Magnesium During Pregnancy: What are the Benefits?
When you’re pregnant, it can feel like there’s a lot of information out there on how to have the most well-balanced diet that gives you the nutrients you need for both yourself and your baby. While a lot of us know that nutrients like folate, calcium, and iron are important for a growing baby, there isn’t as much talk about magnesium.
The fact is, getting enough magnesium during pregnancy is extremely important, too. Magnesium is needed for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, and not getting enough magnesium may cause muscle cramps, fatigue, insomnia, and other common pregnancy pains (as we’ll see below).
What Is Magnesium?
Magnesium is a mineral involved in hundreds of different crucial roles in your body, like supporting muscle and nerve function as well as energy production. It is the fourth most abundant mineral in your body, but it’s estimated that almost half of all U.S adults are deficient in it.
Having a magnesium deficiency can make some of our pregnancy symptoms worse, such as:
- Head and neck tension
- Muscle aches and spasms
- Stress and tension
Magnesium plays a central role in our body, and pregnant women need sufficient magnesium levels more than anyone for a safer, more comfortable pregnancy.
Why Is Magnesium Important During Pregnancy?
A 2017 study shows that magnesium can have several benefits throughout pregnancy, such as:
- Reducing the risk for fetal growth restriction (when the baby is smaller than expected for their time in development)
- Reducing the risks of preeclampsia (a complication involving high blood pressure and damage to other internal organs, like the kidney)
- Reducing the risk of childbirth complications
Aside from reducing risks, magnesium can help with a ton of benefits, too. Here are some other ways magnesium can help:
- Sleep: It’s shown that magnesium plays an important role in more restful sleep, which can be a challenge in the later stages of pregnancy.
- Mood: Research shows magnesium is an effective way of helping to support a balanced mood, and it’s sometimes used by psychiatrists before prescribing antidepressants.
- Cramps: Due to the changes in the body during pregnancy, you may face increasing aches and cramps. Research shows that adequate magnesium can reduce cramping and discomfort because of its role in the ways muscles contract and relax.
- Blood pressure. Specifically, magnesium can help regulate blood pressure during pregnancy, which is how it can lower your chances of preeclampsia.
What Are the Benefits of Magnesium Intake Postpartum?
Magnesium can also be helpful after birth as well, continuing to play a key role in your health and your baby’s health.
Here are some benefits magnesium has on babies:
- Healthy weight: Magnesium has been shown to help prevent low birth weight in babies. A lot of your magnesium will come through your breast milk supply.
- Overall health: Babies get similar benefits from magnesium as we do — adequate magnesium for babies and toddlers can help with sleep, mood, blood sugar levels, and immune health.
Postpartum can be a stressful time, and magnesium helps more than you might think. Here are some of the benefits of magnesium after the birth of your baby:
- Reduces the risk of postpartum depression: As we noted before, magnesium helps to stabilize your mood, so it can help to alleviate postpartum depression symptoms.
- Ease Constipation: A common postpartum symptom is constipation. An adequate amount of magnesium can create smoother bowel movements, especially after birth when they can be painful.
How Much Magnesium Do I Need During Pregnancy?
It’s generally agreed that you need about 350-450 milligrams of magnesium per day, according to dietary reference intakes. This also is true postpartum when a lot of magnesium is delivered through your breast milk to your baby.
If you struggle to ingest adequate magnesium, your healthcare provider may recommend oral magnesium supplementation, like magnesium citrate or magnesium oxide. Magnesium, alongside other key micronutrients, can also be found in leafy greens and legumes.
Make 8 Sheep a Part of Your Routine
As you already know, magnesium can be an effective way of reducing cramps and pregnancy aches. While you can take magnesium through a supplement (e.g. pills, powders, capsules), a far more efficient way to increase the levels of magnesium in your body would be through the skin. You can do this with 8 Sheep’s Sleepy Body Lotion, the only magnesium lotion specially formulated for pregnant women.
Our lotion is made with 100% clean ingredients and contains a potent concentration of Zechstein magnesium (the highest quality magnesium available on the market). This magnesium absorbs and works quickly to ease pregnancy pains and promote a deeper, more restful sleep.
Looking for more pregnancy products made with clean, natural ingredients? Explore 8 Sheep’s full collection of organic pregnancy products here.