Can I Take Magnesium While Pregnant?

Can I Take Magnesium While Pregnant?

Thinking of trying for a baby, or recently found out you’re expecting (if so, congrats! 🎉)?

Chances are, you’re about to embark on your journey to learn what you can (and, more importantly, what you can’t do when you’re pregnant).

And, we’ll be real with you, there’s a lot.

But, fear not, mama — that’s why we’re here. 🤗

So, let’s get one of your queries ticked off the list — what gives with magnesium?

Let’s find out. 👇

In this article: 📝

  • Why is magnesium used in pregnancy?
  • Can I safely take magnesium during pregnancy?
  • What foods contain magnesium that I can eat when pregnant?
  • Should you avoid magnesium during the third trimester?
  • Can I take magnesium glycinate when pregnant?
  • Can I take magnesium citrate when pregnant?
  • Can I take magnesium sulfate when pregnant?

Why is magnesium used in pregnancy?

So, did you know that magnesium is actually a vital mineral important for the healthy growth of your baby and to reduce the risk of low birth weight?

Magnesium is usually obtained through the food that you eat.

And, during pregnancy, your requirement for magnesium increases which is where supplementation can be really helpful.

Magnesium is packed full of goodness for both you and baby, so it’s full steam ahead, right?

Not so quickly there, mama-to-be… ✋

There are different types of magnesium supplements to take, and some of them you shouldn’t be taking for too long while you’re pregnant.

And you should always clear it with your doctor first before you start taking any sort of supplement.

That’s why we’re here — to walk you through which one’s safe, and which one is a steer-clear zone. 🔴

Can I safely take magnesium during pregnancy?

In a lot of cases, yep — magnesium is often recommended to take during pregnancy.

It’s been found that magnesium could reduce pregnancy complications, and also potentially reduce fetal growth restriction (when an unborn baby is smaller than expected). [1]

Also, the mighty magnesium could also reduce the chances of you developing preeclampsia during your pregnancy. ⭐

But it’s important to recognize the different types of magnesium, and which ones you should take during pregnancy and why (more on this below 👇).

That’s why it’s really important to check in with your doctor first before you start taking any supplements when you’re pregnant.

They’ll be able to advise you which type of magnesium is best for you.


How much magnesium should you take as a pregnant woman?

Depending on factors (such as your age, and medical history), the typical recommended dose of magnesium for pregnant women is between 360 mg - 400 mg a day. [2]

For context, non-pregnant women typically need between 310 and 360 — so, a touch higher intake is needed when you’re pregnant.

But, additional supplementation may be needed to reach the adequate magnesium nutrient goals during pregnancy. 💊 [3]

If your diet is typically higher in fat and sugar, and lower in whole grains, fruits, and veggies, your magnesium intake will be lower.

Best bet?

Again, speak to your doc — they’ll be able to advise you what the most appropriate magnesium intake is for your pregnancy, based on your medical history and diet. 👩‍⚕️

What does magnesium do to the uterus?

In short, it’s thought that magnesium relaxes the uterus. [4]

It’s sometimes used in pregnancy to control muscle contractions (like those you’d experience in labor), and keeps the uterus relaxed.

And, actually, if you don’t have enough magnesium in pregnancy, you may be at risk for early uterine contractions (which could cause premature births).

It’s 10% more likely that premature birth can happen if you’re deficient in magnesium. 🤯 [4]

So, keep up your magnesium levels, mama-to-be!

What foods contain magnesium that I can eat when pregnant?

So, about increasing that magnesium intake…

Easier said than done when there’s a big red list of foods you should avoid while pregnant, isn’t it? 🙃

So, we thought we’d put together a list of the pregnancy-approved foods high in magnesium for you to munch away on: [2]

  • 🎃 Pumpkin seeds
  • 🥜 Almonds
  • 🥬 Spinach (make sure this is cooked first!)
  • 🥜 Cashews
  • 🥣 Cereal (shredded wheat, breakfast cereals, and oatmeal).
  • 🌱 Chia seeds
  • 🫘 Black beans
  • 🥜 Peanut butter
  • 🥛 Milk (both cows milk, and soy milk)
  • 🥔 Potatoes
  • 🍚 Rice (brown preferably, but white if not)
  • 🍌 Bananas
  • 🐠 Salmon
  • 🥑 Avocado
  • 🍞 Bread
  • 🥦 Broccoli

… to name a few!

Hopefully, that will inspire some recipe ideas for your pregnancy diet. 🤰


Should you avoid magnesium during the third trimester?

Although magnesium supplements are generally harmless and often recommended, it’s important to take extra care, especially if you are in your third trimester and on antacids for heartburn.

Some antacids contain magnesium oxide, which, coupled with magnesium supplements, could potentially complicate uterine contractions during labor. [5]

So, like we have said before, always check with your doctor before starting magnesium supplements.

Can I take magnesium glycinate when pregnant?

Magnesium glycinate is a type of magnesium, and is sold as a dietary supplement. [6]

It’s formed by combining elemental magnesium with the amino acid, glycine.

It’s thought to relieve anxiety, promote bone health, and it can even reduce PMS symptoms.

But, is it safe to take when pregnant? 🤔

It seems so!

And not only is it safe, but it also can come with a bunch of benefits for you and baby.

Of course, before you start taking any supplement when you’re pregnant, you must check this over with your doctor first.

They’ll be able to advise you if taking magnesium glycinate in pregnancy is safe for you and baby.

Can I take magnesium citrate when pregnant?

This type of magnesium is bound with citric acid. 🍊

It’s a common choice of magnesium supplement, due to its easy absorption in your digestive tract.

It’s also thought to be safe to take magnesium citrate while you’re pregnant. ✅ [7]

Taken orally, it’s typically used to replenish low magnesium levels (or keep them high during pregnancy).

It can be helpful for constipation during pregnancy, too — it has a natural laxative effect which can make your pregnancy-poop symptoms a little easier. 💩

Can I take magnesium sulfate when pregnant?

So, this one you may recognize…

Ever heard of Epsom salt?

(Probably around the time you pulled that muscle at the gym, or needed to de-stress after a busy couple of weeks… 💆‍♀️)

It’s most commonly used dissolved into bathwater, as it’s thought to relieve tired, aching, muscles and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. 🛀 [8,9]

But, despite being helpful in some ways, taking too much of it can be dangerous, especially for pregnant women. [10]

The FDA says you shouldn’t be taking magnesium sulfate for any longer than 5 -7 days, as it could lead to pregnancy complications for baby. [11]

It could cause low calcium levels and bone problems in the baby, including thin bones and bone breaks. 🦴

But, interestingly, magnesium sulfate throws out some medical curveballs…

It’s actually sometimes used to prevent seizures in women suffering with preeclampsia (a condition pregnant women get either during their pregnancy, or after they’ve given birth — or both). [12]

The condition can cause high blood pressure and certain organs not working normally.

But this is administrated in hospital by doctors, and the women are carefully monitored afterward to make sure all vital remain in the normal range.

It’s also offered to women whose baby will be born between 24 - 30 weeks of pregnancy due to its uterus relaxing properties (as we spoke about above 👆), as it’s known it can provide some protection to babies from developing cerebral palsy. [13]

So, basically, this type of magnesium has a lot going on. 🤯

Speak with your doctor about Epsom salt baths, or magnesium sulfate doses in general, and they’ll be able to advise you on what’s best for your pregnancy. 🩺

Got some more questions we haven’t answered?

Our Community is always here, 24/7 — find all the support and advice you need from mamas who’ve been there before. 🥜


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