Magnesium Intake in Pregnancy

Magnesium Intake in Pregnancy

Last Updated on

Magnesium is a vital mineral during pregnancy. From resolving abating leg cramps to preventing premature uterus contractions, you need to increase magnesium intake if your prenatal diet is not providing you with the required dosage. 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 expecting mothers do not overdose or self-medicate with capsules solely.

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: 400mg/day
  • Breastfeeding: 360 mg/day

19 years to 30 years –

  • Pregnant: 350mg/day
  • Breastfeeding: 310mg/day
  • Non-pregnant:310mg/day

31 years and older –

  • Pregnant: 360mg/day
  • Breastfeeding: 320mg/day
  • Non-pregnant:320mg/day

What is important is not getting the magnesium dosage right on a daily basis but aim 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:

Effects of Magnesium on The Baby

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 may even lead to premature uterus contractions, thus affecting the baby’s delivery. 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.

Deficiency of Magnesium in Pregnancy

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 sufficient doses of magnesium, or you fail to eat enough to reach up to the recommended numbers. Please consult a doctor before taking over-the-counter magnesium supplements since overdosing leads to blood toxicity, muscle cramps, and other health problems.

Magnesium Food Sources

You can include magnesium in your diet in 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 may be incorporated into diets. The purer the dark chocolate, the more magnesium content it has. Aim for a daily value of 350mg magnesium through your diet by ingesting foods like almonds, pumpkin seeds, yoghurt, spinach, and black beans.

Magnesium Food Sources

Here is a list of magnesium-rich food sources for your reference:

Food Milligrams
(mg) per
DV (Daily Value)
Almonds, dry roasted, 1 ounce 80 20
Spinach, boiled, ½ cup 78 20
Cashews, dry roasted, 1 ounce 74 19
Peanuts, oil roasted, ¼ cup 63 16
Cereal, shredded wheat, 2 large biscuits 61 15
Soymilk, plain or vanilla, 1 cup 61 15
Black beans, cooked, ½ cup 60 15
Edamame, shelled, cooked, ½ cup 50 13
Peanut butter, smooth, 2 tablespoons 49 12
Bread, whole wheat, 2 slices 46 12
Avocado, cubed, 1 cup 44 11
Potato, baked with skin, 3.5 ounces 43 11
Rice, brown, cooked, ½ cup 42 11
Yoghurt, plain, low fat, 8 ounces 42 11
Breakfast cereals, fortified with 10% of the DV for magnesium 40 10
Oatmeal, instant, 1 packet 36 9
Kidney beans, canned, ½ cup 35 9
Banana, 1 medium 32 8
Salmon, Atlantic, farmed, cooked, 3 ounces 26 7
Milk, 1 cup 24–27 6–7
Halibut, cooked, 3 ounces 24 6
Raisins, ½ cup 23 6
Chicken breast, roasted, 3 ounces 22 6
Beef, ground, 90% lean, pan-broiled, 3 ounces 20 5
Broccoli, chopped and cooked, ½ cup 12 3
Rice, white, cooked, ½ cup 10 3
Apple, 1 medium 9 2
Carrot, raw, 1 medium 7 2


Magnesium Supplements

There is no need for magnesium supplements as it is possible to get all the magnesium you need from a healthy, balanced diet. Besides, prenatal vitamins also contain some amount of magnesium. However, if you think you aren’t getting enough from your diet, you can consult your doctor about prescribing some magnesium supplements.

Side Effects of Magnesium Supplements

Overdosing on magnesium supplements lead to different 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.

3. Diarrhoea

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 a knee-jerk reflex in the body. Overdosing on supplements may even lead to cardiac arrest, irregular heartbeat, and blurry vision.

Side Effects of Magnesium Supplements

Magnesium Salts

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 without adverse effects by soaking in Epsom salt baths through the skin. 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 proves to be highly useful.

Magnesium Salts Baths

Magnesium Sulfate

Magnesium sulfate in pregnancy is administered to women intravenously to prevent preterm labour and ensure a smooth delivery. 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?

Even though using magnesium sulfate in pregnancy does not prevent delivery, it can slow and delay delivery by a few days which makes a significant difference in the proper development of a foetus, thus preventing death and regulating fetal lung functions. Additionally, the risk of cerebral palsy for babies is also lowered by ingesting magnesium sulfate during pregnancy.

Magnesium Sulfate Injections

Precautions to take

Overdosing on magnesium sulfate leads to:

These side effects can be reversed by using a medication called Calcium Gluconate.

Side Effects

Some of the side effects of high magnesium supplementation or administration during pregnancy include:

Magnesium Citrate

There are many reasons why magnesium citrate is beneficial during pregnancies. The following are the uses and benefits:

  • 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 stool
  • Is administered before colonoscopy procedures for cleansing the colon
  • Does not interact with most medications (except few like Tetracycline Antibiotics and Potassium Phosphate)
  • Is highly absorbable 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.

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 your healthcare provider before deciding to opt for this medication.

3. What Other Magnesium Supplements Doctors Usually Recommend During Pregnancy?

Magnesium recommendations by doctors usually range from supplementing in chelate and citrate forms since these are high absorbable and 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 pregnancy.

4. Is Magnesium Oil Safe During Pregnancy?

Yes. Magnesium oil is safe during pregnancy and 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 Magnesium is the answer to 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. Please consult with your healthcare provider before deciding on the brand, type, and dosage of magnesium before, during, and even after pregnancy.