Magnesium Intake in Pregnancy
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- Is It Safe to Take Magnesium When Pregnant?
- Why Is Magnesium Important During Pregnancy?
- How Much Magnesium Is Recommended for Pregnant Women?
- Effects of Magnesium on the Baby
- Deficiency of Magnesium
- How to Include Magnesium in Your Diet
- Magnesium Food Sources
- Magnesium Supplements
- Side Effects of Magnesium Supplements
- Magnesium Salts
- Magnesium Sulfate
- Magnesium Citrate
When you are pregnant, you have to take special care to include many important nutrients into your daily diet, such as vitamins and minerals. One such vital mineral to take during your pregnancy is magnesium. Magnesium helps in abating leg cramps, to preventing premature uterus contractions. If your prenatal diet is not providing you with the minimum required dosage of magnesium, you need to increase your intake of this essential nutrient. Magnesium supports muscle relaxation and optimises blood pressure levels, thus making delivery less painful and pregnancy a breeze.
Is It Safe to Take Magnesium When Pregnant?
Magnesium must be implemented in prenatal diets, and only supplemented when there is a deficiency in mineral consumption. It is safe to supplement magnesium during pregnancy, provided that expecting mothers do not overdose or self-medicate with only capsules.
Why Is Magnesium Important During Pregnancy?
Magnesium supports muscle relaxation and optimises blood pressure levels, thus making delivery less painful. It also prevents the possibility of premature contractions, and enables the growth of strong bones and teeth in your baby.
How Much Magnesium Is Recommended for Pregnant Women?
The overall daily magnesium dosages for women are as follows. according to the stages of pregnancy:
18 years and below –
- Pregnant: 400 mg/day
- Breastfeeding: 360 mg/day
19 years to 30 years –
- Pregnant: 350 mg/day
- Breastfeeding: 310 mg/day
- Non-pregnant: 310 mg/day
31 years and older –
- Pregnant: 360 mg/day
- Breastfeeding: 320 mg/day
- Non-pregnant: 320 mg/day
What is important is not getting the magnesium dosage right on a daily basis, but aiming for a weekly average of the recommended amounts over the course of time, for best results.
Effects of Magnesium on the Baby
The following are the effects of adequate magnesium supplementation on babies:
- Regular sleep and wake cycles
- Healthy muscle tone and foetal development
- Improved foetal circulation in the mother’s womb
Deficiency of Magnesium
Magnesium deficiency results from a lack of a balanced diet. If you are not getting regular dosage numbers through your daily diet, you may need to take magnesium supplements based on doctors’ recommendations. Magnesium deficiency leads to chronic fatigue, muscle cramps, and even premature uterus contractions, thus affecting the delivery of the baby. Foetal development is also affected by magnesium deficiency, and muscle twitching is experienced by pregnant mothers due to a lack of sufficient magnesium in the blood.
How to Include Magnesium in Your Diet
Magnesium can be included in your diet through a combination of healthy diet, prenatal vitamins, and supplements. Supplements are ideal when your diet isn’t providing you with sufficient doses of magnesium, or you fail to eat enough to reach the recommended numbers. However, before taking over-the-counter magnesium supplements, it is highly suggested that you consult a doctor, since overdosing leads to blood toxicity, muscle cramps, and other health problems.
Magnesium Food Sources
You can include magnesium in your diet by incorporating foods such as peanut butter, almonds, leafy green vegetables, and fruits such as bananas, avocados, and dry fruits. Dark chocolate is the queen of magnesium for pregnant women, and can be included in their diets! The purer the dark chocolate, the more magnesium content it has. Aim for a daily value of 350 mg of magnesium through your diet, by ingesting foods like almonds, pumpkin seeds, yoghurt, spinach, and black beans.
Find below the nutritional value of various magnesium-rich food sources, per 100 grams:
(mg) / 100 gm
|Hemp seed powder||700|
|Sunflower seeds powder||413|
|Sesame seeds, black||390|
|Niger seeds, gray||379|
|Sesame seeds, white||372|
|Coconut meal, de-oiled||355|
|Niger seeds, black||346|
|Sesame seeds, brown||328|
|Amaranth (Rajgeera), black||325|
|Garden cress, seeds||307|
|Cashew nut, chopped||307|
|Garden cress, seed powder||307|
There is no need to take magnesium supplements, as it is possible to get all the magnesium you need from a healthy, balanced diet. Also, prenatal vitamins contain some amount of magnesium. However, if you think you aren’t getting enough from your diet, you can consult with your doctor about taking magnesium supplements.
Side Effects of Magnesium Supplements
Taking excessive doses of magnesium supplements can lead to certain side effects. The following are the side effects of consuming too many magnesium supplements:
1. Blood Toxicity
Toxicity in the blood is a result of high magnesium levels in the body. This may be counteracted by using an over-the-counter calcium supplement to lower magnesium levels in the blood.
2. Muscle Cramps
Overdosing on magnesium supplements leads to muscle cramping and twitching in pregnant women.
Diarrhoea and irregular bowel movements are a result of increased magnesium intake in the body.
4. Other Health Problems
High magnesium levels lead to a lack of the knee-jerk reflex in the body. Overdosing on supplements may even lead to cardiac arrest, irregular heartbeat, and blurry vision.
Dipping into Epsom salt baths is the height of luxury in terms of supplementing magnesium for pregnant women. Magnesium salt baths relieve muscle aches and rejuvenate women during pregnancies, thus alleviating some of the pain by relaxing the body.
According to a 2004 study conducted by the University of Birmingham, magnesium is better absorbed through the skin without adverse effects by soaking in Epsom salt baths. Ingesting magnesium supplements orally sometimes interferes with the magnesium absorption process for those with Celiac disease and Type 2 diabetes, which is why soaking in Epsom salt baths can prove to be highly useful.
Magnesium sulfate in pregnancy is administered to women intravenously to prevent preterm labour and ensure a smooth delivery process. Magnesium levels in the blood lower calcium content in uterine muscle cells, and allow the uterus muscles to relax, thus preventing premature contractions early on during the 37 weeks of pregnancy.
Why Take It?
Using magnesium sulfate in pregnancy can help to slow and delay delivery by a few days, which makes a significant difference in the proper development of a foetus, prevents death, and regulates fetal lung functions. Additionally, the risk of cerebral palsy for babies is also lowered by ingesting magnesium sulfate during pregnancy.
Precautions to Take
Overdosing on magnesium sulfate leads to:
These side effects can be reversed by using a medication called calcium gluconate.
Some of the side effects of high magnesium supplementation or administration during pregnancy include:
- Poor reflexes
- Shortness of breath
- Irregular heart beat
- Muscle tightness
There are many reasons why magnesium citrate is beneficial during pregnancies, such as:
- Prevents indigestion and can be taken as a laxative.
- No serious adverse effects or side effects.
- Promotes regular and easy bowel movements through water retention in stools.
- Is administered before colonoscopy procedures for cleansing the colon.
- Does not interact with most medications (except a few like, tetracycline antibiotics and potassium phosphate).
- Can be highly absorbed by the body.
Although there are no serious, life-threatening side effects, it is advisable to consult with your doctor before deciding on the dosage for magnesium citrate intake.
1. What is the role of magnesium oxide during pregnancy?
Magnesium oxide promotes optimal magnesium levels in the blood during pregnancies. It may be used as a laxative, for preventing indigestion, and must be taken two hours after taking other supplements based on doctor’s recommendations.
2. Can I take magnesium hydroxide?
Magnesium hydroxide is used to relieve heartburn and for breastfeeding purposes during pregnancy. Consult with your doctor before deciding to opt for this medication.
3. What other magnesium supplements do doctors usually recommend during pregnancy?
Magnesium recommendations by doctors usually range from supplementing via chelate and citrate forms, since these are highly absorb-able, and are naturally found in food sources. Doctors sometimes recommend magnesium threonate, magnesium orotate, and magnesium glycinate during pregnancies. The type of supplement recommended to you will be based on blood test analysis results for magnesium levels during your pregnancy.
4. Is magnesium oil safe during pregnancy?
Yes. Magnesium oil is safe during pregnancy, and is better absorbed through the skin. Oral magnesium supplements may sometimes cause diarrhoea or interact with other medications. However, with magnesium oil, there are no side effects.
From promoting well-being, to instilling calmness and reducing anxiety, it is no wonder that taking magnesium means saying goodbye to tensions and cramps. Although magnesium is beneficial during pregnancy, it is advisable to start upping your magnesium intake if you’re already deficient, since it comes with a host of health and lifestyle benefits. It is recommended that you consult with your doctor before deciding on the brand, type, and dosage of magnesium before, during, and even after your pregnancy.