Many new mothers have questions about taking magnesium while breastfeeding. This essential mineral can have profound effects on your health, along with your newborn’s.
Since your baby’s diet is dependent on the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals you consume, it is important that you know everything there is to know about taking magnesium while nursing. But before we go in-depth, let’s cover some general information about magnesium.
What is Magnesium, and Why is it So Important?
Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body and an essential part of a healthy diet. Magnesium intake is particularly low among women (even more so if you are pregnant), making supplementation very important.
It is not uncommon to be deficient in this mineral, despite its abundance in nature. The rise of processed foods has slowly weeded out magnesium from many of our diets. However, there are still plenty of foods that contain high levels of magnesium, such as:
- Black beans
- Peanut butter
The best way to find foods high in magnesium, along with other essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, is to avoid processed foods altogether and head to the produce section. The less refined, the better!
Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency in New and Expecting Mothers
One of the main symptoms of magnesium deficiency is trouble sleeping. As an expecting and as a new mother, you are going to struggle with sleep as it is. But if you are also deficient in magnesium, you will experience even more trouble sleeping.
There are plenty of other issues caused by magnesium deficiency. One of the more serious ones is pre-eclampsia. This is a pregnancy complication that results in high blood pressure and damage to the liver and kidneys.
Insufficient magnesium can also lead to migraines, another unpleasant occurrence new mothers are all too familiar with.
Watch for other telltale signs of magnesium deficiency such as dyspepsia, physical and mental weakness/fatigue, indigestion, and muscle cramps.
A Quick Note on Breastfeeding
While you are pregnant, you are eating for two. While you are nursing, you are feeding two. You are creating the food for your baby, and deliver it through your breastmilk. This is why it is really important to be conscious of what you put in your body, as well as what you do not put in your body.
Why You Should Take Magnesium While Breastfeeding
There are two major reasons you should take magnesium while breastfeeding: for your health, and for your baby’s health. Magnesium is an essential mineral, and one new mothers are more susceptible to becoming deficient in.
The benefits of supplementing with magnesium are two-fold, meaning they apply to both you and your child since you are passing nutrients onto them in the form of your breast milk. These benefits include:
- Improved sleep
- Better digestion
- Eases constipation
- More mental focus and energy
- A more well-rounded diet
Magnesium and Breastfeeding Aversion and Agitation (BAA)
A common phenomenon nursing mothers experience is breastfeeding aversion and agitation, or BAA. This is an incredibly unpleasant experience that involves unpleasant thoughts and negative sensations while an infant is latched to the nipple.
This is an especially frustrating condition, because the vast majority of those suffering want to keep breastfeeding, and have no control over these thoughts and feelings.
Many mothers have used magnesium to dampen the effects of aversion, most effectively with magnesium lotions or baths.
Is Magnesium Safe to Take While Breastfeeding?
You now know that since you are nursing your newborn, any deficiencies you have will be passed on to your child. However, the opposite is true as well. This leads many new mothers to question if there are risks to their little one while supplementing with magnesium.
The good news is that it is perfectly safe to supplement with magnesium while breastfeeding. In fact, it is widely encouraged.
There are really no major risks to you or your baby, but there are a few side effects of excess magnesium that you should be aware of. The most common are diarrhea, drowsiness, and weakness.
How to Safely Supplement with Magnesium While Breastfeeding
You have a wide range of options to choose from when it comes to magnesium supplementation. Some of the most common are:
In general, adult women need around 300mg of magnesium daily. While nursing, shoot for between 400-600mg daily if you go the oral route.
However, oral supplementation is not the most effective supplementation method. The problem with taking magnesium tablets or pills is that they don’t absorb very well. That is why you need to take it in such high doses.
In fact, the most common side effect of excess magnesium (diarrhea) is actually the result of your body not being able to use the quantity you provided it. Thankfully, there is a better option than pills and capsules.
Another very common way to get some extra magnesium is with a lotion like Organic Sleepy Body Lotion. This natural remedy helps relieve stress and improve your sleep drastically, on top of providing you with a much-needed boost of magnesium.
Studies have shown that we are able to absorb magnesium better transdermally, or through the skin. Plenty of mothers have used our organic body lotion to increase their magnesium intake. On top of absorbing better, the lotion produces a very calming effect. It is designed to improve your quantity and quality of sleep.