Manganese in Pregnancy: Importance, Dosage & Food Sources

Manganese During Pregnancy – Importance, Dosage & Food Sources

A pregnant woman needs the right amounts of vitamins and minerals in her daily diet in order to have a healthy pregnancy. Manganese is one of the important minerals that a pregnant woman should get from her diet. It can be beneficial for the health of the mom-to-be as well as the baby. This article highlights the importance of this mineral during pregnancy, its food sources, and more.

What is Manganese?

Manganese is a mineral that is required by our body to convert micronutrients into energy. It may not be required in large dosages and may not have star power like iron and calcium, but this mineral is still vital for a pregnant woman and her unborn baby’s good health.

Why Manganese is Necessary When Pregnant

Manganese is an important mineral during pregnancy, as it helps in the formation of foetal bones and cartilages. It is also beneficial in breaking down amino acids, cholesterol and carbohydrates, which is imperative for the growth of the unborn baby. This mineral is also effective in protecting the new cells from any potential damage.

Recommended Daily Intake of Manganese in Pregnancy

As a pregnant woman, you’re likely to question how much manganese will you need to consume in a day. Well, this mineral is required in very small quantities during pregnancy. For a woman who is 18 years of age or younger and not pregnant, her daily requirements for manganese would be 1.6 mg. For a non-pregnant woman who is 19 years of age or more, she will need 1.8 mg of manganese per day. However, when pregnant, the daily dosage of manganese may spike up to 2 mg per day. And this will increase up to 2.6 mg per day when breastfeeding.

Woman about to take manganese supplement

Risks of Manganese Deficiency While Pregnant

As discussed above, manganese is very important for a pregnant woman and her unborn baby. However, in the dearth of this micronutrient in the body, various complications may arise, and some of these complications are listed below.

  • A lack of this mineral can increase the risk of the baby being born with low birth weight.
  • The risk of having preterm delivery or premature delivery will also increase.
  • If there is a severe deficiency of manganese, it may alleviate the risk of hypocalcaemia (excessive levels of calcium in the blood).

What Are the Food Sources of Manganese?

Manganese is present in whole grains, legumes, pasta, nuts, tea, cereals etc. Here are some recommendations that you may choose from to pep up your manganese intake:

  • ½ cup of cooked spinach – 0.80 mg
  • 1 slice of whole wheat bread – 0.5 mg
  • ½ cup cooked brown rice – 1.05 mg
  • 1 ounce of almonds – 0.60 mg
  • 8 ounces of tea (black) – 0.15 mg to 0.75 mg
  • 8 ounces of tea (green) – 0.40 mg to 1.50 mg
  • ½ cup mashed sweet potato – 0.42 mg
  • ½ cooked lima beans – 0.45 mg
  • ½ cooked navy beans – 0.47 mg
  • 1-ounce peanuts – 0.53 mg
  • ½ cup pineapple pieces – 0.75 mg
  • Instant oats ( one packet ) made with water – 0.97 mg
  • 4 ounces pineapple juice – 0.62 mg

These are some of the dietary suggestions, which you may take in order to fulfil your manganese intake.


There may be a number of questions crossing your mind with regards to consuming this mineral during pregnancy. Here we have tried to answer some frequently asked questions on this topic.

1. Can I take manganese supplements in pregnancy?

As discussed in the above sections, this particular mineral is required in very small quantities by our body. However, your doctor may not recommend you to take manganese supplements, and for this very reason, you may find your prenatal vitamins not having manganese in them. This is because the amount that is needed by a pregnant woman may easily be obtained by various food sources. Also, the effect of manganese on pregnant and breastfeeding mothers has still not been established, which means there are enough scientific evidence or proof available regarding the impact of this mineral on pregnant or nursing mothers. However, the risk of taking this supplement may outweigh the risk of not taking it, and so the doctor may prescribe you manganese supplements if there is a need for the same. However, it is strictly recommended that you do not take any supplements on your own.

2. What happens if you consume too much manganese during pregnancy?

Too much of everything is bad, and the same holds true in the case of consumption of manganese during pregnancy. Whether it is through diet or because of taking supplements, more than required amounts of manganese may prove to be toxic and may lead to fatal consequences during pregnancy. More than 11 mg of this mineral is considered unsafe for any adult. Pregnant women or lactating mothers should not get exceed the limit of 9 mg. Therefore, you should be extra careful when it comes to consuming manganese during pregnancy as more or excessive amounts of this mineral may lead to side effects such as the risk of tremors, Parkinson’s disease, etc.

Pregnancy is a delicate phase, and a pregnant woman needs to be extra careful about her diet and nutrition. A well-balanced and healthy diet is the key to a healthy pregnancy, however, if your doctor feels the need to prescribe you various supplements, then you should strictly follow the recommended dosage, and the same holds true in the case of manganese. Taking care of your health and diet will help ensure a healthy pregnancy and childbirth.

Also Read: Zinc in Pregnancy Diet

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