Milk of Magnesia During Pregnancy: What to Know

Team Peanut
Team Peanut3 months ago4 min read

Constipation got you curious about the safety of milk of magnesia during pregnancy? We’ll take you through the details. Read on.

Milk of Magnesia Pregnancy

If, like so many mamas-to-be, your poops are taking it slow on their journey through your body, you’re not alone.











Constipation in pregnancy is real.

And it’s no wonder you’re looking to find relief.

So what’s the deal with milk of magnesia during pregnancy?

Is it safe?

We’ll take you through the details.

In this article: 📝

  • Is milk of magnesia safe during pregnancy?
  • Can I take anything for constipation while pregnant?
  • What laxatives are safe in pregnancy?
  • Milk of magnesia: the (um) bottom line

Is milk of magnesia safe during pregnancy?

The short answer is that milk of magnesia is generally safe to take during pregnancy — but it’s always best to check in with your doctor before taking any medication while pregnant.

Also known as magnesium hydroxide, milk of magnesia is an OTC laxative and antacid that comes in liquid and tablet form.

It works by drawing water into the intestine to help move things along when they get stuck — and it’s usually effective within a few hours of taking it.

It can also decrease the amount of acid in your stomach, so it can be useful in treating heartburn and indigestion.

Along with constipation, these are two other typical pregnancy symptoms, and it’s common to be afflicted with all three at once.

Constipation is a staple in up to 39% of pregnancies — and is particularly common in the third trimester when that growing baby has your bowels competing for space.

Heartburn affects up to 45% of pregnancies.

The likely culprit in all these digestive woes?

Hormones.

The surge of progesterone that’s helping to support your pregnancy also has some other effects.

It relaxes your digestive system so that it doesn’t work as quickly as it normally would.

And the result is, well, a slowing down in output.

Can I take anything for constipation while pregnant?

The answer is that milk of magnesia is a pretty great fit.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, this is one laxative that should be safe to take.

Just drink plenty of water while you’re taking it so that you don’t get dehydrated.

That being said, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor first.

There may be an underlying cause of your digestive issues that needs attention, so it’s always better to work with a healthcare professional.

And milk of magnesia is not suitable for everyone.

If you have kidney issues, for example, this may not be the best bet.

It’s also not without its side effects.

You may experience bloating, cramping, and gas — symptoms that may be part of your pregnancy anyway.

Also, there’s a chance it could work too well and cause loose stools or diarrhea.

Speak to your doctor if you are worried about any of your side effects, or if the medication doesn’t work for you.

And if you notice any blood in your poop, it’s important that you get medical care.

And allergic reactions are also a rare possibility, so if you break out in hives, have trouble breathing, or swell up anywhere in your face or neck area, don’t wait to get help.

What laxatives are safe in pregnancy?

Before jumping to laxatives, experts recommend that you try other methods to get your system moving again.

Upping your fluids, getting some gentle exercise and increasing your fiber intake can all help.

But if you’re still stuck, a laxative may be in order.

Milk of magnesia is often at the top of the list of safe laxatives during pregnancy.

But your doctor may also prescribe a bulk-forming laxative.

(Metamucil is a popular option.)
Essentially a fiber supplement, this type of medication turns into a gel-like substance in your body which helps your poop-in-training absorb moisture.

That makes it softer and bigger — and its journey easier.

Stool softeners (like Colace) are also sometimes used, and studies have shown that they’re unlikely to harm your baby.

But still, it’s recommended that this only be used if other avenues have been unsuccessful.

Milk of magnesia: the (um) bottom line

Milk of magnesia is generally considered safe to take during pregnancy.

But before turning to laxatives, try moving, hydrating, and adding fiber.

And if that doesn’t work, double-check with your doctor to see if there’s any reason you should be steering clear of milk of magnesia.

Finally, if you do take it, watch out for side effects, and don’t take it for too long.

And if you need some support through the adventures of pregnancy, connect with us on Peanut.

We’re having the conversation.

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