What Is the Best Magnesium Supplement for Pregnancy?

As you do your research on magnesium during pregnancy, you’ll likely discover that there are plenty of reasons you should take magnesium supplements during pregnancy. From improving sleep health to maintaining feelings of wellness, this mineral can potentially do so much for those who are expecting. 


You might find yourself asking, “what is the best kind of magnesium to take while pregnant?” 

There are quite a few different types of magnesium out there, and some are better to take while you’re expecting than others. Finding the right magnesium supplement can be the difference between complete relief and continuing to struggle with the symptoms of magnesium deficiency.

Below are the topics we’ll cover:

What Is Magnesium?

Why Do Pregnant Women Need To Take Magnesium?

Benefits of Magnesium Supplementation

Is It Safe To Take Magnesium While Pregnant?

How Magnesium Can Affect Pregnancy

What Complications Can Magnesium Help Prevent During Pregnancy?

How Much Magnesium Is Safe for Pregnancy?

What Are the Side Effects of Too Much Magnesium During Pregnancy?

Ways Pregnant Women Can Get Magnesium

What Are the Different Types of Magnesium Women Take During Pregnancy?

What Is the Best Type of Magnesium To Take While Pregnant?

The Best Ways To Supplement Magnesium During Pregnancy: Transdermally vs. Orally

We Recommend Pregnant Women Take Magnesium Transdermally

How Much Magnesium Should I Take During Pregnancy?

What Are the Benefits of Magnesium Intake Postpartum?


But first, here’s a quick refresher on magnesium and why you may need to take it while pregnant.

What Is Magnesium?

Magnesium is a mineral involved in hundreds of crucial roles in your body, like supporting muscle and nerve function and 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:

  • Nausea
  • Head and neck tension
  • Muscle aches and spasms
  • Stress and tension
  • Sleeplessness

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 Do Pregnant Women Need To Take Magnesium?

In general, like calcium and vitamin D, magnesium is an essential mineral. It plays an important role in the body, helps reduce the risk of health abnormalities caused by a lack of magnesium, and is responsible for many bodily functions.

It is common for people to experience magnesium deficiency, especially as food quality drops and nutrition becomes poorer.

But, pregnant women are especially susceptible to a magnesium deficiency. While you are pregnant, you are feeding not just yourself but your growing baby as well. There is a significant difference in the amount of magnesium pregnant women need. The fetus siphons many essential nutrients.

Some of the complications of pregnancy may also cause magnesium deficiency

Morning sickness, for example, negatively affects moms in two ways. For example, morning sickness may purge nutrients from the body and the lack of an appetite can make it difficult for you to regain these vital nutrients.

Even your changing hormones can contribute to a magnesium deficiency

Some common signs of a magnesium deficiency include:

Benefits of Magnesium Supplementation

Many pregnant women choose to supplement to maintain their magnesium levels (after speaking with their healthcare provider). There are many benefits for expecting women to supplement with magnesium, including:

Is It Safe To Take Magnesium While Pregnant?

Many expecting mothers wonder whether or not it’s safe to take magnesium while pregnant. The good news is that no research suggests magnesium can adversely affect you or your baby.

However, there are potential side effects from excess magnesium, especially when taken in the form of oral supplements like pills, capsules or powders, such as:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Muscle weakness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Urine retention

Not only is it safe to take magnesium while pregnant, but multiple studies support that magnesium can potentially improve you and your baby’s health in several ways.

How Magnesium Can Affect Pregnancy

According to a study from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, magnesium supplementation positively affects pregnancy outcomes. Specifically, the study examined how magnesium supplementation may affect common complications of pregnancy, such as:

  • Preterm labor
  • Maternal BMI (body mass index)
  • Neonatal weight
  • Leg and muscle cramps

This randomized, controlled trial examined three groups of 60 women. Group A was women with sufficient magnesium levels, and they were simply given a multimineral tablet once a day.

Groups B and C were considered deficient in magnesium. Group B was given the same daily multivitamin tablet as Group A, whereas Group C was given 200 mg of magnesium daily (on top of their regular diet).

The groups were examined throughout the entire pregnancy.

In just about all cases, Group C (the group that received 200mg of magnesium daily) reported better pregnancy outcomes than groups A and B. They showed a much lower frequency of pregnancy complications like those listed above. 

Thus, the researchers concluded that “Magnesium supplementation during pregnancy is likely to decrease the probability of occurrence of many complications during pregnancy.”

It's important to note that the women supplementing with Mg showed better results than even the women who weren’t deficient in magnesium (Group A) in the first place.

What Complications Can Magnesium Help Prevent During Pregnancy?

Another study by the Oxford Academic Journal of Nutritional Reviews examined the effects of magnesium deficiency during pregnancy. 

Preterm Labor / Birth

According to the research done in this study, women with lower serum magnesium levels are more prone to preterm labor or preterm delivery. However, a more useful indicator of magnesium deficiency is the examination of red cell magnesium.

One such study looked at this level in pregnant women, and it found that women who experienced preterm labor or birth had hypomagnesemia (deficiency of magnesium in the blood).

Gestational Diabetes

This is a more rare disorder only reported in 1%-14% of pregnant women. The study examined magnesium's effects on insulin-signaling pathways such as secretion, binding, and receptor activity.

Women who were supplemented with magnesium showed a significant decrease in gestational diabetes compared to those who did not. And it may even help those who already suffer from the condition.

An additional study found that women with gestational diabetes who use magnesium showed increased glucose control and insulin secretion levels.

Overall, the findings from study 2 were consistent - it showed that magnesium supplementation during pregnancy can be safe and help support a healthy pregnancy.

How Much Magnesium Is Safe for Pregnancy?

The recommended amount of magnesium for the average person is around 300mg daily. 

When you are pregnant, you’ll have increased needs for all vitamins, minerals and nutrients. You should be shooting for at least 400mg a day.

What Are the Side Effects of Too Much Magnesium During Pregnancy?

Magnesium overdose may cause unpleasant side effects like nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Thankfully, magnesium overdose is rare - and in most cases, caused by oral supplements.

Ways Pregnant Women Can Get Magnesium

Getting Magnesium Through Your Diet

A simple way to get enough magnesium is following a properly regimented prenatal diet high in magnesium. If you just eat enough of the right magnesium-rich foods daily, you can meet your daily magnesium requirement.

Foods with a high magnesium content include:

  • Almonds
  • Spinach and other leafy greens
  • Tofu
  • Avocado
  • Bananas
  • Peanut Butter
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Cashew
  • Rice
  • Beans
  • Legumes

Unfortunately, maintaining a good diet like this isn’t necessarily realistic, as our lives get busier and our food gets more processed. If your morning sickness prevents you from eating much, meeting your daily magnesium needs becomes even tougher. There are other ways to add magnesium to your life.

Epsom Salt Baths

One popular way to get extra magnesium is with a nice Epsom salt bath at the end of the day. Not only is this incredibly therapeutic, as you can feel the stress melting away, but you’ll also get a good dose of magnesium transdermally.

When Epsom salts are added to water, the salt turns into magnesium and sulfate. Your skin can absorb it with a soak in the tub.

Magnesium Pills and Powders

The most obvious method for taking magnesium is oral magnesium supplementation like pills, capsules, or powders. That’s right, like the kind you’d find at a health store.

However, this may not be the best method — oral magnesium does not always absorb well, and not all supplements are equally bioavailable. Even more, some people taking oral magnesium supplementation may experience unpleasant side effects like stomach cramps or other digestive symptoms. 

If you take oral magnesium during pregnancy, double-check with your doctor first. They know your health best and can recommend a reputable product.

Magnesium Oils and Lotions

Transdermal magnesium is magnesium that gets absorbed through the skin, and this is the recommended way to supplement magnesium during pregnancy. Transdermal magnesium has fast absorption without causing any unpleasant digestive side effects like cramps and loose stool. 

Here at 8 Sheep Organics, our Sleepy Body Lotion is the only magnesium lotion that has been specially formulated for pregnancy moms. 

What Are the Different Types of Magnesium Women Take During Pregnancy?

So many kinds of magnesium can get overwhelming as you do your shopping or research. The absorption rate and possible therapeutic benefits each offer are big differences. They can also differ in terms of potential side effects.

Let’s focus on the eight most prominent varieties of magnesium commonly used by pregnant women today. Then, we’ll show you the best kind of magnesium we created to help expectant and new moms.

Magnesium Sulfate

Magnesium sulfate is most known for its presence in Epsom salts. Using magnesium sulfate topically is one of the best ways to help combat sore muscles or aches and can even be used to help support the digestive system. This type of magnesium is often prescribed to support uterine tone for those with a heightened risk for this pregnancy complication

According to certain studies, magnesium sulfate should not be taken during the first trimester at all. Some studies suggest it might not be safe throughout pregnancy, except in specific circumstances.

If you have any questions or concerns, you should consult your doctor, as they provide a treatment plan.

Magnesium Phosphate

This is a very mild form of magnesium that can help soothe the muscles. It can help promote feelings of calm and support mental wellness while simultaneously contributing to bone and teeth support and helping maintain the body’s processes in balance with one another.

Magnesium Citrate

As the name suggests, magnesium citrate is derived from citric acid. One of the potential advantages magnesium citrate has over other types of magnesium is its bioavailability - meaning it can be more easily absorbed and used by the body. Mothers experiencing indigestion, acid reflux, or morning sickness will be pleased to learn that magnesium citrate can help combat these issues.

But, magnesium citrate also has been shown to act as a strong laxative — good for those with constipation issues, not so good for those just looking for temporary relief from leg cramps during pregnancy! Nonetheless, it is typically considered safe for you and your child during pregnancy.

Magnesium Oxide

Magnesium oxide has much lower levels of bioavailability compared to magnesium citrate, but is still commonly used to help support the digestive system. Magnesium oxide is one of the main compounds found in Milk of Magnesia.

According to the National Institutes of Health, taking this form of magnesia during pregnancy or for an extended period is not advisable.

Magnesium Glycinate

For those dealing with stress on top of their magnesium deficiency, magnesium glycinate could help support feelings of mental health. 

This unique type of magnesium can help support a stressed mind and body. It has a bioavailability that rivals that of magnesium citrate, and unlike many types of magnesium, is not a known laxative!

Magnesium Glycinate is typically reported to be the easiest type of mg on the stomach. But, this form is one that some doctors may be hesitant to recommend and will only prescribe in an instance where the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks.

Magnesium Orotate

Magnesium orotate is unique from other types of magnesium because it can help support heart health. 


On top of this, it can help maintain muscle tissues, which could potentially lead to an increase in stamina and energy. Because magnesium orotate can be a versatile supplement for some people, it tends to be more expensive than other types of magnesium.

Magnesium L-threonate

This variation of magnesium has been considered a “breakthrough” supplement by some. It typically features high bioavailability and can help support cognitive functions (which could be huge for those who suffer from “mom brain”).

Magnesium chloride

When you use magnesium supplements, magnesium chloride is usually what you’ll see on the ingredient label. This is the most common magnesium and is typically extracted from brine or ocean water.

Studies have shown that this variation may be the most effective form of oral supplementation, but it can potentially work even better topically.

Magnesium chloride can help promote deep sleep, maintain a healthy digestive system, support bone health, and maintain a calming presence — mentally and physically. 

Some people believe it can do wonders for nausea and morning sickness. The main potential side effect of magnesium chloride is diarrhea, which is typical across all types of magnesium. But, this tends to be pretty uncommon unless you go overboard on your dosage, so be mindful of the suggested dosages on the product label.

If you are looking for the best source of magnesium chloride while expecting, and even after birth, look no further than 8 sheep Organics Sleepy Body Lotion

This magnesium-packed lotion is 100% organic and formulated from six natural ingredients. It is not only safe for you, but it also poses no risk to your baby. 

When rubbed into your skin, it does much more than just moisturize. The sleepy lotion can help prepare your mind and body for a night of deep, restful sleep, putting you in a state of complete relaxation.

It can help temporarily soothe pregnancy discomfort in the lower back, hip, and ligaments. On top of that, it’ll prevent leg cramps and restless leg syndrome, a problem many pregnant women struggle with daily.

This magnesium chloride-packed lotion is a must-have in any pregnant woman's arsenal, and you can try it risk-free for 60 days today. If you are not 100% satisfied, send it back for a full refund.


Get your fix of transdermal magnesium chloride to promote deeper, more restful sleep with our body lotion.


What Is the Best Type of Magnesium To Take While Pregnant?

The best type of magnesium to take while pregnant is up for debate. There are a few that we know can work very well. Most doctors recommend you take magnesium with a high bioavailability, which helps narrow it down to a few. These bioavailable types of magnesium include magnesium chloride, oxide, citrate, and glycinate.

As you now know, different types of magnesium can accomplish different things. So, it depends on what you are hoping to soothe with magnesium. Of those four, you can narrow your options based on your current experience and your doctor’s recommendation.

Transdermal magnesium oils

We mentioned earlier that magnesium absorbs better transdermally than orally. 

So, you may want to try transdermal magnesium oils, which are ready to use in 8 Sheep’s Organic Sleep Body Lotion With Magnesium. You can massage the lotion to help temporarily soothe your body aches.

The Best Ways To Supplement Magnesium During Pregnancy: Transdermally vs. Orally

There are two ways you can supplement with magnesium: transdermally or orally. Transdermal supplementation means applying a magnesium lotion or gel directly on your skin, typically where you are trying to soothe the area.

So, if you are experiencing restless legs, you would massage a magnesium lotion into your leg muscles. Or, if you have sore hips, you can massage the lotion into your hips.

Supplementing magnesium orally is what comes to mind for most people. This is where you take a capsule or pill, and ingest it into your system.

But, which method is better for pregnant women?

We Recommend Pregnant Women Take Magnesium Transdermally

There are a few reasons taking magnesium topically while pregnant may be superior for some people to take it orally.

For one, it's a great way to massage sore muscles and gain potential health benefits in a more specific area. By rubbing magnesium directly into sore muscles in your legs, back, hips, feet, etc., you can help soothe the area.

The main reason we don’t recommend taking magnesium orally is that your body cannot absorb it as well. Magnesium supplements can cause a higher incidence of stomach aches and diarrhea because your body cannot break them down and use them as effectively. 

This means you could waste your money with magnesium supplements while adding discomfort to your pregnancy.

Topical supplementation, however, has higher absorption rates and won’t produce the displeasure of taking it topically. Plus, using a high-quality magnesium lotion can provide the added benefits of helping hydrate your skin. 

How Much Magnesium Should I Take During Pregnancy?

The amount of magnesium you need to take during pregnancy differs based on age. According to the National Institute of Health, these are the guidelines:

  • 400mg – Women between the ages of 14-18
  • 360mgWomen between the ages of 31-50
  • 350mg – Women between the ages of 19-30

Before supplementing with magnesium, talk to your healthcare provider. They know your body best and can help determine if you truly suffer from a magnesium deficiency.

What Are the Benefits of Magnesium Intake Postpartum?

Magnesium can be helpful for non-pregnant women too. Magnesium could play a key role in supporting your health (especially during lactation) 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 comes through your breast milk supply when breastfeeding.
  • Overall health: Babies get similar benefits from magnesium as we do — adequate magnesium for babies and toddlers can support sleep, maintain mood, support a healthy metabolism by working to regulate blood sugar levels., and maintain immune function.

Postpartum can be a stressful time, and magnesium could help provide support more than you might think. Here are some of the potential benefits of magnesium after the birth of your baby:

  • Promote postpartum mental health: As we noted before, magnesium helps to stabilize your mood, so it could help to maintain feelings of wellness.
  • Support digestive health: A common postpartum symptom is constipation. An adequate amount of magnesium can help create smoother bowel movements, especially after birth when they can be painful.


There are tons of different ways you can safely take magnesium after you give birth. As magnesium is better absorbed through the skin, we recommend using a topical application. This way, you can help reduce the risk of unwanted side effects, such vomiting and/or diarrhea.

In summary, when you apply magnesium lotions, you can potentially target the problem areas on your body more effectively for safe, temporary relief.

8 Sheep Organics Sleepy Body Lotion is a great way to help soothe your aches and pains, and prepare your mind and body for a night of deep, restful sleep. Handcrafted in small batches and completely natural, it can be used even after giving birth!


Effect of Magnesium Supplement on Pregnancy Outcomes: A Randomized Control Trial | PMC 

National Institutes of Health | NIH

FDA warns about magnesium sulfate effects on newborns | MDedge ObGyn

Magnesium - Health Professional Fact Sheet | NIH