteoporosis. Men are less likely to develop osteoporosis because they do not experience the hormone changes we do over their lifetime and start out with more muscle mass to begin with.
You might think your bones are hard and a fixed lifeless structure. But bone density is constantly changing, growing, diminishing, or re-building, depending on your current circumstances. Taking calcium supplement is not the only preventative measure to curtail bone density loss. Amazingly, you cannot tell whether someone has great bone density by their appearances. I used to belong to a bowling league where half the members have been collecting social security longer than I’ve been working since graduation.
Two women fell while bowling one year. They are both the same age — 82 at the time. One is heavyset and the other is thin. You would think the thin senior would end up with the broken hip, but it is her heavyset friend who ended up sitting out two seasons. Vi, the thin senior, ended up with a bruise and promptly brought a new pair of bowling shoes to prevent future falls.
Exercises to increase bone density
Regular weight bearing exercises increase your bone density. Swimming and biking has its place in your exercise routine, but not if you want to increase your bone density. These low impact exercises improves your endurance, but its low impact nature would not stress your bones enough to cause your bones to strengthen itself when it repairs or replace the cells damaged from the weight bearing exercise.
The most important factor in finding exercises you can do for the rest of your life is to find weight bearing exercises that is gentle on your joints, provides an aerobic element, and strengthens your bone density.
One great resource for finding exercises that both strengthen bones and also can be done at home or anywhere a tumbling mat can be placed, is SCACheer.com. Current gymnastic events, exercises and simple routines can all be found there and applied when trying to plan exercises to do to increase bone density.