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Home > Learn > Pregnancy > >Benefits of Magnesium During Pregnancy

Benefits of Magnesium During Pregnancy

Feb 01, 22 9 min

Taking fertility supplements, such as pregnancy-safe magnesium, can have multiple benefits for expectant mothers. Read on to learn how this supplement can help.

By OBGYN and fertility expert Dr. Kenosha Gleaton

Supplementing with just one important mineral (on top of your prenatal daily packets) may increase your chances of having a healthy pregnancy. From helping prevent high blood pressure to helping with the adverse effect of muscle cramps, oral magnesium supplementation is something to explore. Let's break down what the relationship between magnesium and pregnancy is and how it works.

What Is Magnesium?

Magnesium is a mineral found in many foods including nuts, seeds, grains, greens, and beans and is necessary for a healthy, functioning body. 1 Magnesium is important for maintaining normal blood pressure, protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, and much more. About half of the magnesium in an adult body is found in the bones and the other half is in soft tissues.2

Types of Magnesium and Their Common Uses

Magnesium is a crucial mineral for our bodies, and it comes in various forms, each with its unique benefits and uses. Here are ten of the most common types:3

  • Magnesium Citrate: This type is bound with citric acid, making it easily absorbed by your body. It's often used to replenish low magnesium levels and treat constipation due to its natural laxative effect.4 Some also use magnesium citrate as a calming agent to help with symptoms of depression and anxiety.5
  • Magnesium Oxide: This type combines magnesium and oxygen. It's not typically used to treat magnesium deficiencies as it's poorly absorbed by your digestive tract.6 Instead, it's often used to relieve digestive symptoms like heartburn, indigestion, and constipation.7
  • Magnesium Chloride: This magnesium salt includes chlorine and is well absorbed in your digestive tract, making it a great multi-purpose supplement.8 It's often used to treat low magnesium levels and may also be found in topical magnesium products like lotions and ointments.
  • Magnesium Lactate: This form is easily absorbed and may be gentler on your digestive system than other types. It's often used by people who need to take large doses of magnesium regularly or don't easily tolerate other forms.9
  • Magnesium Malate: This type includes malic acid, which is naturally found in fruits and wine. It's easily absorbed in your digestive tract and may have a less laxative effect than other types.3
  • Magnesium Taurate: This form contains the amino acid taurine. It may promote healthy blood sugar levels and support healthy blood pressure.3
  • Magnesium L-threonate: This form is easily absorbed and may be the most effective type for increasing magnesium concentrations in brain cells. 10 It's often used for its potential brain benefits.
  • Magnesium Sulfate: Also known as Epsom salt, this form is often dissolved in water to treat stress and sore muscles.11
  • Magnesium Glycinate: This form is formed from elemental magnesium and the amino acid glycine. It's easily absorbed and may have calming properties, often used to treat anxiety, depression, and insomnia.12
  • Magnesium Orotate: This form includes orotic acid and is easily absorbed. It doesn't have the strong laxative effects characteristic of other forms and may promote heart health.13

Each type of magnesium has its unique benefits, and the choice of which to use often depends on the specific needs and health conditions of the individual. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any dietary supplements.

 

 

Can You Take Magnesium While Pregnant?

Absolutely! Magnesium is not only safe to take during pregnancy, but it's also highly beneficial.14 It's important to note, however, that like any supplement, it should be taken under the guidance of a healthcare provider to ensure the correct dosage and to avoid any potential interactions with other medications or conditions.

What Pregnancy Ailments Can Magnesium Help Remedy?

Maintaining a healthy and adequate magnesium level can be important for a pregnant woman, but how exactly does it help? A 2017 randomized control trial found that supplementing prenatal magnesium may help reduce some pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia, low preterm weight, low birth weight and the risk of stillbirth. Specifically, this study showed that:

  • Magnesium supplementation is shown to be especially beneficial during pregnancy as women are a high risk group for magnesium deficiency. Other high risk groups include individuals with gastrointestinal diseases, type 2 diabetes, alcohol dependence, and older adults.2
  • Magnesium supplementation shows better pregnancy outcomes by reducing the risk of stillbirth, fetal growth restrictions, and preeclampsia, a blood pressure condition developed during pregnancy.
  • Some magnesium compounds such as magnesium sulfate are especially effective at preventing preeclampsia.
  • In the trial, the group that received a 300mg effervescent magnesium tablet once a day for one month showed the best pregnancy outcomes and experienced reduced pregnancy complications. 

Other Benefits of Magnesium Supplementation During Pregnancy

By now you know some of the benefits associated with a sufficient magnesium level. However, magnesium is not only great for bone, muscle, cardiovascular health, and pregnancy outcomes. There are other benefits of magnesium supplements including2,14-20:

  • Boosts mood: Magnesium acts as a coenzyme that helps to convert tryptophan to serotonin, a mood-boosting neurotransmitter. While there is some conflicting data, research supports the notion that using magnesium postpartum may be able to prevent postpartum depression and anxiety.
  • Helps with sleep: Magnesium’s NMDA antagonist activity along with its GABA receptor work to provide the body with a relaxant effect, helping you to de-stress and get a good night’s sleep, similar to melatonin. With that being said, there are some differences between magnesium vs melatonin that you should be aware of before you decide which is better for you.
  • Supports bone health: Magnesium is helpful for bone structure development, which is essential for the expectant mother and their growing baby.
  • Helps with cramping: Some research shows that magnesium supplementation may be helpful for leg cramps in pregnant women, although more research is needed to confirm these claims.
  • Aids in hydration: Magnesium’s chemical properties make it an essential mineral for hydration. Potassium is a must for hydration, and without magnesium stores, our body would be unable to hold on to potassium as needed. Shop Natalist Hydration & Energy Electrolyte Mix for energy and hydration support.

Upper Limits of Magnesium

According to the NIH, the upper limits for magnesium are:2

  • Birth to 12 months: no dosage established
  • 1-3 years: 65mg
  • 4-8 years: 110mg
  • 9-18 years (includes pregnant and lactating females): 350mg
  • 19+ years (includes pregnant and lactating females): 350mg

Natalist Magnesium Plus drink mix contains 300mg per serving (and tastes delicious)

Medication Interactions

It is important to note that some medicines may interact poorly with magnesium. Some examples include:2

  • Oral bisphosphonates
  • Various antibiotics
  • Loop diuretics
  • Proton pump inhibitors

For specifics on medication interactions, consult with your doctor. 

Find Magnesium Supplements at Natalist 

If you are an expectant mother, pregnancy-safe magnesium could highly benefit you. At Natalist, we carry a wide range of fertility supplements to ensure your reproductive health journey is covered. From prenatal vitamins to postpartum vitamins, we guarantee to have the supplement you need. 

Natalist call to action featuring pregnancy self care products

 

Takeaways

  • Magnesium is a naturally occurring mineral that is essential for many bodily functions including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, and blood pressure homeostasis.
  • Supplementing with magnesium shows many benefits during pregnancy including a reduced risk of preeclampsia, stillbirth, low birth weight, and fetal growth restriction. 
  • Magnesium supplementation also aids in sleep, supports bone health, helps with muscle cramps, and has mood-boosting properties.
  • There are upper limits for magnesium intake, so make sure to stay at or below healthy limits if you do decide to take a magnesium supplement.
  • Some groups are at a higher risk for magnesium deficiency. 

 

Sources:

  1. Cleveland Clinic. Magnesium-Rich Food Information | Cleveland Clinic. Cleveland Clinic. Published 2014. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/15650-magnesium-rich-food 
  2. National Institutes of Health. Office of Dietary Supplements - Magnesium. National Institutes of Health. Published 2016. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/ 
  3. Hill A. 10 interesting types of magnesium (and what to use each for). Healthline. Published November 21, 2019. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/magnesium-types 
  4. Johnson J. Magnesium citrate for constipation: Benefits and risks. www.medicalnewstoday.com. Published July 26, 2018. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322588 
  5. Kirkland A, Sarlo G, Holton K. The Role of Magnesium in Neurological Disorders. Nutrients. 2018;10(6):730. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10060730 
  6. Lindberg JS, Zobitz MM, Poindexter JR, Pak CY. Magnesium bioavailability from magnesium citrate and magnesium oxide. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 1990;9(1):48-55. doi:https://doi.org/10.1080/07315724.1990.10720349 
  7. Kubala J. Magnesium Oxide: Benefits, Side Effects, Dosage, and Interactions. Healthline. Published May 3, 2021. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/magnesium-oxide 
  8. Hessov I. Absorption of magnesium chloride solution in small bowel disease. Clinical Nutrition. 1983;1(4):343-346. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/0261-5614(83)90013-4 
  9. Magnesium Lactate Oral: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Pictures, Warnings & Dosing - WebMD. www.webmd.com. Accessed July 28, 2023. https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-11660/magnesium-lactate-oral/details 
  10. Zhang C, Hu Q, Li S, et al. A Magtein®, Magnesium L-Threonate, -Based Formula Improves Brain Cognitive Functions in Healthy Chinese Adults. Nutrients. 2022;14(24):5235. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14245235 
  11. Rath L. Why Take an Epsom Salts Bath? WebMD. Published July 26, 2021. https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/epsom-salt-bath 
  12. De Felicis J. Magnesium Glycinate: Benefits, Side Effects And Uses. Forbes Health. Published May 25, 2023. Accessed July 28, 2023. https://www.forbes.com/health/body/magnesium-glycinate/ 
  13. Nao D. Magnesium Orotate: The Heart-Healthy Mineral You Need to Know About. Nao Medical. Published June 2, 2023. Accessed July 28, 2023. https://naomedical.com/blog/magnesium-orotate-heart-health-benefits/ 
  14. Tarjan A, Zarean E. Effect of Magnesium Supplement on Pregnancy Outcomes: A Randomized Control Trial. Advanced Biomedical Research. 2017;6(1):109. doi:https://doi.org/10.4103/2277-9175.213879 
  15. Cuciureanu MD, Vink R. Magnesium and stress. Nih.gov. Published 2011. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK507250/ 
  16. Fard FE, Mirghafourvand M, Mohammad-Alizadeh Charandabi S, Farshbaf-Khalili A, Javadzadeh Y, Asgharian H. Effects of zinc and magnesium supplements on postpartum depression and anxiety: A randomized controlled clinical trial. Women & health. 2017;57(9):1115-1128. doi:https://doi.org/10.1080/03630242.2016.1235074 
  17. Derom ML, Sayón-Orea C, Martínez-Ortega JM, Martínez-González MA. Magnesium and depression: a systematic review. Nutritional Neuroscience. 2013;16(5):191-206. doi:https://doi.org/10.1179/1476830512y.0000000044 
  18. Jacka FN, Overland S, Stewart R, Tell GS, Bjelland I, Mykletun A. Association Between Magnesium Intake and Depression and Anxiety in Community-Dwelling Adults: The Hordaland Health Study. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. 2009;43(1):45-52. doi:https://doi.org/10.1080/00048670802534408 
  19. Murck H. Ketamine, magnesium and major depression – From pharmacology to pathophysiology and back. Journal of Psychiatric Research. 2013;47(7):955-965. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychires.2013.02.015 
  20. Jahnen-Dechent W, Ketteler M. Magnesium basics. Clinical Kidney Journal. 2012;5(Suppl 1):i3-i14. doi:https://doi.org/10.1093/ndtplus/sfr163 

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