Calcium is a very important nutrient when you are pregnant, as now your baby is taking calcium from you. If you don't eat enough foods with calcium or take a supplement, you are more likely to develop osteoporosis later in life.
Your baby can actually take a two year supply of calcium from you, which is why during pregnancy your body will require twice the amount of calcium. This helps grow your baby's bones and teeth. Also, with the added weight on your body, your bones will need more calcium to help support the extra weight. Not only does calcium aide in strong bones, it also helps keep your heart beating, it helps your muscles work, and it helps your nerves communicate; all vital day to day functions.
When you do not get enough calcium in your diet, your body will take the calcium from your bones and give it to your baby. This is what causes osteoporosis later in life.
During pregnancy, you need about 1,400 milligrams of calcium. If you take a calcium supplement, it is important to check the label for "elemental calcium." This is how much calcium the supplement actually provides.
There are many great sources of calcium, and not all of them come from dairy. If you're someone who doesn't care for dairy, can't eat it due to lactose intolerance, or chooses not to eat it for other reasons, there are plenty of non dairy sources of calcium.
Good sources of calcium include: yogurt, cheese, milk, almond milk, fortified orange juice, canned salmon, sardines, tofu, collard greens, sesame seeds, almonds, kale, broccoli, spinach, and rhubarb.